I frequently need material from DVD’s for editing in Final Cut Pro. I need it in the best quality, and I don’t want it to render once it is imported. There is no free application that can do this for me easily but it can be done with several applications, all doing their bit. Once you get used to it, it’s pretty easy and quick.

The no-costs option:

  1. Copy the DVD to your harddrive using Mac The Ripper
    This application will also remove css encription.
  2. Use Handbrake to convert the DVD copy to mpeg4 video
  3. Use Quicktime to convert the mpeg4 video to DV (or any other FCP-native format)
  4. Import in FCP

Pro: it’s all free. Con: the mpeg4 conversion lowers the image quality, and takes some time.

The no- or low-cost option.

  1. Copy the DVD to your harddrive using Mac The Ripper
  2. Use Mpeg Streamclip to convert the DVD copy to DV (or any other FCP-native format)
  3. Import in FCP

You need the Quicktime mpeg-2 component. This should be included with FCP (so it should be free) but if it’s not, buy it at the Apple Store. Mpeg Streamclip uses this component to do it’s job.
Pro: this should be free and there should be little to no quality loss. Con: maybe you have to pay

I’ll keep this post updated for better methods. If you have a tip for me, please let me know.

June 23, 2007