How to Transfer a DVD Movie to iTunes

By Mary Jo Megginson

ITunes is the main conduit for transferring data from your computer to Apple mobile devices. If you have a movie on DVD that you would like to be able to watch on an Apple mobile device, such as an iPod, iPhone or iPad, the only way to do so is to first transfer that movie into iTunes. Apple does not create software to allow you to rip a DVD directly into iTunes, but several free third-party software options will do the job.

Handbrake (Mac)

Step 1

Download Handbrake (see Resources)`.

Step 2

Insert the DVD you wish to convert into your computer's DVD-ROM drive.

Step 3

Open Handbrake.

Step 4

Click "Open" to once the DVD is detected by Handbrake.

Step 5

Click "Title" to open a drop-down list of title options from your DVD. Select the longest track--this should be the main movie.

Step 6

Select "MP4 file" beside "File Format" and "MPEG-4 Video / AAC Audio" beside "Codecs". Click "Browse" to select a destination for your new file.

Step 7

Enter "500" for "Average Bitrate (kbps)" and click to select "2-pass encoding."

Step 8

Choose your language preference beside "Language 1" in the "Audio" portion of the dialog box. Set "Sample rate (Hz)" to "44100" and "Bitrate (kbps)" to "128."

Step 9

Click "Picture Settings." Enter "320" beside "Width." Height will automatically adjust, but make sure it does not go above 240. Click "Close."

Step 10

Click "Rip." The process will likely take several hours.

Step 11

Drag your new file into iTunes and transfer it onto your mobile device.

DVD Decrypter (Windows)

Step 1

Download DVD Decryptor and Videora iPod Converter (see Resources).

Step 2

Insert the DVD you wish to convert into your computer's DVD-ROM drive, and open DVD Decrypter. The program should recognize your DVD and automatically select the longest file, which should be the main movie file.

Step 3

Click the "Mode" menu and ensure that you are set to "IFO."

Step 4

Click the "Stream Processing" tab and choose "Enable Stream Processing."

Step 5

Click the "Tools" menu and select "Settings." Choose the "IFO Mode" tab and choose "None" beside "File Splitting." Click "OK."

Step 6

Choose the destination for your file by clicking the "Browse" icon in the "Destination" box. Click the large DVD to hard drive icon to begin ripping. This process may take several hours.

Step 7

Run "Videora iPod Converter." Click "Convert" on the left side of the screen. Click "Transcode New Video" and locate the newly created ".VOB" movie file on your computer.

Step 8

Click "Setup" on the left side of the screen and select "Browse" beside "Output Videos To" to choose a destination for your converted movie file.

Step 9

Click "Convert" on the left side of the screen and enter a title for your movie where prompted. Beside "Quality Profile" select "MPEG-4/320x240/768kbps Stereo/128kbps." Click "Start."

Step 10

Open iTunes and drag your newly converted movie file into your library.

DVD Ripper Platinum (Windows)

Step 1

Download DVD Ripper Platinum.

Step 2

Insert the DVD you wish to rip, and open DVD Ripper Platinum. Click "Add DVD Folder" under the "File" menu. Select your DVD and click "OK."

Step 3

Select the destination for your newly created movie file by clicking "Browse."

Step 4

Choose the format for the conversion from the drop-down menu. Choices include "iPod," "Apple TV," "iPhone," and "MP4--MPEG4 video." Begin conversion.

Step 5

Drag the new file to your iTunes library.

Tips & Warnings

  • This process takes a lot of memory, so your rip is more likely to be successful if you clear your computer of unnecessary software and media files before beginning.
  • DVDs with scratches on them do not tend to rip well.
  • Copy-protected DVDs may not rip.