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Fewer People Copy DVDs Than Once Thought 333

Posted by Zonk
from the except-among-our-users dept.
MasterOfMagic writes "According to a survey reported at the NY Times, very few people actually have and use DVD copying software. The survey reports that only 1.5 percent of computer users have DVD copying software, and of those 1.5%, 2/3rds of them don't even use it. The survey also revealed that users were more likely to download DVDs than copy DVDs that they borrowed or rented, and that about half of all downloaded DVDs are pornography. According to the survey's lead analyst, 'With music, part of the appeal is sharing your own playlists and compilations with your friends ... I'm not sure people share their porn the way they share their music.'"
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Fewer People Copy DVDs Than Once Thought

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:03PM (#19841993)

    With music, part of the appeal is sharing your own playlists and compilations with your friends ... I'm not sure people share their porn the way they share their music.
    I don't know if that's true. You just wait, once the video Zune comes out, you'll rather sit in silence on the subway than see what people are squirting at you.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Fewer People Copy DVDs Than Once Thought


      Is this what Slashdot has come to? PLEASE. Next topic up, "Some people think that there are more dolphins than whales in the ocean"

      This site is run by morons.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Xeirxes (908329)
        Say what you'd like, but when I see the topic "Some people think that there are more dolphins than whales in the ocean," I'm probably going to click on it and read it....
  • by wawannem (591061) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:04PM (#19842005) Homepage
    To me, the appeal of a movie is seeing it, not seeing it over and over again. If a friend has a movie I'd like to watch, I'll borrow the DVD, watch the movie and give it back to him. Even the movies I like, I can't see myself copying... Now my kids on the other hand... Put it this way, if I have to watch Monsters, Inc. one more time!!!!
    • by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid@gmail. c o m> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:08PM (#19842045) Homepage Journal
      Well, that and DVDs, unlike CDs, are priced decently. You can do a lot of DVD buying and still not go over $10 a piece, whereas you need to shell out $20 easy for a CD. can't believe the RIAA hasn't figured this out yet.
      • by LordNimon (85072) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:20PM (#19842205)
        The cost of a movie is frequently paid (at least, for the most part) when the movie is in the theaters. By the time the DVD is made, there's already been significant revenue to cover the costs. With a CD, however, the only revenue is generated only once the CD is sold.
        • by Fallingcow (213461) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:26PM (#19842291) Homepage
          Uhh.....

          Concerts?

          Licensing for any and all commercial uses of any tracks from the disc?

          CD sales are far from the only revenues generated by the music on a given CD, especially if it's at all popular.

          Yeah, some artists don't do concerts and aren't popular enough to get any licensing deals, but I don't think that very many of them are with the RIAA anyway...
          • by Ironsides (739422) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:35PM (#19842427) Homepage Journal
            For most cds (By volume sold, aka pop crap), the labels get money from the discs, not from shows the artists sing (so far as I know). So, taking that into account, the artist doesn't care much about the CDs, just he concerts. The labels care about the CDs, not the concerts, as they don't get money from them, except as extra CDs sold. Then there is the radio revenue, but I don't think that helps much.

            Off hand, I think part of the high cost of music is the shotgun approach labels use. Movie studios tend to be more selective, given the high cost of one now a days.
        • Absolute BS. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Belial6 (794905) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @06:02PM (#19843427)
          That is certainly not it. My favorite example is:

          http://www.cduniverse.com/sresult.asp?HT_Search_In fo=who+made+who&HT_Search=TITLE&image.x=11&image.y =9&cart=566907299&style=music&altsearch=yes [cduniverse.com]
          http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=7275 727&style=movie&BAB=E [cduniverse.com]

          There is absolutely no excuse for a sound track to cost more than the movie AND soundtrack. I would assume that MOST soundtracks cost more than the movies they are from within a year or two of the movies release to video.
        • by Solandri (704621) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @07:15PM (#19844027)
          According to the MPAA (PDF warning) [mpaa.org], theatrical sales brought in $25.82 billion worldwide in 2006 (page 5, includes the U.S.). Distributed over 607 films released (page 10) this works out to $42.5 million per film. But on average each film cost $65.8 million to make (PDF warning) [mpaa.org] (page 17, production and advertising costs).

          In the same year, DVD sales numbered 1.3247 billion (page 28) in the U.S. alone, at an average price of $22.40 each (page 33). That works out to $29.7 billion in DVD revenue in the U.S. U.S. theatrical sales by comparison were $9.49 billion (page 4). DVD sales in the U.S. alone exceed worlwide theatrical sales.

          Per film released (yeah I know they're not the same films, but we're doing an annual tally here) that works out to $48.9 million per film, for the U.S. alone. If the sale ratio of theatrical vs. DVD sales in the U.S. holds for the rest of the world (unlikely, but let's just say), then global DVD sales would be $80.8 billion, or $133 million per flim.

