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Rip, Rip And Rip Some More!

I’m the first person to admit that it has taken me a while to get the maximum use out of my Android tablet. I’ve always used it for web browsing, but it was always a relatively expensive device to use just for that. The main problem was finding a good selection of Apps, but this seems to have resolved itself (to some degree).

One of the big gaps was using the tablet as a media device. It’s powerful, has a glorious screen and not using it for media on the move was criminal. This became even more true when I found myself on a 2.5 hour train journey twice a week. Total madness. I tried two times to get films on the tablet and I always found it frustrating and annoying. It took ages. The picture was always bad. The majority of the time it didn’t work at all due to copyright protection.

I cracked it, if you’ll pardon the pun, last week. I had a feeling Handbrake was key. All accounts of it on the web had it rated as an excellent piece of software, fully featured and a free product for converting video media from one format to another. The problem was it didn’t take it upon itself to crack the security protection.

Then MakeMKV found itself appearing in my search and it’s brilliant.

Make MKV is a simple piece of software that is no doubt doing something brilliant under the hood. You put a disc in and it quickly assess it. Then you tell it to convert it into an MKV file. It creates a lossless copy in circa 15 minutes and pretty much works as fast as your hardware can transfer the data. There is very few options. It doesn’t convert files from one format to another. What it does do is just work. I’ve converted a number of films and while it really digs deep on a few of them it gets what it needs it will crack it. The only two DVDs it’s failed on are the Sam Raimi Spider-Man II and Spider-Man III films.

The presence of the MKV file avoids the problem with Handbrake not addressing copy protection as it’s all ready been removed. Handbrake handily converts the file from the MKV format to MP4. You can set-up an easy workflow, as MakeMKV is quicker than the Handbrake conversion. Rack the MKV files up, put them in the Handbrake queue and just let it work its way through them. You can even leave it to the task and it will shut your PC down when complete.

I watched the Star Trek film on the way to Kings Cross last week and it was brilliant. The film was crystal clear and very good quality. The sound was very good and I now see why people invest in noise cancelling headphones. What was interesting is how intimate a process it is. You even notice extra details in the film. I certainly need to get one of those stands for the tablet when it’s not attached to the keyboard. I’ll need that for using the table during gaming sessions anyway.

I’ve now been ripping my DVD collection like a demon. Is it legal? Technically, possibly, but I own the DVDs so I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. The other result of this is I have digital copies that can be watched on the computer without the added inconvenience of having to root around the DVD shelves downstairs. It does mean I have to store a larger copy (albeit lossless) and a smaller copy for anything I want on the tablet, but that’s not the end of the world.

I may well be in the market for an external drive offering terrabtytes of storage.

About Ian O'Rourke

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