How to Rip DVDs to iTunes for Free

By Techwalla Contributor

How to Rip DVDs to iTunes for Free. Want to watch movies from your own DVD library on your iPod? With Instant Handbrake, free software for Mac OSX, you can easily make any DVD into an iTunes-compatible movie.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer running Mac OSX
  • Instant Handbrake (See Resources section)
  • Any DVD
  • iTunes

Step 1

Launch Instant Handbrake.

Step 2

Select your DVD source.

Step 3

Insert your DVD. You many need to stop the auto-play.

Step 4

Hit "Continue" in Instant Handbrake. It will begin to scan your DVD.

Step 5

Select the file you want to convert. For full-length movies, this will be the file with the longest duration. For DVDs of TV Shows, please refer to the "Tips" section.

Step 6

Select where you want the converted files to be saved to. It's a good idea to save it to your "Movies" folder in Mac OSX.

Step 7

For the rest of the options on this screen, select H.264 for the "File Format," and for the "Picture Format" select "Original." This will preserve the picture format (wide or full screen) that's on the DVD.

Step 8

Hit "Convert." The movie will now be converted and saved to the folder you indicated in step six.

Step 9

Launch iTunes.

Step 10

Navigate to the folder your movie is saved in and drag the MP4 file into the iTunes Movie Folder.

Step 11

Hook up your iPod and sync up - or if you manually transfer from iTunes to your iPod, drag the movie on to your iPod. Now you're ready to enjoy your movie on the go!

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have a DVD of TV shows, it's recommended that you export each individual show. DVD's have a "Play All" feature, which is all the episodes jammed into one file, this will be the longest duration in the list of files you get in step 5.
  • You can also export to PSP format if you've got one of those. H.264 is the best quality format for iPod.
  • Handbrake is a more robust version of Instant Handbrake. The program offers more options, but the concept is the same. This will work on Windows and Linux as well as Mac OSX.
  • Copy protection may prevent DVDs from being converted to iPod format.

References & Resources