          So to recap for 2006:
          # of releases: 607
          US theatrical sales: $9.49 billion
          Global theatrical sales: $25.82 billion
          US DVD sales: $29.7 billion
          Global DVD sales (hypothetical): $80.8 billion
          Average cost to make each film: $65.8 million
          Average theatrical sales per film released: $42.5 million
          Average DVD sales per film released (hypothetical): $133 million

          I think it's safe to say that DVD sales are the lion's share of their revenue. The theater side of the industry could disappear entirely and there's probably still plenty of room for profit. Draw what conclusions you will from this about the RIAA's pricing. (Also note that the $10 DVD is a myth - yes some are sold for $10, but the average price is about the same as a music CD.)

          One final footnote. The MPAA only claims $6.1 billion in losses to piracy (PDF warning) [mpaa.org] in 2005. So they're claiming piracy only accounts for 6%-11% of their total sales (depending on what figure you use for DVD sales). The RIAA claims $4.5 billion in piracy losses [riaa.org] in 2005 versus $12.3 billion in total retail music sales [riaa.org]. A whopping 37%

      • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross@nospaM.yahoo.ca> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:31PM (#19842367)
        You hit it right on the head here. It is amazing a movie that typically costs X million to produce costs about as much as a CD. Somewhere, somebody is not understanding the economics of this. I personally have a huge DVD collection and do watch films multiple times. And I even buy TV Series on DVD, especially since many series missing one or two episodes on TV means you loose a thread. And the last reason why I buy DVD's is because burning or copying a DVD takes AGES! To get a similar quality you have a huge honken file.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by HTH NE1 (675604)

          And the last reason why I buy DVD's is because burning or copying a DVD takes AGES! To get a similar quality you have a huge honken file.

          When downconverting your HD MPEG-2 transport stream captured from a Firewire-enabled cable box to a size and aspect suitable for editing before burning to DVD, it isn't generally worth it to use DVCPRO50 encoding. DV25 is a lot easier to deal with (smaller file size, less overhead) and good enough for editing of homebrewed disks.

          I also have a large collection of purchase

        • by shark72 (702619) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @06:36PM (#19843697)

          "You hit it right on the head here. It is amazing a movie that typically costs X million to produce costs about as much as a CD. Somewhere, somebody is not understanding the economics of this."

          I'm sorry to say that it is you. But, take heart -- you're not the first person to miss this point, by far.

          This boggles a lot of people who haven't studied much economics or who don't work in the retail industry, but items are typically priced according to the law of supply and demand, and not the cost of sale. Consider these examples:

          • Kenneth Cole pays about the same price for materials for a shirt or a pair of shoes as Sears does, and their costs of production are about the same. Yet Kenneth Cole is able to sell shirts for $150.00, while Sears would be likely to get $40 for a shirt with the same material cost. This is because Kenneth Cole sells a shirt for the price they can get for it.
          • An iPhone costs something like $500, and requires two years of service. It's not a good value at all considering what else you can get for the money. The cost of the materials in the iPhone isn't much different than many phones and PDAs, and even the R&D cost isn't too far out of line with that of other, far cheaper, electronics goods. Yet people were literally lining up overnight to buy them!
          • You might know somebody who makes a pretty good living. His actual cost of living might be $60K a year, but since he's worked hard at his craft -- gone to school, or just gained experience -- he's in higher demand and thus he earns a salary that's considerably higher than $60K. If he had set his "price" according to his cost of living, he would be missing out on all that money. He is the supply, the employers have the demand.

          I hope this helps you understand the economics of how DVDs are priced. In case it isn't clear, they're set at the price they are because that's the price at which the movie companies make the most money overall. If they sold them for more, they might make more per sale, but the reduction in the amount of people who buy them might be too much to make it worth it. Likewise, if they lowered the price, they might get more sales, but not enough to offset the lost money per sale.

          You expressed surprise at the difference in price between a DVD and a CD. You appear to be surprised since they use the same materials (plastic and metal) and have a similar manufacturing process. But, keep in mind that software is also distributed on CD and has pricing that's all over the board. Why does some software cost $9.99 while other software can command a price of $500, even though both are distributed on the same medium? The answer is our old friend supply and demand.

          You've probably noticed that all DVDs cost about $10 - $20, despite the fact that their production costs are all over the board. Indy films that cost $20MM to make often cost the very same on DVD as films costing $100MM or more. Evan Almighty cost around $175MM to make, but when it goes on sale on DVD, you can be sure that you'll see it on the shelf for $20 or so next to films that cost around the same price. At the point of being redundant, this is again because the DVD is priced at the optimal point on the supply/demand curve -- and not based on the cost of the plastics or even the production costs.

          I hope this helps you understand the economics. Let me know if it's unclear.

          • by Grym (725290) * on Thursday July 12, 2007 @07:57PM (#19844365)

            At the point of being redundant, this is again because the DVD is priced at the optimal point on the supply/demand curve -- and not based on the cost of the plastics or even the production costs.

            Okay... so when people stop buying CDs in droves (often while citing the price of CDs relative to other goods in their lives), what does that have to say about the location of the current price of CDs on their supply-demand curve?

            -Grym

            • by shark72 (702619) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @08:18PM (#19844491)

              "Okay... so when people stop buying CDs in droves (often while citing the price of CDs relative to other goods in their lives), what does that have to say about the location of the current price of CDs on their supply-demand curve?"

