When your laptop has a DVD drive that can read your movies, why bother ripping these? You might say, “you can simply buy it off iTunes” but not all good movies are available in that store.
Ripping DVD movies have always been a mystery to me, as much as ripping CD albums are almost “2nd nature”. So I did some research and found this free software called “Handbrake” that you can download from here.
According to a short note in their web site banner, “[handbrake is] an open source multiplatform video transcoder.”
Since it is a transcoder, it does not only function as
jack the a DVD ripper.
I basically use this software most of the time to convert the movies I have into a format that can be read by an iPad, as well as ripping DVD movies. iPads cannot read avi so most movies in my stash require conversion.
Despite being open source, handbrake is very easy to use. The presets column at the right-hand side is very convenient especially for users who are not very technical. You can rip DVD movies directly into a format that can be read with your preferred device.
In terms of quality, I have not really tested the high profile setting but the normal setting for the iPad is acceptable. Converting a video takes time, but it also depends on the length of the movie.
During my initial runs, the software crashed on me so I learned not to interrupt it while it was working on converting a video or ripping a DVD.
I also recommend this review from CNET: http://download.cnet.com/HandBrake/3000-2194_4-10808250.html