Real Networks' RealDVD is now available to consumers.
John FalconeSenior Editorial Director, Shopping
John P. Falcone is the senior director of commerce content at CNET, where he coordinates coverage of the site's buying recommendations alongside the CNET Advice team (where he previously headed the consumer electronics reviews section). He's been a CNET editor since 2003.
ExpertiseOver 20 years experience in electronics and gadget reviews and analysis, and consumer shopping adviceCredentials
Self-taught tinkerer, informal IT and gadget consultant to friends and family (with several self-built gaming PCs under his belt)
Update: Not surprisingly, it appears that the availability of the RealDVD software has caused the Hollywood litigation machine to shift into high gear. Real has filed a pre-emptive suit against the studios, who are expected to countersue later today.
Three weeks ago, we told you about RealDVD, the new software package from Real Networks that lets you rip DVDs to your PC's hard drive--legally. The software is now available for direct download from realdvd.com. For a limited time, it's just $30 (as opposed to the $50 standard price). Up to four additional licenses (which allow you to play your saved movies on other PCs) are available for $20 apiece. A free 30-day trial version allows you to try before you buy.
So, what do you think: are you taking the plunge on RealDVD, or sticking with (legally ambiguous) freeware alternatives?