              CD prices go into freefall. The average price of a new CD was about $20 ten years ago. Then P2P exploded. By 2004, the average price of a new CD was about $13.50. Then online venues like the iTunes store and became more viable (my personal reason for not buying CDs any more) and now it's quite easy to find new releases for $11. Most of the CDs on Amazon's best-seller lists are $9.99.

              That $20 we were paying for CDs in 1997 is almost 25 bucks today's money. This means CD prices have fallen by more than half. Ain't the demand curve great?

              I don't think CDs are going to fall much below $11 or so... their share of the market vs. online sales will continue to wither away to a core group of consumers who seek out a physical medium, but I don't think we'll see the record companies will chase it down much further.

          • by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @10:55PM (#19845295)
            It's interesting that you talk about supply and demand, but the supply side is hardly mentioned. Once the music is recorded, the record companies can make as many copies as they like, and each additional copy probably costs them less than one dollar. So the supply is potentially enormous. By raising the prices high, they produce the same effect as a limited supply would cause, but there's nothing about the supply that is inherently limited.

            This is where competition is supposed to help out. Some smart person should start a company that does less marketing, simple good quality recordings, and standard CD packaging, then sell the discs for $5. They could pay about $1 per CD to the artists, $1 for manufacturing and distribution, $1 on average for recording and production, $1 for company salaries and expenses, and $1 profit. Assuming they could get some big names on board, they should create quite a stir and make some good money undercutting the other companies and their artificial markups.

            Unfortunately, the few big music corporations seem to have a stranglehold on the business, and they know better than to start a price war with each other. The status quo makes them all more profitable. It's a bit like OPEC, just done unofficially because it would be illegal to make it official.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dangitman (862676)

          And the last reason why I buy DVD's is because burning or copying a DVD takes AGES!

          I guess if you consider 20 minutes to be "ages." I don't - because it's a background task. It only takes a couple of minutes of actual human interaction. The rest of the time you can do something else.

          But buying DVDs sucks, because they often have those unskippable anti-piracy ads and FBI warnings at the start. By making a copy, I can eliminate those and other navigational restraints from the DVD. It's quite amazing really - the copy is actually a better product than the original! I always find this hila

      • by Lumpy (12016)
        Exactly! Although I usually buy my DVD's at the bargain bin or used. Except for Small guy TV shows like "robot chicken" or "Venture Brothers" or indie films I like, those I pay full price and where I can get them knowing the profit goes to the guys that made it.

        New releases are usually netflixed, watched, then returned never to be rented or even desired to be watched again. Some movies do get purchased and watched over and over. I have every Mel-brooks film made, Yes I even own "Twelve Chairs" the incred
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Hoi Polloi (522990)
        The only difference I can see is that the record industry is based on business practices that date back to the early 1900s whereas the movie business has only been selling to consumers since the 1980s. Probably a matter of historical baggage and bloated payment schemes that create the huge price difference.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by amper (33785) *
        If you believe that the RIAA and MPAA don't understand this, then you don't understand so many things about basic economics and human behavior that it's almost a complete waste of time to mention the fact.

        People don't use movie products in the same way that they use music products. Of course CD's cost the consumer more! Haven't you noticed the fact that in recent years, most popular movies and television shows have practically become advertisements for recordings that the studios want to push? What do you t
    • I would agree. Unlike music which we like to listen to all the time movies really get to us adults after a while. Movies contain a story with plot once you know the plot and have seen it each aditional time you usually enjoy it less, unless you wait a good period of time where it is interesting again. With Services like Netflix and Blockbuster ALL in one, it really makes Coping the Movies, storing it paying for blank dvds not really worth it. Because you can just add it to your queue every few months or
    • by HTH NE1 (675604)

      To me, the appeal of a movie is seeing it, not seeing it over and over again. If a friend has a movie I'd like to watch, I'll borrow the DVD, watch the movie and give it back to him. Even the movies I like, I can't see myself copying...

      But seeing as you have kids (that like to watch Monsters, Inc. repeatedly), I'd expect your friend to loan you a burned copy of the DVD rather than his original.

      The story though seems focused on burning DVDs rather than ripping them. I wouldn't be surprised if there was mo

      • by Ironsides (739422)
        The story though seems focused on burning DVDs rather than ripping them. I wouldn't be surprised if there was more ripping than burning. As hard drives get bigger, there's less reason to burn to DVD and more to keeping it on a video server. More hard data on this particular research would be nice. Cost is still an issue. I have a decently large DVD collection (550+ disks). At an average of 4GB (probably low), per disk, that comes out to 2.2TB (rounding here, people). That's an expensive video server, so
        • by Amouth (879122)
          honestly if you hunt around you can pick up 500gb SATA drives for 80-110$ each (not crappy opes either) pick up some raid cards or hell use software raid (pick up cards) and the cost comes out to be about 50-75 cents per GB.. so that comes to 2-4$ cost to store ripped dvd's (4-8gb) the cost isnt' that bad.. but hell i am too lazy.. i just buy what i want..
    • by Wavicle (181176) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:56PM (#19842721)
      Well, kids are a great example of why I would like to START ripping DVDs.

