I recently realized that the number of DVD drives in our home is decreasing: my latest laptop has no optical drive, our Apple TV has no optical drive, my old mac mini's DVD drive has been broken for more than a year but I didn't care enough to fix it. We also used to buy DVDs by the hundreds, but I have a half-empty box with about 40 of them in it for more than two years.
Optical storage in the form of DVDs/CDs has become something we still have at home only for backwards compatibility, for the rare occasions that someone will bring a DVD, or when we want to watch something that was put on DVD long ago. The bottom line: DVD is a dying medium, at least for me.
Of course, most of what we have on video, we could easily find online. But we do have a number of DVDs that can't be found elsewhere. Like our wedding DVD (that's a Blue-ray disk, which is even worse), our daughter's christening DVD, and a number of kids movies, like "The March of the Penguins", or the "Microcosmos" documentary, both with Greek voice-over (both great for our little daughter).
So I've started retiring my DVDs.
I use the excellent RipIt app, to rip the DVDs. RipIt gives me:
- a high quality m4v, great for playback on iTunes, Apple TV, and the rest of our Apple devices.
- a .dvdmedia bundle. That's actually a VIDEO_TS folder, containing the original DVD contents, without any compression or data loss.
So, I create an .m4v for everyday use. And a .dvdmedia bundle for future use (in case I would like to convert it again to a different format, for example).
Obviously, keeping the (much larger) .dvdmedia bundles on my laptop in not a choice: I have limited space to spend on large files I may need once or twice in the next years. Adding one more external USB drive to the already overwhelming number of drives lying around in our house, is something I'd like to avoid too.
I haven't ripped any Blue-ray disks yet, I will probably need a separate tool. Or maybe not: the ones I'm interested in, like our wedding video, may not be locked, right? I'll update this post when I get there. I'm also thinking about doing something similar with our CDs —but I'll take it one step at the time.