I'm in the process of exploring each piece of freeware listed under VideoHelp's "ISO/Image", "Decrypters (DVD Rippers)", "DVD to MP4/MKV/H264/H265" and "DVD to AVI/DivX/XviD" software pages in order to familiarise myself with how each program works, the different file types etc, with the end goal of ripping my Deadpool and Finding Dory DVDs, or preferably creating image files of them so I can view them on my laptop's hard drive as DVDs without needing the discs themselves.
I'm using these two DVDs to trial each piece of software, because these are the two most recent DVDs in my collection and both are from two of the world's biggest media production companies, so the copy protection schemes on these DVDs should be the most difficult to decrypt. If a piece of software can decrypt these two DVDs or otherwise create image files of them, it should be able to do so for my whole DVD collection.
I'm trying each piece of freeware in alphabetical order, starting with the "ISO/Image" applications, and this method has led me to install both listed latest releases of CDMage. From the information I've been able to find, this software is very old and has not been developed since July 26 2001. The VideoHelp software page for this application claims that CDMage can extract almost all types of image files (for its time), notably ".cif(EasyCD) .bin(CDRWIN) .nrg(Nero)", and also convert these to "BIN/CUE". I've yet to familiarise myself with these file types.
After looking at different guides and forum posts away from VideoHelp, I got the feeling that CDMage is (or was) used primarily for analysing and repairing corrupted CD image files which have already been created by other programs, mostly, it seems, from CD-mounted games. *But both of the latest versions of CDMage (I know that's not saying much) also seem to have the capability for extracting the files from the compatible discs themselves.*
Now after testing it, CDMage couldn't pick up either the DVD itself as a single element to create an image file from, or any of the raw files contained within the disc, so I guess it's not suitable for creating its own image files from DVDs. But I've seen a couple of forum posts on here from people trying to use CDMage in context with movie files; *and the interface suggests that CDMage can extract its own image files seemingly from the discs themselves*; the 'Extract' button is a disc with an arrow pointing away from it. Maybe if CDMage can extract image files from movie discs, it can only extract from VCDs instead? I dunno.
I'm guessing that if i want to use this program I'd have to use another program to create the image file first and then import that into CDMage to inspect it (if I can).
I've taken screenshots of each stage of the installation process for both versions, and can take more of me exploring the programs themselves, if they might be useful.
Please bear in mind these are the mindless ramblings of a complete idiot who has no idea what he's dealing with or what any of the technical terms mean, and saw a few forum posts and quick guides online, so I'm completely open for suggestion...
*Sorry, just noticed I said the same thing twice...*
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Last edited by I Suck At This S#!t; 7th May 2018 at 14:02.
CD Mage could be used for unprotected audio CDs
not VCDs DVDs or Blurays, ok?
DVDfab-Decrypter (https://www.videohelp.com/software/DVDFab-Decrypter) - free
DVDFab (https://www.videohelp.com/software/DVDFab) - paid
AnyDVD(https://www.videohelp.com/software/tools?tool=AnyDVD)) - paid
Last edited by teodz1984; 7th May 2018 at 17:44.
Had I not seen that dead thread I linked, I wouldn't have thought twice about it. But no one replied to the OP to say 'yes', 'no' or 'use this program instead', and there were those old tutorials from people backing up their old disc games, presumably from CD-ROMs and the like, so I was still in the dark about the capabilities of this software, and wanted to double-check my assumptions by asking this forum; that's what tech forums are for. They might have already converted them in order for CDMage to read them, I don't know, I just went by what I could find online. And that's why I'm going through each of these programs and exploring their functions, parameters and file types, one-at-a-time, and learning what I can from what I observe, so that maybe I might someday have an idea of what I'm talking about, and I can actually properly engage in this forum in a way that other people know what I'm trying to ask them.
Now maybe you might think I'm wasting my time doing that and I should go straight to doing "xyz" instead, and of course, maybe I am and I should. But then I'd be liable to blindly follow the tutorials like a robot and not know where I might be getting any errors. I'd be like: "OK, let's follow this tutorial. Great, it worked! Next part, another tutorial. Dammit, something went wrong. 'There might be a problem with the files you converted.' Uhhh... what exactly did I do in that first part again? I'll Google it...*cue mind blown from too much technical stuff for novices to understand*"
You know what I'm saying?