      I can tune out the 421st showing of Dumbo. But what I have trouble tuning out are the 10 minutes of advertisements that Disney tacks on IN FRONT of Dumbo. There is a 5 second window when I can press a button on the remote to skip the advertisements, if I miss it, I must either watch the advertisements, or eject/inject the disc again and sit through the FBI warning (doesn't hold on all players, one of my players can jump to the root menu after the advertisements start).

      I would really like to rip a copy of Dumbo that starts playing as soon as I put the disc in, removes macrovision and encryption. I'd also like to transcode it to fit on a 4.7GB DVD. Yes, I know it sounds like I want to pirate the movie, but really I just want control over how I watch a movie I legally paid for! (okay, that's a little white lie, my mother bought the kids the Dumbo movie.)

      Can anybody point me at a utility (Linux or Windows, I have both) that does this without me having to baby step it through 5 different utilities and a hundred command line options?
      • They Advertise heavily infront of their DVDs and give you no bleeding option to skip the damn commercials for their next direct to video sequal "Alladin 4: The Jihad against Jafar" or "Cinderella XI: Das Slipper". When will it bleeding well end? Plus 1/2 the stuipid disc is nothing but advertisements, so that the movie has shitty quality and Dumbo is a pixelated mess.

        Somone should shoot the mouse and put him out of his misey.

    • To me, the appeal of a movie is seeing it, not seeing it over and over again.
      Casablanca [imdb.com]. Nuff said.
    • The way people use video is fundamentally different than music. Like you mentioned, people (generally) don't watch movies multiple times (more than 2). Whereas music, people tend to listen to it repeatedly. One reason I can think of is that a movie requires your full attention. With music, you can just listen to it and do other things. Plus, most of the movies that Holleywood manages to put together are crap. Who wants to be caught with a DVD copy of Gigli?
  • Oops (Score:5, Funny)

    by Imexius (967514) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:05PM (#19842023)
    mencoder dvd:// -ovc lavc -oac mp3lame -o thematrix.avi

    Oops wrong window
    • by jZnat (793348) *
      Yeah, if only it were that simple to get a good quality rip of a DVD. The process I follow (which is influenced by the MPlayer developers' documentation in the first place) usually involves making a copy of the VOBs from the DVD (dvdbackup is good for this, but you can just rip a straight MPEG-2 VOB via MPlayer and -dumpstream), then transcoding the video (with -oac copy) along with any filters to fix the asinine usage of hard telecine in many DVDs (especially anime which royally fucks up the video so that
  • by maillemaker (924053) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:08PM (#19842039)
    I played around with at least 6 different free applications that purported to, in conjunction with DeCSS, rip and copy DVDs, so as to archive DVDs I already own in my collection, and safegaurd the originals from getting scratched.

    I can't even get the damn ripping part to work. Without fail, either the video is crappy or the audio is out of sync with the video.

    Then we get to the burning part. It seems a crap-shoot as to whether or not the finished burn will actually work. DVDs I've burned seem to play OK in my new $30 Walmart DVD player, but pixellate and stop playing on my 1998 vintage RCA DVD player.

    So I quit trying. I mean it takes hours to rip and burn, and in the end it was a crap-shoot as to whether or not the DVD would actually play.

    It's easier to download and play off of the hard drive.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Major Blud (789630) *
      I've tried many different methods by DVDShrink is by far the easiest. Usually only takes about an hour and I rarely have compatibility problems. http://www.dvdshrink.org/ [dvdshrink.org] [Disclaimer: I do not work for DVDShrink or condone copying of copyrighted material]
    • I don't think that there are any easy-to-use free ripping/encoding programs on Windows anymore.

      DVDrip on Linux is the only free one that I find usable. No Windows port, unfortunately.
    • HandBrake. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kadin2048 (468275) * <<slashdot.kadin> <at> <xoxy.net>> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:25PM (#19842283) Homepage Journal
      That's all I'm going to say.

      (Yeah, it's Mac and Linux only, and I think the Linux version doesn't have a GUI yet. Thankfully, I don't care.)

      Actually copying a DVD, as in making a disc from another disc, seems like a waste of time. It's like copying CDs. Who uses CDs anymore? The price of storage is low enough that I can have my entire movie and video collection on my MythTV box, ready to watch with just a few presses of the remote.

      (And yeah, I know MythTV will supposedly rip DVDs itself, but I've never gotten it to work correctly. Everything that has to do with DVDs is flaky in MythTV, IMO, probably because it's hard to even discuss anything about encrypted playback without people wigging out because of the DMCA. It's easier to just encode them on a Mac and then shove them onto the Myth box over the network.)
      • I'm a Handbrake user as well. I haven't seen an easier application to use in terms of ripping and encoding -- although the DVD manufacturers (esp. Sony) are starting to catch up with it, and Handbrake is trying not to be shut down. Still, All my movies and TV shows are archived onto my file-server in the basement, and served up through my Mac mini, using FrontRow.

        I almost never watch a DVD live any more, and my player is starting to go on the fritz - not sure I'll bother replacing it.

        • by Kadin2048 (468275) *
          Interesting. I hadn't visited the HandBrake site in a while, because I've just been pretty happy with the old version I've been using for a while to feed the Mythbox, but apparently they seem to be doing well.

