How to Rip DVDs for Free With VLC

by Contributor

VLC Media Player is a powerful tool for playing digital media files. Even though it's best known for playing a wide range of file formats, it has other hidden features that boost its functionality. One such feature is the ability to rip DVDs. The player won't let you rip uncompressed video files to your hard drive, but it will compress whatever movie you're watching and save it in MPG format.

Load the DVD you want to rip into your computer's DVD drive. If you're going to compress a DVD already on your hard drive, mount its image using an emulator like Daemon Tools or Alcohol.

Open the DVD in VLC Media Player. The quickest way to do this is to right click the DVD's icon in the "My Computer" control panel and select "Play with VLC Media Player."

Click on the "File" button and select "Open Disc..." from the drop-down menu that appears.

Select "DVD" from the different options presented in the dialog box. Then enter your DVD player's drive letter in the "Device name" field.

Enter "0" into the "Chapter" field and hit "OK." Check if the video VLC loads is the one you want to rip. If it's not, go back to the "Open Disc..." control panel and increase the "Chapter" number until you find the right one.

Check the "Stream/Save" box near the bottom of the panel. Then click the "Settings" button next to this box.

Put a check in the "Video codec," "Audio codec" and "Subtitle codec" boxes. Also check the "File" box and enter a name for your ripped DVD by clicking the "Browse" button and creating a new file for it.

Select "OK" until you're back at the VLC Player's main screen. Your movie should now transcode to your hard drive.