One of those forum posts away from this forum (which, funnily enough I should've linked in my original post because the OP brought up their verdict of CDMage being capable of "converting the CD Images created by DVD2SVCD (i.e. bin/cue) to EZ CD Creator cif/iso image format" - the only replier hence corrected the OP that it normally converts files the other way around) had a very good quote which perfectly sums up my mindset heading into this whole area of file manipulation for the first time:
"Sometimes I think the very basics get lost in all the technical stuff and first time users can find it hard to gleen the information that to others is so easy."
Just a friendly reminder that once we were all as ignorant about these things as I am right now. And yes, Google is my friend, but there's also such a thing as 'too much information', which leads to more Googling, which leads to even more TMI, which eventually leads to "F**k this $#!t, I'm getting a burger".
Thank you for your recommendations, those three programs seem to be the most go-to answers for many people here, and I already have them on my list in case the freeware options don't cut it. But for now I'd prefer to stick to the freeware and build up my knowledge and experience of how they work so that if I decide to buy something, I'd stand a better chance of actually knowing how to use it properly instead of throwing a hissy fit and demanding a refund saying "Waaahhhh, it doesn't work!" because I didn't know how to use it properly. Trust me, I've been there too many times.
From what I have been able to find out, I might find ISO image files to be the easiest ones for me to manage right now, before heading into the more "techy" files for optimum compression and higher quality and what not, such as MKVs and AVIs etc. (again, no clue if what I'm talking about has any semblance in reality). Does DVDFab Decrypter (the freeware version) support the creation of single disc image files, or does it only allow you to rip the raw files themselves into multiple separate MKVs, MP4s and other files for you to manage yourself?
Apologies for the whiny-ass wall of text, but being ignorant about everything and knowing I am, is not bliss at all, it's the exact opposite.
Thanks again, and just remember: my user title perfectly sums up how much I know about these things right now. And that doesn't mean I'm using it as an excuse, but as an indication of what to expect from me.
P.S: I never mentioned Blu-rays.
Last edited by I Suck At This S#!t; 8th May 2018 at 13:45.
DVDFab Decrypter comes as a freeware option I'll try that one first and any other freeware options I find afterwards. At least then, hopefully I'll know what I'm doing with the files if I might need to go for paid software. I know they have 15 or 30 day free trials etc. but I don't yet know how much time I'd need to search up everything I don't know about and make sense of it all.
Have you ever used DVDFab Decrypter to create image files of a whole DVD (I haven't done my research on that, yet), or is it best suited to more 'standard' (I guess?) ripping of the VOB, IFO and BUP files on the DVD disc (just reading off what it says in the VIDEO_TS folder) and converting them into MKV files, MP4 etc? I know there are more file types out there, but those are ones I've seen crop up the most so far for me; which, coming from me right now, probably isn't saying much, tbh.
DVDFab HD Decrypyer, working as a DVD decrypter and Blu-ray decrypter, is a cost-free and simplified version of DVDFab DVD Copy and DVDFab Blu-ray Copy, which can copy some old DVDs and Blu-rays to blank disc or to the hard drive on your computer, in "Full Disc" or "Main Movie" modes only. It's one of the always free portions of DVDFab, which can work off internet connection environment, and needs ImgBurn or Nero Burning ROM installed for DVD/Blu-ray copy or backup.
DVD Decrypter is a deprecated software application for Microsoft Windows that can create backup disk images of the DVD-Video structure of DVDs. While it was still supported, it could be used to make a copy of any DVD protected with Content Scrambling System (CSS). The program can also record images to disc — functionality that the author has now incorporated into a separate product called ImgBurn. The software also allows a copy of a region-specific DVD to be made region free. It also removes Macrovision content protection, CSS, region codes, and user operation prohibition, but cannot copy DVDs protected with newer systems such as XProtect.