          Hopefully if Sony and its cronies get out the DMCA-hammer, they'll be able to locate to someplace friendlier. (The VideoLAN people seem to be based out of France and don't get a lot of crap, and they maintain libdvdcss, which is sort of the key to every piece of DVD-related free software.) It's a pity,
      • by Abcd1234 (188840)
        The price of storage is low enough that I can have my entire movie and video collection on my MythTV box, ready to watch with just a few presses of the remote.

        Yeah, the problem is if you, like me, enjoy the interactive menus, add-on content, and so forth. In that case, the only option (AFAIK, please enlighten if I'm wrong), is a straight rip, which ends up being *huge*. And storing my entire movie collection as raw rips is currently infeasible without building a mass-storage server that's just a little ou
    • It can be very easy. (Score:5, Informative)

      by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:43PM (#19842527) Journal

      I can't even get the damn ripping part to work.

      In 99% of cases, this is absurdly easy. In fact, your OS already comes with all the tools you need to rip, and VLC will play the ripped image.

      If you're on Windows, just right-click your DVD drive, "open", and copy all the files to a folder on your hard drive. If you're on OS X, open Disk Utility, click your DVD drive, and choose "Create Image", and choose a CD image format (not HFS or anything, and not compressed). If you're on Linux, "cp /dev/dvd foo.img" will create an image called "foo.img".

      If these work at all, they will generally give you a disk image that can be used in place of the original disk. On Linux, just configure your favorite DVD player to use that file as the DVD device. For recent versions of VLC, you can simply open a dvd:// URL that points to the file (or folder, using the Windows way) -- so you do dvd:///home/somebody/movies/matrix.img or something. On Windows, probably dvd://c:/some/where... In any case, the easy way is to browse for it as if opening a file, then change file:// to dvd://

      Basically, if VLC can play the DVD in the first place, than your OS (I don't care what OS it is) already comes with the tools to rip an image that will play with VLC. The downside is it does no compression and no decryption, so you can't burn this image directly, and it probably uses about 8 gigs of hard disk space.

      The process of re-encoding is a bit longer, but not incredibly hard to get right. And I've discovered that ripping is really fast, encoding will take all night, but downloading in the same quality might take a few days -- and also, both ripping and encoding can be put on a low priority and run while I do other things, but downloading invariably lags me.

      The hardest part is authoring an actual DVD that will play on an off-the-shelf player, but a video card with TV out is pretty cheap, and the best screen I own is my monitor anyway. So I usually just watch it once, and if I really want to keep it, I encode to h.264, sometimes turn the ac3 into Vorbis (and sometimes not, depends what the original quality is like and how much I like that movie), then combine that with the subtitles and chapters ripped straight off the DVD image. I end up with an mkv that's around 300-500 megs. If I find myself doing this enough, I'll probably write a script to automate it, but I've discovered a process that never seems to get the AV out of sync.

      In any case, I don't bother unless I have the original DVD. But it's nice, I mean, downloading takes days and days, and there's the possibility of being caught and fined (or worse). Ripping means I just borrow the DVD from roommates for about 15 mins, then give it back, and the only way I get caught is if they seize my computer.

      • >If you're on Windows, just right-click your DVD drive, "open", and copy all the files to a folder on your hard drive.

        If I was doing what I think you are describing, one of my rippers did something like this and produced a bunch of .VOB (I think) extension files. While I could get these to play using DVD playing software, it sucked to have to stop and play each separate .VOB. Is there a way to concatenate all the .VOBs into a single file? This is why I was trying to convert the DVD into an MPEG or AVI
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by xkenny13 (309849)
          What is your process? Everything I've tried so far makes file that is poor quality, usually audio/video sync problems. I've been trying to convert to .AVI or .MPG - I'm not familiar with mkv. It seems like the encoding programs have half a million settings to fiddle with, and after playing with it for a while, I gave up.

          I'm on Windows 2000, using DVD-Shrink, VirtualDub (for DVDs) and DivX.

          Insert your DVD and have DVD-Shrink assess it. Normally, I'm just interested in the main movie, so if you want menus an
    • by Fozzyuw (950608) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @05:14PM (#19842933)

      I played around with at least 6 different free applications [...] I can't even get the damn ripping part to work. [...] So I quit trying.

      I tried finding free stuff too. Seriously, rarely works. Then a friend showed me products by Slysoft [slysoft.com]. You'll need to buy 2 of their products to get it to work. AnyDVD (the DVD decoder) and CloneDVD (the program that rips and burns). They both cost, if I remember, $30-$40, with free updates and apparently support HD discs (I've never tried it).

      It's a super easy to use program and it's more than worth the price, IMHO. CloneDVD also rips to PSP, DS, and many other formats. I used it to put ST:DS9 episodes on my PSP to watch at the gym. The average time it takes to copy is ~20mins (up to an hour if you're using a DL-DVD) and that's while I'm usually MMOing, but then again, I have a nice rig. Usually it's ~15 to rip and ~5min to burn a copy. You can save your files to avoid future ~15min burns in the future.

      I've never had a problem using this software. The only problem I've ever had was when I bought the El Cheapo DVD's: Dynex (BestBuy house brand). Yeah, an entire spindle for 50 that half wouldn't even work in the machine and the other half turned out to only work on the crappiest Wal-Mart DVD player, but nothing else.

