[MPlayer-users] Can I get a few tips on DVD ripping?

Miriam English mim at miriam-english.org
Fri Sep 8 16:18:35 EEST 2017

Hi Rui,

I always rip my DVDs to my computer as soon as I buy them. The plastic 
they make DVDs out of is so easily scratched I like to play them just 
the one time, in ripping them to the computer. Then I put them away in 
my DVD case to be taken out again only if the hard drive gets damaged 
and my ripped video corrupted.

You don't need dvdnav:// as that's used for showing the DVD menus. 
Simply dvd:// is sufficient. Also the video will rip as a vob file, not 
as an iso file.

If the track I want is track 2 then I use:
mplayer dvd://2 -dumpstream -dumpfile videoname.vob

I used to use mencoder (part of the mplayer package) to encode videos, 
but now I prefer ffmpeg. Here is the way I used to encode a video using 

Originally I used to use mplayer to find the width and height of the video

mplayer "$F_NAME.vob" -benchmark -nosound -vo null -endpos 1

but I ended up writing a script that extracted the width and height 
automatically for me and inserted those values into the mencoder command:

width=`mplayer "$1.vob" -benchmark -nosound -vo null -endpos 1 
2>/dev/null | grep '=>' | cut -d' ' -f5 | cut -dx -f1 | tail -n1`
height=`mplayer "$1.vob" -benchmark -nosound -vo null -endpos 1 
2>/dev/null | grep '=>' | cut -d' ' -f5 | cut -dx -f2 | tail -n1`
mencoder "$1.vob" -ovc lavc -lavcopts 
vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=$bitrate:v4mv:mbd=2:trell -vf 
scale=$width:$height,hqdn3d=2:1:2 -aid $audio -nosub -audio-delay -0.2 
-oac mp3lame -lameopts vbr=3 -o "$1.avi"

For $bitrate I used 1600 for most videos, but 1800 or 2000 for fast 
action. I always meant to get around to learning how to do two-pass 
encodings so that mplayer would work out the optimum bitrates, but I 
never seemed to have enough time.
Of course $audio was usually 128, though many times would be a different 
I found that my videos often had a slight sound mismatch so added 
-audio-delay -0.2 to fix that.

Once the video is ripped it contains all the audio tracks associated 
with it, so if you want to extract that (perhaps as a commentary track) 
then you could get it from the vob file. No need to fetch it off the DVD 

If the audio ID is 128:

mplayer "videoname.vob" -aid 128 -ao pcm:file="videoname.wav" -vc null 
-vo null

You could then convert it to mp3 using lame:

lame --vbr-new -V 3 "videoname.wav" "videoname.mp3"

You could then play the video with the separate commentary audio file:

mplayer "videoname.avi" -audiofile "videoname.mp3"  -msglevel all=-1

(The -msglevel all=-1 just suppresses error messages.)

One of the reasons I now use ffmpeg is that I can easily encode a video 
with multiple soundtracks in the one file. That's probably possible with 
mencoder, but I never learned how.

Subtitles are a little trickier. I only know of a way to use mencoder to 
rip them. If the subtitle you want to rip is subtitle (sid) 0, which is 
usually the English soundtrack, and the dvd title is title 1:

mencoder dvd://1 -ovc copy -oac copy -vobsubout "videoname" 
-vobsuboutindex 0 -sid 0 -nosound -o /dev/null -vf harddup

I can't remember why I added the filter -vf harddup

A quick way to find out important info about a video file is to put this 
in a script:

     mplayer "$1" -v -ao null -vo null -frames 0 2>/dev/null | grep 
"audio codec:"
     mplayer "$1" -v -ao null -vo null -frames 0 2>/dev/null | grep "VIDEO:"
     mplayer "$1" -benchmark -nosound -vo null -endpos 1 2>/dev/null | 
grep "=>"
     mplayer "$1" -v -ao null -vo null -frames 0 2>/dev/null | grep "==>"

Where $1 is the name of the video file passed to the script .

You can convert the titles to the much better (in my opinion) format 
.srt subtitles using vobsub2srt, which you can download from
It uses the free, excellent OCR (optical character recognition) program 
"tesseract" to go through the subtitles and write them as text along 
with timing info to a .srt file. Unfortunately, even though tesseract is 
getting better and better it still makes a lot of dumb errors on the 
subtitles. I find it's much easier and often better to go to one of the 
subtitle archives on the net, such as http://subscene.com/ and search 
for the DVD I've bought. This is particularly useful if the DVD doesn't 
have subtitles. As I'm getting very deaf I find I can no longer watch 
movies without subtitles.

I hope this helps.

     - Miriam

Rui Correia wrote:
> Hello,
> I have quite a few legally owned Disney DVD's that I would like to rip so
> that my daughter can watch them on her tablet and avoid scratching the DVD
> discs. If I wanted anything to do with piracy I would download the torrent
> or whatever. ;-)
> My NAS runs Linux Debian (OpenMediaVault) and it has a DVD recorder on it
> that I would like to use for ripping. Being a NAS, it doesn't have a GUI
> (X11/Wayland) so I have to try and achieve this all on the CLI. Hence why I
> am trying Mplayer for this task.
> I'm only interested in the main movie, with two audio languages (my native
> and English) and my native language subtitles for when watching it in
> English audio. Also I'd like to retain chapter timecodes and to
> containerize inside a MP4/MKV file that will be shared on the LAN through
> the NAS.
>  From what I understand, I can use MPlayer for most of it.
> I've taken note of a few MPlayer commands that I found to grab stuff that I
> will be needing.
> For getting information about the audio track, subtitle tracks and chapters:
> $ mplayer dvdnav://1 -identify -dvd-device ~/name_of_movie.iso
> For ripping the video:
> $ mplayer dvdnav://1 -dumpvideo -dumpfile name_of_movie.m2v -dvd-device
> ~/name_of_movie.iso
> For ripping the audio track 128:
> $ mplayer dvdnav://1 -dumpaudio -aid 128 -dumpfile name_of_movie.ac3
> -dvd-device ~/name_of_movie.iso
> My questions:
> - Are the above the best options getting info, ripping video and ripping
> audio?
> - How can I dump subtitles?
> Thanks in advance,
> Cheers
> _______________________________________________
> MPlayer-users mailing list
> MPlayer-users at mplayerhq.hu
> https://lists.mplayerhq.hu/mailman/listinfo/mplayer-users

There are two wolves and they're always fighting.
One is darkness and despair. The other is light and hope.
Which wolf wins?
Whichever one you feed.
  -- Casey in Brad Bird's movie "Tomorrowland"

More information about the MPlayer-users mailing list