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How to rip & edit DVD video on Windows XP

by charlesmayo / May 2, 2007 10:34 PM PDT

Hi all,

I'm hoping some kind soul on the forum can save me a few hours of research and give me kind of a quick-start on how to do what I need to do, which is...

I have a DVD containing three hours of raw video footage of the band I play for, and I need to edit that down to a 10-minute demo, add some titles, and put it back on DVD. I also need to do this with open-source (free) software or software that may already be part of XP.

So I guess what I need to do is identify an editor simple enough to figure out quickly (all I need are some basic fades... in/out/crossfade, etc., and titling functionality), then I need to know how to rip from DVD into a format the editor understands, then back from the editor's format to DVD without a major loss in quality.

I'll also need to re-EQ the soundtrack in an audio editor (unless the video app can do that) but I don't know at this point how to break out the audio, re-mix it, then put it back with the video footage. Once I have everything else going on and can get my video open in an editor I can probably figure that part out, though.

Can anybody point me in the right direction?

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For a moment I thought we'd be able to do "easy".
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 2, 2007 10:37 PM PDT

But then I hit the requirement of EQ some audio track. Sorry but no easy package does this. You'll want the full power version of Sony Vegas.

Sorry, but power tools are needed here. There is an easy out here. Ask someone else to do it.


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Then let's not go there...
by charlesmayo / May 2, 2007 11:01 PM PDT

...the critical issue is the video mix. If I can manage that, I'll have something good enough for the promo pack.

Curious, though... doesn't audio show up as a separate track in the video editor, and wouldn't even an "easy" video editor do some rudimentary audio work... at least export and import audio into the production? I have pro audio tools if I can manage to work the audio outside the video suite but if audio is a dealbreaker, I'll do without it.

Got any video-only suggestions for me?


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Sony Vegas.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 2, 2007 11:31 PM PDT

It only seems hard at first.


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by charlesmayo / May 2, 2007 11:40 PM PDT
In reply to: Sony Vegas.

Hard isn't as much an issue as the $500 I'd have to spend for Vegas. I'll try to hunt up a copy but I'd still like to find an open-source tool if anyone has any ideas.

Thanks again,

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Open source.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 2, 2007 11:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Okay

Tends to be harder still for the new to video editing people.

If this is important why not find some Apple own and see what they can do with iMovie?


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Hmm... iMovie
by charlesmayo / May 2, 2007 11:56 PM PDT
In reply to: Open source.

That's a good idea. I have a G4 Mac in the closet that I could set up and play with - do you know if iMovie could handle the RIP and format conversions?

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(NT) If not, the other things like Handbrake will.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 3, 2007 12:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Hmm... iMovie
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by charlesmayo / May 3, 2007 12:50 AM PDT

thanks for everything. I'll pursue this on the Mac side in a day or two and keep my subscription open to this thread in case any other suggestions post.

Thanks again.

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Windows movie maker?
by Les28 / May 3, 2007 1:50 AM PDT

To keep the cost down you could drag the vob files from your dvd's Video_TS folder onto your hard drive then change the file ending from .vob to .mpg I find it always works for me then use windows movie maker2 to edit.
If the filetype end change doesn't work for you try using the free vob to mpeg converter and then try editing the mpeg's in windows movie maker.

Have you got dvd burning software on your pc, there's plenty of free programs online if you haven't, Les.

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So explain to me how...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 3, 2007 2:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Windows movie maker?

To keep Windows Movie Maker from locking you into WMV format? I can't use MM1 or MM2 since it's output is proprietary and makes more work as I have to use yet another converter to unlock the WMV so I can go back to Sony or the Mac.

Also, how do I make a DVD on MM?


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Movie Maker...
by charlesmayo / May 3, 2007 5:11 AM PDT
In reply to: Windows movie maker?

That's a cool idea and a good trick if I can get it to work. I changed a couple file extentions, imported them into MM and got audio but no video. Also seemed to me that MM should be stackin these clips in its main window so I could drag & drop them on the timeline, but each time I imported a clip it replaced the last clip I imported.

Lemme read through the link you sent and see if I can get it figured out.

I have a built-in DV burner in my laptop so that's all good, but I do need to hook up an external Sony burner to my wife's comp and burn some stuff so... sure, I'd love a recommendation for any DVD software.

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vid editing
by Les28 / May 3, 2007 7:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Movie Maker...