      CloneDVD also makes it pretty easy to remove language tracks, subtitles, special features, etc so you can increase compression quality (if you're compressing a DL-DVD to a normal DVD). I usually short for ~50% compression quality to get normal broadcast quality video. On rare occasions and on very dark images, you get noise and pixelation. But I'm very happy using it. I even watch it on my parents projection TV, and it still looks good. But, I'm not a quality nerd. I just want to watch the shows. I find it as good as watching regular DVD's and TV shows.

      Man, I sound like an advertisement. I guess that's because after spending too much time and frustration trying to copy my DVD's over the years, and finally finding something that just 'worked', I was happy.

      There's a 30-day free trial, so give it a shot. Like most things, I'm more than willing to buy it if it's a reasonable price. Probably why I stopped buying CD's and DVD's and just started using Blockbuster online to watch movies and buy only the music singles I like from online stores.

      Cheers,
      Fozzy

    • by garcia (6573) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @05:24PM (#19843035) Homepage
      DVD Decrypter [mrbass.org] and DVD Shrink [mrbass.org]. There's no real thought involved. I've ripped hundreds of DVDs this way and I do ALL my own purchased DVDs as well (not just for backup sake but to remove the mandatory commercials and stupid fucking warnings about piracy). I bought the fucking DVD already and I don't share my physical DVD copies with anyone as they never seem to come back in the same shape.

      I have several DVD players (including one from 1998) and all play the DVD+Rs I've burned just fine.
  • by GWLlosa (800011) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:08PM (#19842041)
    Does this mean that the guy I saw at the Best Buy buying 3 spindles of blank DVDs was, in fact, about to record 160 discs full of porn? I'd think he'd get carpal tunnel....



    From changing out the discs repeatedly, of course.
    • by C0rinthian (770164) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:13PM (#19842107)
      Yes. But around these parts we call it 'archiving data'.
    • by miscz (888242)
      That's for games and porn. As previous posters noticed, little people want to watch movies many times, and on another note, they'll be more likely to download CD-sized DVD-rips. On the other hand if you're a gamer you'll going to need those DVDs quite often and given the fact that average game fills 4.7GB DVD you're going to run out of space pretty soon.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:09PM (#19842055)
    He who says we don't share our porn like we share our music is wrong. I share all my music with the following warning.

    Make sure your wife's outta the room by 0:36:00, that's when the horse arrives.
  • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:11PM (#19842087) Journal
    ...about half of all downloaded DVDs are pornography.

    And the other half are liars.
  • The survey reports that only 1.5 percent of computer users have DVD copying software

    What? If you have a computer with a dvd writer, surely you also have something like nero installed. Maybe I've been away from windows for too long, but I don't remember seeing some form of protection to do a 1:1 copy of a DVD. Thinking about it, that would have made sense. Is there such a protection in commercial burning application?
    • by night_flyer (453866) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:15PM (#19842133) Homepage
      maybe only 1.5% realize they have DVD burning software installed for their cup holder
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by flitty (981864)
      1.5% of people with computers burn dvd's huh... Somone do the math and see if (Netflix Subscribers):(1.5% of people with computers) is a 1:1 ratio.
    • Just this little thing called the Content Scrambling System. Most standard (ex: nero) burning apps have no measures to overcome CSS. Not to mention that a lot of commercial DVDs are dual-layer, and not all blanks are, so some compression is done to make it fit.
      • by yanos (633109)
        Well yeah, I understand that the content of the dvd is scrambled. But if you do a bit to bit copy, like most burner apps let you do, you don't care if you can't make sense of those bit. You just copy them to the DVD+/-R, in their scrambled state. The result is a disc that is identical to the original, so it will play just fine in a normal DVD player. I'm pretty sure that I'm still missing something though...
        • Yup, the un-descrambled copies are completely unreadable. I can't fully explain why, mostly because I don't understand CSS myself.
          • The reason is that the scrambled contents are scrambled by 48-bit encryption. The key to decrypt those scrambled contents is recorded to part of the DVD that is inaccessible to DVD-RW drives (i.e. only factory stampers can include those keys). I often wonder why a CSS-key-write enabled drive and key-friendly media haven't come out, released by some company overseas the same as what happened with DVD player "maintenance menus."
        • Re:1.5 percent? (Score:4, Informative)

          by tenton (181778) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:49PM (#19842621)
          Well yeah, I understand that the content of the dvd is scrambled. But if you do a bit to bit copy, like most burner apps let you do, you don't care if you can't make sense of those bit. You just copy them to the DVD+/-R, in their scrambled state. The result is a disc that is identical to the original, so it will play just fine in a normal DVD player. I'm pretty sure that I'm still missing something though...

