Just a quick reminder that I'm posting less than usual this week. (Sorry to newsletter subscribers who were confused by yesterday's duplicate mailing. My bad.) And Monday's Labor Day, so I'll see you back here on Tuesday! Have a safe and enjoyable holiday.
Free DVD rippers are pretty easy to come by these days (I seem to see a new giveaway or promotion once every month or two), but free Blu-ray rippers? Those are still fairly rare.
From now until Sept. 15, you can download Digiarty WinX Blu-ray Decrypter free of charge. It's not quite as versatile as one might hope, but it's still a $50 utility for free.
After you download the program, you can activate it immediately using code AR-TZTQTXHM-SMNZOO.
WinX Blu-ray Decrypter is designed primarily to back up your movies, not to convert them to mobile and other viewing formats. Specifically, it removes all known Blu-ray encryptions and copies the movies to an M2TS file or a Blu-ray folder (which, according to Digiarty, can be viewed using Windows 7 Media Player). It also supports the "cloning" of 3D Blu-rays to 2D formats.
Wait, isn't that a violation of copyright law? Will using the software lead to MPAA thugs (by which I mean lawyers) knocking down your door? Nah. This is as protected under fair-use laws as ripping a CD. Of course, if you burn a bunch of Blu-ray copies and sell them on the street (or share them online), now you're asking for legal trouble.
Next question: Can you convert M2TS files to a format compatible with Android phones, iPads, iPhones, and the like? Yep, there are a number of utilities that will do the job--though I've yet to find a free one. If you know of one, share the goods in the comments!
Another option: Digiarty recommends Air Playit(updated: link fixed), a free iOS app (Android version coming soon) that can stream any number of formats--include M2TS--to your mobile device, no conversion required.
I realize not everybody has a Blu-ray drive, or feels the need to back up their discs, but I just can't say no to a free utility that normally costs $50! (I know, I'm weak.)
Bonus deal: I also can't say no to all-in-one PCs, which are great for kitchens and overcrowded desks. While supplies last, MacConnection has the HP 100B all-in-one desktop PC for $279 shipped. Highlights include a dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM (expandable to 8GB, thankfully), a 20-inch display, and a one-year warranty.