The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

How to Get Started with Linux, Part III

One of the nice things about Linux is that you can watch DVD movies on your computer for free! There's no need to purchase commercial DVD player software, as you do under Windows. (However, you do need to bend the law a little bit!)

Now, let's kick this support for DVD movies up a notch. I'm going to show you how to backup your commercial DVD movie, which is typically encrypted to prevent piracy. (In other words, more illegalities! Aren't we having fun?)

We're going to use a Windows program called DVD Shrink to "rip" a movie from a DVD and create an ISO file (an "image" of a DVD) from it. Then the ISO file can be burned to a DVD-R (using the K3B program - "CD/DVD Burning" under Multimedia). The movie will be shrunken to fit a 4.7 GB DVD disk.

Why are we using DVD Shrink, which is a Windows program? Because it's the best software of its kind available - for any platform - and there is no comparable Linux equivalent.

A better question is: How are we going to run DVD Shrink under Linux? Well, we're going to use a Windows emulator program called Wine, which stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator. (The acronym is actually saying: Wine is not a CPU emulator.)

To install Wine, download this file, click on the file from within Konqueror and "Install Package with YaST." Afterwards, you should run winecfg from the command line and set the Windows version to "Windows XP." Now you're ready to run a Windows XP program (which DVD Shrink is) under Linux. [Don't get too excited about Wine, though - it's not mature enough to run many Windows programs well.]

To install DVD Shrink, download this file, unzip it to extract the installation program dvdshrink32setup.exe and run the program by opening it with Wine (click on the file and enter "wine" in the "Open with:" field). This will create a new KDE menu called "Wine" under which you will find your DVD Shrink program.

Here's a tip for using DVD Shrink: in the Preferences, go to the Preview tab and disable "Enable video and audio preview." I found the video and audio preview extremely annoying.

In addition to ripping movies, you can also rip music from your audio CDs using KAudioCreator (a CD ripper you will find under the Multimedia menu - "CD/DVD Tools"). (The LAME encoder should be selected in order to generate MP3 files.)

So, with these tools, you can backup your DVD movies and create MP3 files out of your CDs. Let's stick it to the Man! We want to tell the MPAA and RIAA to shove their DRM (Digital Rights Machination, which takes away our fair use rights) up where the sun don't shine.


Blogger Darkest Knight said...

The current version of KAudioCreator has a bug that prevents the use of the LAME encoder. Until you can upgrade to the next version of KDE, I suggest using a command line LAME encoder called "NotLame," which you can download from here.

9:05 AM  

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