          What're your missing is that you can't copy the CSS keys to a DVD+R/-R, since those parts of the disc aren't writable. Without the keys, all you have is the encoded bits; you can't decode them with a normal DVD player.
    • by jonnythan (79727)
      Commercial burning programs do not have DeCSS, because breaking CSS (necessary to copy a commercial DVD) is illegal to use in many countries.
    • by plague3106 (71849)
      Yup, if Nero detects that the DVD is copy protected, it refuses to even make an image.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by wiredlogic (135348)
        More to the point, there is a section of pressed, CSS protected DVDs that does not physically exist on writable media so it is impossible to just make a bit-for-bit copy of the original that will work. You are unable to duplicate that portion of the original.
      • by yanos (633109)
        Haaa. That explains it. Thanks!
    • Re:1.5 percent? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kadin2048 (468275) * <<slashdot.kadin> <at> <xoxy.net>> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:35PM (#19842421) Homepage Journal
      What? If you have a computer with a dvd writer, surely you also have something like nero installed. Maybe I've been away from windows for too long, but I don't remember seeing some form of protection to do a 1:1 copy of a DVD. Thinking about it, that would have made sense. Is there such a protection in commercial burning application?

      Yes, there is. Although the people who put together CSS weren't incredibly bright, they weren't that stupid, either.

      First, most commercial programs like Nero won't even make an image of an encrypted DVD. There's no technical limitation preventing them from doing so, but they just stop you. I think that's a lawyer-imposed limit.

      Anyway, if you did make a block-by-block copy of an encrypted DVD, and burn it to a new disc, it would not play back on normal hardware. This is because the key to the content is stored on the disc in a special location, which is always made unwritable on blank DVDs. (Actually, I'm not sure if it's that the blanks don't let you write there, or if the consumer writers aren't capable of writing there, or both.) But anyway, you can copy all the encrypted data, but without the key your player will just barf on it.

      However, DVD playback systems that don't rely on retrieving the key from the disc will play it just fine -- this includes every DVD player on Linux that I'm aware of, once you get the libdvdcss package installed. This is because if the drive fails to hand over the key, libdvdcss will proceed and recover the key through several other methods (one of which is just brute force, and is pretty speedy because of the braindead way CSS is implemented).

      Apple's "DVD Player" application will also play an encrypted VIDEO_TS folder, even if it's not on a disc with the key on it. (Though I've never tried it off of a DVD-R disc; it will work just fine if you copy the VIDEO_TS folder from a DVD to your hard drive and play it, which is nice if you want to watch a movie on an airplane without draining your battery or something.)

      But anyway, one of the only things that CSS actually does is prevent 1:1 copying onto DVD-R discs. Or at least it did until it was cracked eight ways from Sunday. (The biggest thing that stops people from copying movies, or stopped them while it was still an interesting thing to do [before you could go out and get hard drives at a lower cost-per-MB], was that most feature films won't fit on a 4.7GB DVD blank.)
      • by tenton (181778)
        (Actually, I'm not sure if it's that the blanks don't let you write there, or if the consumer writers aren't capable of writing there, or both.)

        The former; that area is pre-recorded over, so it's not available for recording.
      • Actually most movies would fit on a 4.7 GB disk provided you dispense with all the crap surrounding the actual movie. Of course Lord of the Rings or the latest Pirates movie would be too long.

        I want DVD's that simply start playing the moment they are entered into the drive. No super weird menu's to figure out with often ambiguous structures. Just pop in and play. My main reason for copying DVD's.

        I get upset every time I spend money to hire a DVD and then be forced to sit through warnings and adds. It makes
    • DVD used as Digital Video (as opposed to Versitile) Disk. To copy a commerical video DVD, you would either need a dual-layer burner (to copy bit-by-bit, and only if they don't have additional protection), or some way of shrinking the video (which is protected by CSS). I'd imagine DVD copying software refers to CSS removal software.
    • Here's the problem:

      Blank dual-layer DVDs are still prohibitively expensive for casual users. Actual Hollywood DVDs are typically 7 or 8 gigs, which requires dual-layer. A single-layer DVD is more like 4.3 gigs.

      Even if it weren't for that, I remember hearing that the CSS key is stored in a location that is not writable on consumer blank DVDs. So you can't do it directly in Nero, though there are several tools to easily strip out the CSS and create a version that is absolutely identical, but without the DRM.
  • I have copied DVDs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by night_flyer (453866) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:12PM (#19842097) Homepage
    once was when it wasnt available for sale but Blockbuster had it, it still isnt for sale but I found a copy (Split Second). I have also had to copy some DVDs that were so scratched up they wouldnt play properly, but the copy would (used DVD shrink)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by griffjon (14945)
      Indeed, I often rip my DVDs to insure against scratches, especially if I plan on loaning them to friends, carrying on a trip, etc.
  • hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by flynt (248848) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:14PM (#19842127)
    I'm not sure people share their porn the way they share their music.

    Sounds like you need new friends.
  • The numbers (Score:5, Funny)

    by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:14PM (#19842131) Journal

    1.5% of users said they copied DVDs.

    12.5% of users said they didn't copy DVDs

    86% of users shifted their eyes back and forth, coughed and changed the subject

    • Eh. I'm in the group of people who:

      >Has the equipment to copy dvds
      >Has the technical knowledge to copy dvds
      >Has the bandwidth to download a dvd.

