I've been a ripping whore the past couple of days, since I caught this blog article at BlogKindle.com about converting DVDs for your Kindle Fire. If you've been trying to navigate the murky waters of copyright infringement and have been frustrated, as I am, at how confusing the process can be, go read the article. [Skip to the last paragraph for my take on DRM and copyright protection].
Matthew at BlogKindle even goes over the settings that he uses to get DVD content onto his Kindle Fire. Once I read it and downloaded the Handbrake program from Handbrake.com, I was ripping my first DVD (obviously, a Star Trek movie) within 10 minutes.
Some thoughts about the process:
The two programs you need are totally free.
The download mirror sites can be confusing to navigate. The biggest button isn't always the download button you want. You have to read what exactly is being downloaded, or you'll download other programs you don't want. Just read carefully and you'll be ok.
BlogKindle hints at this but I'll state it quite clearly: You have to download and use a program that removes the DRM copy protection before you can use Handbrake. If you try to just run Handbrake, you'll get some sort of error message (in my case, the program looped endlessly in the reading process and I had to kill the program). I used a program called DVD43 from DVD43.com. The program doesn't have a user interface. You just run it (on mine, it automatically runs once downloaded and runs at startup from then on and works in the background). Once you have DVD43 on your computer, when you put a DVD in your DVD drive, DRM is removed and the DVD is ready for Handbrake.
Run Handbrake using the settings written in the blog article. As the author states, other settings may work, but hey with no fiddling his settings will get you there the first time.
The next step, once you click START, is to ... Wait ... A ... Very ... Long ... Time... I'm not kidding, a 2-hour movie took my netbook 6-7 hours to convert. The process is so taxing my computer is not really all that usable while the program is running, so I only run it as I am heading off to bed.
Once the process finishes, you'll end up with an mp4 file that you transfer to your Kindle's "Video" folder, and the file will show up under the "Gallery" app (NOT under the Video Tab as you'd expect).
I tried storing the mp4 files in my Dropbox folder, and with the dropbox app on the Kindle Fire, I could stream the mp4 and watch on the Kindle. There may be an option to download also, for viewing files when out of Wifi. But the files are big, you'd have to purchase more than the free 2Gig dropbox space. But I had enough memory to store 2 movies along with all the files in my dropbox account. Sweet.
A screenshot of the Handbrake user interface with the settings that work for me:
Like many (ok, some... oh hell maybe just a few) of you, I struggled with the issue of using a program to get past the DRM copyright protection. In my defense, I am ripping only DVDs that we already own, for use on our own devices. We don't make files available at download sites or give files away to others. So I feel pretty justified in that I'm just using technology to make the files viewable on other devices that I own.
It's been a while since I've been able to write much about stocks. According to the Investors Business Daily, we've been in a rally since Christmas. I was a bit late to the party, not jumping in until mid January, but times are still pretty good. I've been sort of distracted with personal stuff and haven't done much posting, but here's what I'm into so far: