In June I wrote an article comparing DVD ripping programs that run on Linux. At that time dvd::rip was my second choice, mostly because of its ugly interface. Now that it has an updated GUI I decided to go back and give it another try. And I'm glad I did because dvd::rip is my new favorite ripper.
I used version 0.98.1 for this review and ran it on Debian Etch and Kubuntu Edgy.
When you load dvd::rip for the first time it greets you with a Preferences dialog that will help get you set up. Once you complete it a blank window will load. Select New Project from the File menu to get started. After a project is created it's time to move on to the real work.
Ripping the DVD
The RIP Title tab was my next stop. Make sure your DVD is in the drive and click "Read DVD table of contents". In short order a list of the available titles appear in the table of contents section. This is on area where dvd::rip beats that pants off of K3b. K3b takes a very long time to return the list of titles while dvd::rip does it in just a few seconds. Definitely a big time saver.
You can easily preview the a particular title by clicking "View selected title/chapter(s)" from below. After you pick the title(s)/chapter(s) that you want ripped, simply select "RIP selected title(s)/chapter(s)" and wait for it to finish. Make sure you select all of the titles that you want to transcode later. It will save you time versus doing them individually.
I didn't have a need to use the Clip and Zoom feature or mess with subtitles, so once the DVD finished ripping I moved straight to the trancode step. It didn't happen every time, but I occasionally had a problem before starting trancoding where the Transcode button was greyed out. To fix this I had to click the cancel button first. The RIP was being completed successfully, but dvd::rip was trying to start a preview for some reason, and it wasn't doing anything.
All of the options I needed are presented directly on the Trancode tab, however some more detailed codec settings and filters are available if you need them. I chose xvid4 as my video codec and changed the MP3 bitrate to 192. Everything else was left the same.
Once you are ready, click Transcode and then wait until the conversion is complete.
Batch processing is one area where dvd::rip could be simpler to use, but once you figure out the steps it's not too bad. To do it you have to use the cluster controls, but you don't need a second computer set up. At it's heart the cluster controller is a batch controller that can process jobs on multiple machines. When you only give it the node that you are using, all of the projects get processed sequentially on your local computer. I won't repeat the steps since the author has a good step-by-step guide here.
I didn't try to figure out how to set up batch processing for multiple DVD's at a time, but it is still very useful for multiple episodes on the disk of a TV series or a compilation of some sort.
dvd::rip contains a number of time savers that will really improve your ripping experience. I already mentioned how fast it is when reading the DVD contents, but it is also very quick during the actual rip and transcode processes as well. Your mileage may vary depending upon DVD drive and processor speeds. Batch processing is also a big plus.
The new interface lived up to my expectations. It's clean and easy to read, while still maintaining access to detailed settings without requiring much hunting to find them. One of my biggest frustrations with K3b was the incorrect progress reporting. I knew about it when I decided to start using the program, but it definitely irked me more and more when it never got fixed and I had a lot of DVD's to rip. Fortunately, dvd::rip's progress reporting is accurate.
If you are looking for a DVD ripper for simple or complex jobs, dvd::rip is a great app. I highly recommend it.