DVD ripping are two words used when extracting video from DVDs. It is analogous to CD ripping to extract audio from CDs. While DVD ripping has been promoted widely on IBM-compatible PCs, tutorials for Macs (specifically Mac OS X) are difficult to come by. This tutorial will explain how to rip a DVD on Mac OS X for the pruposes of backing up to another DVD, what resources you will need, and how to go about it.

Instructions for backing up DVDs to other formats (e.g. Video CD, DivX) can be found elsewhere on the internet.


There is a mix of free and commercial software that can be used to rip DVDs on a Mac. These will be split into DVD ripping tools, compression tools, and burning tools.

Some commercial programs can perform DVD rips, compression and burns in one step.

DVD rippers

Open Source



DVD compression tools

Open Source

  • HandBrake - : Compressed DVD video to MPEG-4; will not create a video file available to use in standard DVD players


DVD burning tools

Apple supplied



Ripping a DVD

The tutorial will describe using MacTheRipper to extract a DVD. MacTheRipper can also be used to extract encrypted DVDs.

Please note that these applications must be used according to the copyright laws of your country

Using MacTheRipper

Follow the steps below to use MacTheRipper to extract a DVD. The application also has a manual along with it.

  1. Download MacTheRipper from
  2. Install the application
    • Mount the .dmg image by double-clicking on it
    • Drag the application to the Applications folder (or wherever else you wish to install it)
  3. Insert the DVD that you wish to rip
  4. Rip the DVD using MacTheRipper
    • Run MacTheRipper by double-clicking on it
    • Select the DVD you wish to rip (if this does not work, press the refresh button)
    • Set the options for DVD ripping
      1. The application developers recommend to keep the Macrovision removal option enabled
      2. Set the RCE region coding removal options
        • If the DISC RCE status reports 'CLEAR', the RCE region encoding can be set to off
        • If the DISC RCE status reports RCE DETECTED, the region must be set to the region that the DVD was produced for
      3. The region for DVD playback is set through the 'New Region' option - the developers recommend for this to be set to the default value
      4. Set the 'User Operation Prohibitions' (UOP) options via the UOP button
        • If you disable the UOP to allow fast forwarding through selected scenes, the developers advice to check the DVD works before burning it
    • Select which parts of DVD will be ripped
      1. To extract the whole DVD to burn, or to compress with the other tools listed above, choose the Full Disc Extraction option
      2. For more options see the MacTheRipper website
    • Rip the disc
      1. Click the 'Go!' button under the 'Disc' tab
      2. Choose where to save the ripped files
  5. The DVD should be ripped; MacTheRipper creates a VIDEO_TS folder ready for compression or burning

Compressing a DVD

Some commercial applications can compress DVDs to fit onto a 4.7GiB DVD. Please refer to the applications' manuals for more information.

Burning ripped DVDs

The VIDEO_TS folder can be burned using various programs. DVD Imager is a freeware application which can be used to create a burnable DVD. The commercial application Roxio Toast is also used by many to burn DVDs.

You must ensure that the VIDEO_TS file will fit onto the recordable DVD that you are using; in most cases this is 4.7GiB. Otherwise the DVD rip must either be stripped of unneccessary video information, or the video must be compressed.

Burning with DVD Imager

DVD Imager will allow the creation of a DVD disc image of the VIDEO_TS folder, which can then be burned with the Apple-supplied Disc Utility in the Applications folder. DVD Imager is an AppleScript script.

To use DVD Imager:

  • Drag the VIDEO_TS folder onto the script
  • Press the create button
  • Enter a destination to save the image

The script will create the burnable image.

  • The image can now be burned with the Disc Utility application.

External links

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