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November 5, 2011

Still Converting Old Home Movies: Ripping a DVD to .avi for Windows

Last week I began the next step of my project to convert my old VHS tape Home Movies to DVD and then from DVD to computer digital files. It's going well!

There was a lot of trial and error, gritting of teeth, mumbling under my breath and yes, outright yelling at my computer. That never helps but it makes me feel better.

But I've done it. I've converted 13 VHS Home Movies from 1983 to 1992 and put them on DVDs. I'm in the process of ripping those DVDs (yes it's called "ripping") and then converting them to digital files I can open in a Movie Maker program where I can edit, clip and create new movies from the old!

My first step was to find out what I needed to do this conversion to digital computer files that Windows could open. DVD files are in .vob format and they must be converted to something Windows can work with - such as .mpeg or .avi. There are other formats but I decided to go with .avi.

I found out that everyone has their favourite ripper! So I read reviews and several were listed as being excellent. I opted to download the free "MyVideoConverter" and try that. It worked great - fast and easy but.... (yes there was a "but") the free version has an ad for MyVideoConverter that flashes on top of your movie every 10 seconds! It was horrible.

But there was an easy solution - I registered the program by paying for it. Yes it's a bit pricey at $40.00 but I'm so happy with it that I don't mind.

Here's how I did my conversions:

Step 1: Put your DVD into your DVD player and open the MyVideoConverter program. Click on FILE then CONVERT DVD.  You will be prompted for such things as where you want the converted file, what name you want to give it, and so on.

It's going to start ripping your DVD now. It will show as a file in the window with a small red square when it's ready for the next step.


I let everything go to default except for the file name which I changed on every one to "Schulze_Home_Movies_xxx" where xxx was my designation re tape #, year, etc. I made sure it was being converted to .avi

Step 3: Sit back and relax while the program rips your DVD.

When it's done, a little green check mark appears beside the file name.

My converted DVD movies
It is now saved to your computer as an .avi file  and you can open it in any video player program to watch it. Or you can open it in Windows Movie Maker and start editing. I'll write about doing that  in another blog post.

Disclaimer: MyVideoConverter did not pay me or give me a free program. I received no compensation for writing this tutorial. I am not an affiliate of MyVideoConverter and do not receive any compensation should you decide to buy it. I just like the program and wanted to show others how easy it is to use!

1 comment:

Sierra said...

I am curious about how long your videos are and how large the .avi file is when you are finished. Do they take up a huge amount of hard drive space?

Thank you for the series of posts describing this process. I am considering converting my parents videos since it sounds so easy.