Bob, in WMM2 under 3. Finish Movie I select Save to my computer option, then under movie settings, Other settings select DV-AVI, it's not a very high bit rate but depending on what quality you need, it may be OK.

Whatever vid editing prog I'm using with mpeg2 material I always save the rendered project as a file on the hard drive and never burn a DVD direct from the video imaging prog I'm using, I do that later with Nero Vision Express, I save the file as mpeg2 video file at 7,000 kbps VBR and burn in NVExpress at the same customised settings.

Sorry you're having no luck Charles, I didn't mean to build false hopes or waste your time with WMM2, it does work for me even though the quality isn't that high, however with the kind of editing you want to do I think your best program would be Arc Soft Showbiz DVD, I have it on my machine, it's very user friendly and is quite happy with vob files as they are. You could download a free 15 day trial and if it's a fully functioning version do your project with it, Les.

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Thanks. I think I want to stick with higher quality levels.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 3, 2007 10:01 PM PDT
In reply to: vid editing

I tried that in MM and it was not great.


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Importing DVD (.VOB) files into Pinnacle V9.4
by GreeneBerry / October 14, 2008 8:02 PM PDT
In reply to: Windows movie maker?

Seeing your post it seems likely that you have been here long ago. I have been advised by Pinnacle to change the file extensions from .VOB to .MPG to ease the importation of video material on a DVD for editing & reassembly.
My problem is that I can't swap the file extensions! I am operating XP on a Fujitsu Scaleo P.
The said files are now in My Videos folder so it's a Windows Explorer thing I suppose to rename them. However, I just don't get the extension part to swap. Sorry to be so dim! Can you help please?

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Importing .VOB files to Pinnacle
by GreeneBerry / October 15, 2008 5:34 AM PDT

I'm answering myself here as I don't know how else to do it!
I am so sorry for being such a useless article. The problem is all mine. Believe me am I red when I admit that I was changing the wrong file! Yeah there's a .scn file generated by Pinnacle (I think), and I was renaming the whole block. When you then select out of Pinnacle you can get the wrong one!
Anyway the principle does work - well on 4 out of 5 it did. I still don't know why the 2nd segment fails, because you can play it OK on Multimedia player. The others are fine so I think the renaming principle does work OK.

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Converting (ri[pping) a DVD for Pinnacle editing
by stuhodes / December 24, 2008 1:56 AM PST

After shooting, capturing, and rendering, but not editing a 40-minute movie, I destroyed original DV tape. Your post indicates all is not lost. Is it really as simple as changing the file name extension?
Most grateful for any reply. Stuart Hodes

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to rip...
by texan_black_sabbath_rockr / May 6, 2007 12:46 PM PDT

use dvd decryptor and AutoGordianKnot

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Did you find any help?
by AMosello2 / May 9, 2007 7:13 AM PDT

My children have been in numberous community theater and school shows that I have on DVD also, and I am trying to get them onto my computer then edit them down. Similiar to what you are trying to do with the dvd's of your band. Did you find out how to do this?
I don't know how to see the replies to your post....
I'm very computer illiterate...

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Yes... and no.
by charlesmayo / May 9, 2007 9:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Did you find any help?

Hi Audrey,

I got plenty of great help, but still haven't been able to work my project.

I downloaded a demo of Arcsoft's Showbiz product thinking I'd have time to get my work done during the demo period, but that demo period is apparently around five days, and now the program's locked until I pay for it.

I tried Sony Vegas, but my PC doesn't seem capable of running it smoothly, even though it's a fast (2ghz) computer with lots of memory (1gb) and adequate (I think) free hard drive space (10gb) -- video playback looks okay once in awhile, but mostly I just get random frames as the video plays and often, I get no video at all.

The Arcsoft product, while it worked, was much the same, performance-wise.

Someone suggested iMovie on the Macintosh, but I haven't set my Mac up yet to try it.

So yes, I got some great help but I'm no closer to beginning my project. Working with DVD video may just be more than the average computer can handle, I dunno...

Even if I had the equipment to work the video, the programs are pretty involved. If you're not so handy with computers, you might want to consider one of the first sugesstions I received... find someone with the right gear and ask them to do it for you.

I wonder if anyone reading this board would consider helping you out...?

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by AMosello2 / May 9, 2007 12:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes... and no.

Thanks for all the info.. It's kind of depressing though. It was so easy to take clips from my video camera onto Windows Movie Maker...I thought ripping chapters from my dvd's would be the same. Oh well....
Thank you for your reply. It saves me the time of trying to use some of the programs you've already tested...