      But I still don't copy dvds. Maybe one day I'll finish ripping all my cds on to my computer, but I doubt it. It's just a whole lot of time spent making a copy of something that I don't care enough to actually purchase.
  • by Pluvius (734915) <pluvius3&gmail,com> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:15PM (#19842137) Journal
    Either the New York Times, who says that very few people copy and burn DVDs and the people who download DVDs are as likely to be getting porn as not, or the MPAA, who says that movie piracy is rampant and costing the movie industry billions (yes, with a B) of dollars a year.

    I know which side I'm betting on.

    Rob
    • Perhaps it actually is the rampant copying of porn that the MPAA has their knickers in a bunch about?
    • Or very few people copy DVDs and then seed them, allowing movie piracy to be rampant.
      Or movie piracy is rampant from non-DVD sources (such as theater cam releases).

      The two aren't actually mutually exclusive, though the MPAA is almost certainly inflating numbers (if not just making them up), and I'd really love to see the methodology for where the NYT got theirs.
  • Denial (Score:2, Funny)

    by sehlat (180760)
    I did not have sexual relations while watching that DVD!
  • Duh (Score:5, Funny)

    by illegalcortex (1007791) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:23PM (#19842255)
    Of course very few people copy dvds. It would be rather silly for ALL of us to rip them before putting them up on bittorrent.
  • by yuna49 (905461) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:23PM (#19842263)
    From TFA, this study was released by "the NPD Group, a research group that has monitored the behavior of 12,000 Americans with software on their computers."

    I'd bet the DVD copying rate is even lower among those Americans who do not have software on their computers.
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:23PM (#19842265) Homepage Journal
    I buy all my DVDs, usually either on release day when they are heavily discounted or from online sellers (like deep discount dvd) when I can get most for 6 dollars or less. Yeah I know I am indirectly supporting the evil MPAA but the fact is I want these movies and its not worth the risk to just buy them, especially when I get them for such a great price. I usually buy odd movies; like those people like us like; and series (again those people here are more likely to buy) that don't hold their price original prices very long.

    I tried many of the copy programs, have downloaded torrents of current series, and all that. Now I record on the fly with the tivo-clone what series I want and keep them around till the dvd comes out and gets to a ok price. For the most part copying DVDs was more of a novelty to me and others, its the "oh, I did that when I was a kid" type stuff that just isn't worth the hassle or civil penalties to do anymore
  • I'm not sure people share their porn the way they share their music.
    Obviously the author has not served in the military.

    -Rick
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      He was refering to straight porn. ;)
  • That's because I'm not copying the DVD to a new DVD, I'm ripping and reencoding it to h.264/aac!
  • We only have a couple of window A.C. units in our house, and our DVD player (a PS2) is hooked up to our downstairs TV. Needless to say, it makes watching movies on the dog days of summer a drag. I use handbrake [m0k.org] to rip my own DVD's and then put them on my video iPod. With a cheap cable [amazon.com], I can hook it up to the small TV in my bedroom so my wife and I can watch our movies in bed in the cool air. And no, they are not porn.
  • ..partly because I don't know how. I'm sure I could find out easy enough if I really wanted to (say, if anyone knows how to do it using only software which is in the fedora yum repos I'd be interested out of curiosity). Partly because I (at the moment) don't have the HD space for it. Partly because it'd take ages. And partly just because whilst its a hastle to dig out my DVDs and put them in the drive its far less of a hastle than having to rip and then having no space on my computer.
  • Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by morari (1080535) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:38PM (#19842459) Journal
    No one surveyed me... Why do you think I pay for NetFlix?
  • by bobdotorg (598873) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:40PM (#19842485)
    Overheard in a conversation between an MPAA lobbyist and a US Senator:

    That 1.5% statistic is very misleading. According to my client (the MPAA), people's connections have become 12 times faster than dialup, so the real figure is 18%. And as more PC's start to have dual core processors, the MPAA forecasts this number to approach 36%.

    Now when you further consider that PC screens have increased from 15" to 24" over the past few years, the figure becomes 92%.

    And finally, when the 40% increase in brightness of modern displays is taken into consideration, we see that a whopping 129% of people are downloading movies illegally.

    Given this vast recent upswing in piracy rates, we urge you to direct all efforts of the FBI, DHS and CIA towards stopping this national economic threat.
  • Why go through all of the hulabaloo and time copying a dvd when a relatively perfect copy can be downloaded off of the internet encoded in DIVX/XVID?
  • by non (130182) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:56PM (#19842729) Homepage Journal
    MPlayer's man page is too long for most people to read :-)
  • The only reason I use my DVD extraction software is to change it to a different format to use it on a different device, namely in this case my video iPod, which is perfectly legal in Canada.
  • by Simulant (528590) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @06:45PM (#19843787) Journal
    • It takes forever
    • It fails frequently
    • The burnt DVD's frequently won't play properly in a normal DVD player (or even be readable in a DVD-ROMdrive)
    • Optical Media is a piss poor long term storage solution.
    • If you're a collector and really care about quality/longevity, you probably want the real thing.
    • If you just want to watch a free movie, burning one is really not worth your time & effort.
    • It's far easier to download from BT or USENET and the quality is close enough to DVD these days that most people won't notice the difference. (assuming of course they can figure out how to hook up their PC/Laptop to their TV)
    • How many times can you watch the same damn move again anyway?

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