Useful Consumer Review

I buy quite a few DVDs, and I’m even able to play some of them under Linux, even though I’ve paid for them. 

(DRM is all about keeping people who pay for your stuff from watching your stuff.  Pirates find away around that stuff anyway.)

But I’m going away on a holiday next month, and I thought I’d try watching movies on the flight instead of reading books and listening to music, as I’ve done until now.  (The idea being that combining watching movies and getting drunk at the same time will make the flight better, and drunkenness and books don’t combine as easily.)

So I started looking into how to rip DVDs to disk.  While preserving subtitles and alternative audio tracks.  This turns out to be black magic.  Ripping just the main title with mplayer or vlc is easy enough, but you don’t get the rest of the stuff.  And I like the subtitles, especially on mumbly movies.  I don’t like having to jack up the volume just to catch what people are saying.

So the interwebs recommended MakeMKV.  It’s fantastic!  You just insert the DVD (or the BluRay!!!) into the player, and it just works!  You click “yes” two times and it rips the disc perfectly!  Under Linux!  Debian!

It’s not free software, but it has a 60 day evaluation period.  I found the UX so wonderful that I bought a license after ripping a couple of disks.

I give this lots of thumbs up.  It even installs without problem on Debian Stale!

This means that my flight might, perhaps, be as drunken as I hope it would be.

Thank you, MakeMKV people!

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