Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

March 23 2010

11 CD/DVD Burning Apps for Mac

Today we’re taking a look at a range of different CD and DVD burning tools for your Mac. Along with those bundled with your machine already, we’ll consider a number of third party applications that specialise in different fields. Some are delightful in their simplicity, others pack a huge feature set.

Whether you regularly produce and burn optical media, or just need to share a few photos from time to time, there will be something here for you!

Third Party Apps

Disco

Disco

Disco

Disco caused something of a splash in the Mac developer community when it launched a few years ago. The fascinating interface, coupled with a simple burning process makes it a really interesting candidate. When creating your disc, the app emits virtual “smoke”, that even reacts to you blowing into your Mac’s microphone.

Although Disco hasn’t seen a great deal of development in recent years, it’s still worth trying the demo if you’re looking for something futuristic and simple.

Price: $19.95
Developer: MadeBySofa

Burn

Burn

Burn

For a completely free app, Burn has a lot to offer. We recently reviewed the application, and it’s a good place to start if you’d like to find out more.

Split into four “modes” of Audio, Video, Data, and Copy, it’s capable of creating a wide range of different disc types.

Price: Free
Developer: Open Source

Toast

Toast

Toast

The heavyweight player in the disc burning industry, Toast comes at a hefty price with a feature set to match. It’s been around for 10 years and the chances are that if you can imagine a way in which you’d need to interact with optical media, Toast will be able to do it.

It certainly isn’t for everyone (don’t buy it just because it’s an industry leader), but if you need to do something very specific it may be the best option.

Price: $120
Developer: Roxio

Popcorn

Popcorn

Popcorn

From the makers of Toast, Popcorn is designed for helping to rip, copy and convert DVD content. The main sticking point is that (understandably) the software doesn’t rip commercial DVDs with copy-protection. Although this makes sense, in my opinion it makes popcorn a little redundant for anything other than home videos.

Considering you can find free software that does a very similar thing, I wouldn’t recommend shelling out $50 unless you know exactly why you need Popcorn in particular.

Price: $49.99
Developer: Roxio

BurnX Free

BurnX Free

BurnX Free

BurnX Free lets you burn a CD or DVD by dragging and dropping files or folders to the main window, and you can use sessions so multiple burns can be done in the same disc (CD only). It also has the ability to erase a CD or DVD.

As the name suggests, it’s completely free. The only downside is that it’s starting to look a little dated compared to a few of the other tools featured here.

Price: Free
Developer: HernanSoft

LiquidCD

LiquidCD

LiquidCD

Another fairly basic application, LiquidCD is free, and focused mainly at those with slightly more technical requirements. Development seems to be aimed now on occasional bug fixes, and it’s probably not one to keep high on your list of software to try out.

Price: Free
Developer: Maconnect

BurnAgain FS

BurnAgain FS

BurnAgain FS

BurnAgain FS places a great deal of emphasis on the idea of multi-session burning, and being able to use a CD or DVD more like a hard drive. You can add and remove items from the disk, and BurnAgain takes care of hiding the technicalities of how the process works.

Discs burned using the app work cross-platform, and you can download a trial that gives you 20 burns for free before deciding whether to purchase.

Price: $22
Developer: Free Ride Coding

SimplyBurns

SimplyBurns

SimplyBurns

SimplyBurns has a fairly straight-forward interface, and provides functionality for creating audio and data discs, ripping, copying media, and burning an image already stored on your computer.

If you’re weighing up the different free options, SimplyBurns is worth taking a look at (though probably won’t match up to Burn in terms of functionality).

Price: Free
Developer: Martin Köhler

In-Built OS X Apps

iTunes

iTunes

iTunes

I’m sure you’re already familiar with iTunes for storing and playing music/video, but did you know it can also burn CDs? Just select a playlist, then click “Burn” in the lower right hand corner. You can either create a standard Audio CD, or an MP3 CD, depending upon your preferences.

iTunes will also let you backup your entire music library to optical media. You click File > Library > Backup to Disc, and keep feeding iTunes DVDs until it’s done. It could take a while!

Finder

Finder

Finder

Burning is built right into Finder, and can be initiated in a few different ways. Click File > New Burn Folder, and you’ll be looking at a new folder into which you can drag-and-drop content to burn to a disc. If you have a folder you want to use already, just right click it and select “Burn “x” to Disc”.

iDVD

iDVD

iDVD

iDVD is Apple’s more full-featured DVD burning tool, geared primarily towards producing home movies containing video and photos. In a few clicks you can produce something that looks professional, and probably won’t bore your friends and family to tears.

