Basic DVD-Ripping Steps

May 3 2007: Note: The video specs are now out of date, but the outline of the procedure is still the same.

I should get on with some video-ripping specs. This is the broad outline. I’ll get specific later.


Start with Handbrake or MediaFork. Both are essentially the same application. MediaFork is slightly more configurable. Rip using the following specs:


  • H.264 (main): 2500 kbps
  • 2-pass encoding
  • If a grey-scale movie, check Gray Scale
  • 4:3 content: 640 x 480
  • 16:9 content: 720 x 400


  • Stereo option, if available, otherwise 5.1 will be down-mixed to stereo
  • 192 kbps


Next step is tagging. We use Lostify for this. Once done, drag into iTunes.

Cover Scan

Scan the cover of the DVD and add this to each track, if from a movie or music video DVD, or the image pane of the first episode in a season if a TV show

TV Show “Album Art”

For TV shows, we use a frame that best describes the episode for individual “album art” on each. Using QuickTime Player, open each video file and copy a frame. Save these in JPEG format.

In iTunes, open each episode one by one and replace the automatic album art with the appropriate frame. For the first episode of any season you will get two images for that episode–the DVD cover and a frame.

There’s a lot of detail to each step but I wanted to blurt out the overall procedure before getting technical.


2 Responses to Basic DVD-Ripping Steps

  1. tunegardener says:

    I didn’t know that. I’m familiar with this technique with regards to QuickTime Player, but not iTunes. It’s a good idea but I’m such a perfectionist that I couldn’t leave it at that. I hunt for a particular frame, capture it, trim the crap off the edges, resize it to the proper resolution and do a levels adjustment. Then I save it in PICT (uncompressed) format and output that to JPEG, which I finally use in iTunes. Lots of work, but a great result on Apple TV.

  2. Dominic says:

    You can play any video in iTunes and pause the playback, ctrl-click (or right click) on the video, and select “Set Poster Frame” to skip that whole using quicktime and saving out a frame bit. Hope this saves you some time!

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