Hacking Windows 7 Media Center

Ripping DVDs with BitRipper

by @ 6:45 am on February 11th, 2009 in codecs, dvd ripping, programs with 8 Comments

bitripper_titleFinding 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 Main Window

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.

BitRipper Title Select

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.

BitRipper Settings

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.

BitRipper Processing

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.

BitRipper Video Output

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.


Josh Pollard
Comment #91 from Josh Pollard [Reply]

did you try this on your windows 7 box? I’m really nervous about installing Divx on my 7mc box. Adam Thursby had a horrible experience when he put Divx on his.

Comment left February 11, 2009 at 8:45 am Permanent Link

Comment #92 from MHealy [Reply]

Yeh, this was on a Windows 7 box. I only installed the basic DivX codecs during the install, none of the h.264 or mkv stuff and no programs. This is on an x64 box that had ffdshow tryouts x86 and x64 installed as well.

The only problem I encountered was with BitRipper not liking one of the disks I put in causing a crash of the program. I wasn’t sure what to attribute the crash to though since it only happened with one disk.

Comment left February 11, 2009 at 9:58 am Permanent Link

Josh Pollard
Comment #93 from Josh Pollard [Reply]

are you going to write an article about using ffdshow for video? I’m just really worried that I’m going to cause a lot of problems with Media Center.

Comment left February 11, 2009 at 11:33 am Permanent Link

Comment #94 from MHealy [Reply]

The only reason I haven’t got an article on FFDShow video in 7MC yet is because I can’t seem to get it to work with live or recorded TV properly. It’s possible to use it for just movies and videos and leave the live/rec tv with the default decoder though. I can put one up on ffdshow with video and movies within the next few days. Maybe I’ll even figure out the tv as well while I get it ready.

Comment left February 11, 2009 at 11:56 am Permanent Link

Comment #95 from David [Reply]

You were saying that bitripper was crashing with a certain drive, would that drive happen to be an LG, because every time I pop the DVD in, bitripper crashes.

This is on a a 64-bit Windows7 computer.

Comment left April 5, 2009 at 11:27 pm Permanent Link
Comment #96 from Michael Healy [Reply]

Actually I only had crashes with one specific disk. All other disks that I tried worked flawlessly. I don’t remember the title of the disk off hand but this was on a Lite-On drive as well.

Comment left April 6, 2009 at 8:24 am Permanent Link
Comment #2757 from Joseph Dowdy [Reply]

I successfully used bitRipper on a DVD with Win7, changed to a different disc in the same series (Your Baby Can Read) and it crashed. Now it crashes when I enter the settings with the disk that worked and still on the different disk. I uninstalled and reinstalled and am thinking the only thing I can do is to just uninstall every codec I’ve got, reinstall bitRipper and see if it works then. Freaking frustrating!

Comment left August 18, 2009 at 1:04 am Permanent Link

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