Which App Do You Use?

We all have our preferences for particular burning applications, so which do you use on a regular basis?

I’m finding that it’s something I need to do less and less frequently, as most data backup and sharing I do tends to be centred around hard drives, or USB devices! Is this something you’re discovering to be the case as well?

January 21 2010

Step By Step Guide for Importing a DVD to iTunes

We all have reasons for importing our DVDs onto our Mac. Whether it is to preserve the movie if the original DVD gets scratched, or to have the ability to carry your movie collection in a digital format. For the duration of this tutorial I will be using my Ice Age DVD (a great movie by the way!)

This step by step guide will teach you how to use the power of HandBrake to rip your DVD’s so that they show up in iTunes, as well as on your iPod/iPhone device!

Background Information

iTunes Format

Apple has allowed iTunes to read only one video format – MPEG-4 (.mp4, .m4v). So this means that if we want the DVD to go into iTunes and play across all our other Apple devices, we need it to be in MPEG-4.

For those of you that have ripped your DVD’s in .avi format, you can also use HandBrake to convert them.

Copyright

Be careful! Find out the law on ‘format-shifting’ for your own country so see what you are doing is deemed legal. In Australia it is up in the air (to my knowledge). It is however, legal to rip purchased music for your own personal use.

How to Import Into iTunes

Now for the tutorial, this is a step by step guide of how to import a video into iTunes. Along the way I will mention other related functions, but please do take the time to explore HandBrake fully – it’s a great program!

Step 1: Setting up the Rip

First, put your DVD into the optical drive of your Mac. Let the drive fire up for a bit until the disc shows up mounted on your desktop.

Once this has happened, open up HandBrake. The main window will open, with an import window appearing in the foreground. This is where you select your source for ripping. The easiest way is to simply click on the DVD in the sidebar (as you can see I have done).

Open

Open

From here your computer will spend a few seconds (or minutes) examining the disc. It will scan through the different chapters and attempt to find the main content of the DVD (i.e. the movie!) This phase will also scan through copyright protection on the disk to check it’s able to be copied.

Step 2: Ripping

Once HandBrake has finished scanning the DVD (assuming it is successful), the main window will change to give you the total length of the movie, and the chapters. From here you may edit different settings to alter the way the end rip looks like.

The Main Window

The Main Window

The first thing to notice is that on the right hand side there is a ‘Presets’ panel. If it isn’t there for you, simply click ‘Toggle Presets’ at the top right of the window. As you can see there are some handy options here!

If you are purposefully ripping a movie for a certain device, click on it here. If you just want it in iTunes then click ‘Universal’. You will notice that when you click on anything from the Apple preset menu, the format turns into an MP4 file.

If you do use a preset, it’s generally as simple as selecting it and pressing “Start”. However, if you are just keeping the movie on your computer, I’d recommend tweaking the quality. I personally set it anywhere from 700 MB (for animated movies) to 1200 MB (for favourites!).

Now, you don’t have to use these presets, but it is safe to stick with them. Why not just rip to the best quality possible you ask? Well, think about how valuable space is on your iPod. If you’ll only be viewing the movie on this small screen, it makes sense to scale the video and reduce the file size as far as possible.

HandBrake also has queuing options, but I will let you explore that for yourself. The “Preview Window” is worth mentioning – a feature that will render a short sequence with your chosen settings. It becomes valuable for when you are experimenting with the file size.

Previewing Your Video

Previewing Your Video

Once you hit start, you will again hear your drive fire back up and bottom of the main window will change to a bar that updates with progress.

Encoding in Progress

Encoding in Progress

The Dock Icon

The Dock Icon

In addition to this, the Dock icon also has a progress bar so you don’t have to keep flicking back to the application.

Once all is done, you will get a notification message that it has been successfully ripped. The time it takes varies greatly on your machine. I have heard reports of the new i5’s and i7’s being blazingly fast. It took about an hour or so on my 2007 MacBook.

Step 3: Adding to iTunes

Now the easy part… drag the file into the iTunes window! iTunes will automatically add it to your library and depending on your settings (in iTunes), you can delete the original rip now.

You can access the file by going to the ‘Movies’ sidebar of your iTunes window. From here you can double click on the movie and watch it whenever you want – alleviating the need to carry around your collection!