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Well... I'm not giving up yet.
by charlesmayo / May 9, 2007 11:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks


I had some initial issues with the VOB files from my DVD (no audio in this case) and reading through Arcsoft's knowledgebase, I came across an article which suggested that VOB files can be somewhat inconsistent, and suggested converting them to another file format for editing.

So I used t@b Software's "t@b Video and Audio Converter" ( to convert my VOB files into a more generic MPEG format (Output Type: MPEG 1 NTSC (VCD Format)). The converted files will import nicely (though VERY slowly) into MovieMaker and from the five minutes I spent playing clips this morning, MM seems much better performance-wise than the other products, and I may try to do my editing in MM after all.

Caveats are:

1) I can't judge how much (if any) the video/audio quality might have downgraded during the conversion, and won't know what output quality I get until I try to export MM video back to VOB and burn it onto a DVD. If you choose this route, you should probably take the time to burn a short clip back to DVD (if that's your final destination) and see what the final output quality will be. Otherwise, you could spend hours and hours on the project, have it looking great in MM, but potentially wind up with a substandard final product.

2) When converting VOB files with the t@b converter (great tool, by the way), the converter's progress bar is kinda goofy. It'll ramp back and forth several times and eventually drop back to around 0% progress. It took me quite awhile to discover that that didn't mean it was done (wound up with several bad export files), but had just begun the real conversion. DVD video files are huge, and converting VOB files will take several minutes, not several seconds.

3) In general, these DVD files are HUGE and I made a lot of mistakes just from my failure to appreciate how long things should take. Be patient. Many operations are likely to take several minutes, not the several seconds I've become accustomed to with other, less-demanding types of applications.

t@b also has an free video editor called "t@b ZS4 Video Editor." I thouht the interface was a bit clunky and so spent my time with Showbiz and Vegas but since neither of those products worked well on my PC, I may wind up back with the ZS4 editor if my MM experiement doesn't pan out.

Finally, I'm not saying any of this is Gospel... I'm just feeling my way through the process and sharing my experience with you. For instance, converting my VOB files to t@b's MPEG 1 NTSC (VCD Format) format might be the worst thing I could have done, I just don't know. Maybe someone reading can correct any errors I've made here and save you from repeating some of my mistakes.

Good luck,

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by Les28 / May 11, 2007 1:24 AM PDT

If you are going to use WMM2 for editing, you would be better initially to have converted your VOB file to MPEG2 not MPEG1 as MPEG1 will only give a small VCD size picture in the 300 X 200 regions, not a 720 X 480 DVD NTSC size you need for full screen DVD.
Will t@b converter let you convert your Vob file to MPEG2 ? If not the VOB2MPG free converter link I sent will do that, the Mpeg2 file output will be the same size as the Vob input, you will need Net Framework 2 for Vob2Mpg, I think the link explains that.

After editing I think the best output from WMM2 would be to save a file as high quality video NTSC, it will be a Windows Media Video format file at just over 5,000 kbps, which will be a bit lower in quality than the input from your MPEG2 file, at least you can play both files later and see if the difference is acceptable.
Incidently if WMM2 doesn't create clips before editing you can make your own by splitting the movie at any point, the left hand silver button under the preview window will split the clip that's highlighted in the storyboard window, bottom of screen, easy enough to split a few times, then right click, delete what's not wanted in between.

Your Video-DVD burning software should convert from WMV to DVD as part of the making DVD process, my Nero Vision Express burning software does that automatically.

I have just converted a Vob file to Mpeg2 using Vob2Mpg, then opened that Mpeg2 in WMM2 then saved after editing, 3. Finish Movie, Save to My computer, Other Settings, as high quality video PAL,not NTSC (I'm in the UK ), then in my Nero Vision Express I've burnt as DVD.
Obviously this initial converting from Vob to Mpeg2 would be avoided if you could find a suitable video editing program to accept Vob in the first place, as would the saving as a WMV file of a slightly reduced quality in WMM2 after editing.

You mentioned extracting about ten minutes from 3 hours worth of DVD material, I think if you only have 10 Gb of hard drive free you are going to have to just work with one Vob file at a time from your Video_TS folder, convert to Mpeg2, edit the Mpeg2 then save as a file on your hard drive as high quality video in WMM2, then delete the Mpeg2 conversion, then keep doing this through the other Vob files, finally joining together all your saved work files in WMM2, making one final file and with your DVD burning software, burning as a DVD Video disc, 3 hours worth of DVD would fill your hard drive otherwise.

