Finding the right application to move your movie collection from the shelf to your Media Center can be a difficult decision. Sometimes the best solution is to just keep it simple. There are plenty of applications that will deluge you with various options and settings. BitRipper is another beast altogether.
BitRipper’s interface is minimalistic, showing you just what you need to get the job done. It doesn’t skimp on anything important though. You can still fine tune your encoding to suit your particular needs, whether it be high quality non-compressed transfers or something a little more compact.
Once you’ve got your disk inserted and BitRipper has detected it, you can select the track you wish to copy off the disk from the drop down box. This can be convenient for multi-episode content such as TV series. Typically, single part disks will be the longest track listed.
Entering the settings area, you are presented with the option to encode your files using any of the encoding codecs found on your system. One of the most popular codecs for encoding video files can be downloaded for free at DivX.com. For this encode the latest version of DivX, DivX 7, was downloaded and only the base codecs have been installed.
The default DivX settings provided very good results for this encoding but you can edit the encoder properties by selecting “Configure..” to the right of the codec selection. Each codec will have different settings and you might need to refer to the codec’s website for further instructions. Also, for this run the audio codec was set to “Uncompressed Audio”. Audio won’t take up much room compared to the video stream so compression isn’t necessarily a big concern.
Once you’ve finished tweaking the codec settings to your heart’s content, return to the main window. After the initial setup simply choose the track, set the output file name and then start ripping. This simple little application has been streamlined to provide a fast and easy interface.
Once the process has completed you’re ready to view your fresh video encode. If the results of your encode are less than you expected you can go back and tweak the codec settings. Using the default DivX settings output very good results on this test file and shouldn’t need much tweaking.
Using BitRipper was a fast and streamlined experience that would be easy for even the most novice of users. The simple interface lends itself to ease of use, with just a few clicks you’re on your way to moving your movie or TV series collection over to your Media Center.
Its hard to go wrong with BitRipper but if you’re looking for something with a few more options and settings you can also check out this guide on Handbrake, another freeware option. Handbrake provides a few more options in a bit more complicated interface.