Viewing Your Movies

Viewing Your Movies

A range of different settings can be accessed via the “Get Info” panel, allowing you to adjust the artwork for the movie, and add information such as Genre, Year and Synopsis. This is particularly useful for later searching, or when viewing the movie on your Apple TV.

iTunes Info

iTunes Info

Optional: Syncing to iPod/iPhone

If you would like to sync this movie to your iPod/iPhone, click the device on the sidebar of your iTunes window. The information window for this device will now pop up. From here, click on the ‘Movies’ tab at the top. You can tick to sync all movies, or just the particular one that you have ripped. Click apply, and your device will synchronise.

Conclusion

And there you have it! A ripped DVD, on your Mac for safekeeping. It really is a handy way to carry your whole library of movies with you while you are travelling (if you are on a notebook of course). Providing you own the DVD, copyright is unlikely to be an issue at all.

Also, you will find from time-to-time you can’t rip a DVD, this will be because of its copyright protection. All I can suggest is trying RipIt, or MacTheRipper. Both of these apps are a great solution for moving newer DVDs across, before putting them into Handbrake.

January 05 2010

RipIt: Simple DVD Ripping for Mac

DVDs can be a nuisance to carry around. They also scratch, break, or go missing over time. RipIt, from The Little App Factory lets you rip your DVDs to your Mac so that you can watch them at anytime without the DVD inserted in your drive.

RipIt is an application so beautifully simplistic, even your mum would have no problem using it. This review will have a look at why RipIt is better than other apps out there, highlight how the process works, and take a look at what’s missing.

Less is More

Upon opening RipIt, you are presented with a small window asking you to insert a DVD. When you put one into your disk drive, your DVD will be identified and you are offered two options; ‘Rip’ or ‘Eject’.

Rip or Reject

Rip or Reject

No fancy controls, no options. Just straight forward simplicity. Clicking ‘Rip’ will send the DVD icon into a whirring animated blur as the process begins. It lets you know the percentage done so far, and how long it has to go.

This lack of advanced features that you’ll find spilled throughout other apps such as HandBrake and MacTheRipper does mean that you can’t customize your resulting file much, but I have found that RipIt has an impressively superior speed and reliability when copying.

Why use RipIt?

Ripping your DVDs to your computer is useful for many reasons. As mentioned above, it’s good to back up your DVDs incase they get lost, scratched or broken. It also means that you have all of your DVDs in one place. If you own a laptop, running DVDs straight off the computer rather than spinning a physical DVD also saves a lot of battery juice.

When you Rip a DVD using RipIt, it saves the resulting file as a .dvdmedia file. This means that when you open it, it will launch DVD Player and play exactly as if the real DVD were in the drive. This is great because it means you don’t lose any of the extras such as the bonus features or commentaries.

Alternatively, you can ask RipIt to rip the DVD and save as a standard VIDEO_TS folder. This is useful if you want to convert the DVD to a format which can then be played on your iPod or Apple TV using another app such as HandBrake. Normally, I would just use HandBrake to rip straight to iPod format, but this and other applications often fail with some DVDs with good copy protection, as I found with WALL-E.

Ripping

Ripping

DVD ripping can be a little murky when it comes to the law. Most people believe that it should be fine to rip DVDs that you own for personal use, but just be aware of the laws in your country and only rip DVDs that you own.

Limitations

Of course, simplicity has it’s flaws, and whilst all of the DVDs that I tested worked flawlessly, the lack of options does hurt a little. This is really just because I would love to have the option to convert DVDs on the fly into a format that can be put straight into iTunes and then onto an iPod or Apple TV.

The fact that options are more or less non-existent is both a blessing and a burden. Its great for making the app completely straightforward, but I think that a few conversion features wouldn’t hurt.

Good news though, as this feature may well be coming in a future release of RipIt, as Smoking Apples reports that The Little App Factory team are already working on a feature that will export directly to iTunes.

Conclusion

RipIt is an incredibly simple, fast and effective application for ripping your DVDs on to your Mac. If you want a tool to back up and store DVDs on your computer with ease, then RipIt is definitely the app for you. However, if you like the options and features that competing apps such as HandBrake offer, then I’d stick to those for the time being.

You can download RipIt for free, allowing you to rip 10 DVDs, after which you will need to buy the full version for $19.95. Let us know know what you think of RipIt, and whether it fills your ripping needs!

Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl