Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rip Blu-rays with MakeMKV for Mac OS X

There is this cool multiplatform program called MakeMKV that strips DRM off of your Blu-ray collection, and it works natively for Mac. Its currently in beta, so you can use the following beta key (though I'm not sure how this is really different from the 30 day trial, since the beta seems to be running out soon):


It takes whatever is present on the disk and muxes it all into an MKV container without changing codecs. By default, it will copy the video, multiple audio tracks, and subtitles. There are a few problems with this kind of rip though:

  • The file size is HUGE, barely smaller than the original Blu-ray.
  • Only PCs or certain dedicated media streamers can play 1080p, MKV, or recognize multiple/multichannel audio and subtitles.

Re-encoding the video to 720p h264 and the audio to 2 channel AAC in an MP4 container simultaneously fixes all issues; this format is about 1/4 the file-size of the original video, and is supported on AppleTV2/iPad/iPhone4, and pretty much everything else. Here is my workflow for this process.

Use MakeMKV on a Blu-ray.
Use Handbrake on the resulting files.
Start with the high profile.
1280 x 720 resolution.
Turn off decomb and deinterlace
RF of 20
Check large file size
Remove extra audio passthrough
Drop into iTunes and sync with devices.

Of course, if you have terabytes upon terabytes of storage, forget the Handbrake re-encode, and just watch on your streaming/media box. Enjoy!

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