As a matter of routine I'd delete any progs I didn't need or use any more, do a disc clean up to remove temp files, temp internet files etc, stop unnecessary programs running at startup, schedule a scan disc at boot time, then do a defrag and every time I save a file from WMM2 I'd do a defrag again, I always defrag after rendering a video file, reboot and then burn and when working with video switch the modem and anti-virus off.
Hope any of this helps, Les.

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Wow, Les... Thanks!
by charlesmayo / May 11, 2007 10:24 PM PDT
In reply to: DVD or VCD

Great info, thanks very much for taking the time to post it. I'd have been very annoyed to have gone through all this grief and wound up with a 300x200 video but I just didn't know what all those different formats were.

I also appreciate the performance tuning tips. Since my jerky video issues have been the same in nearly every app I've tried, I was thinking of clearing a bunch more disk space and defragging but was hesitant to spend that kind of time at an effort as just a shot in the dark. With your info, though, that's just what I'm going to do.

I hope Audrey's still reading the thread so she can get her project started too.

Thanks again to EVERYONE who's posted. Ain't the internet great?

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Re: Wow, Les...Thanks!
by AMosello2 / May 11, 2007 11:18 PM PDT
In reply to: Wow, Les... Thanks!

Yes, I am reading all the threads so thanks to Les and to you! I'm not sure if I'm understanding all this info, but I think I will foward it to my son who is in school studying game design. Maybe he can help me use all this information. Again thanks. I'll let you know how I make out, and will be anxious to hear how your project is going as well.

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Hi Audrey
by charlesmayo / May 11, 2007 11:48 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Wow, Les...Thanks!

I'll try to post a step-by-step for you once I get the steps defined and figured out. Essentially, you're going to copy your DVD's VOB files to your drive, convert them to MPEG2 format, then import them into MM. From that point, you're pretty familiar with the process until it's time to export, at which time we'll need to identify an app for you to use to convert the Windows Media files that MM will create to DVD format. It shouldn't be too difficult.

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Link to Free Converter
by AMosello2 / May 12, 2007 9:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Hi Audrey

Do you have the link that Les sent for the free VOB2MPEG free converter link? Thanks again for all your help and info!!

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Here ya go...
by charlesmayo / May 12, 2007 11:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Link to Free Converter
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Using WMM2
by Les28 / May 12, 2007 7:22 PM PDT
In reply to: Wow, Les... Thanks!

Charles, apart from getting the pc lean again your main constraint maybe the available hard disc space, hence the one vob at a time then delete thing.

I would look at reducing the system restore and temporary internet default cache sizes and the recycle bin default size. Also a good clean up free prog often mentioned on this forum is ccleaner, have a read of the tutorial before using.

Never have screensavers or power saving monitor features running when working with video. Have a look at for finding what's needed to run at startup and what isn't and have a look in task manager at your process tab.

Have a look here at mpeg details, another free video trial incidently

and here for vob details

As mentioned before, your video DVD burning software should burn the WMV file you create in WMM2 as a playable DVD, if it didn't and you had need to convert from WMV to MPEG2 before burning you could use the free 3nity video converter for that.

Try the one vob after you've tidied up the machine, see if it burns and plays OK, there's probably no susbstitute for a full blown video editing prog like Arcsoft or many others that will accept your DVD discs from the camera and take it right through to DVD video disc to play, there is a learning curve either way, but good luck, Les.

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How is your project progressing?
by AMosello2 / June 13, 2007 8:49 AM PDT
In reply to: Wow, Les... Thanks!

I was just wondering how your project was coming along. Were you able to edit from your DVD's successfully? I haven't even tried yet, but I will be going to see my son next week and I'm hoping he'll be able to sort things out for me.
And by the way, are you related to any "Mayo"s in New Jersey? I have a nephew, Robert Mayo. His father was a lawyer...

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Multimedia: How to rip & edit DVD video on Windows XP
by GrandpaEd / May 13, 2007 4:41 AM PDT
In reply to: DVD or VCD

Hi Les 28 (and charlesmayo and Audry too)
I have been following your conversation on editing DVDs with great interest. I?m putting some 8 mm family movie film (circa 1950-60s) on DVDs via a Walmart service. Brightness and quality suffers and some of the original movies are dark to begin with.

Is it possible to brighten the DVD movies as using some of the software that you and Charles have been discussing? I?m running Windows XP with a Celeron D processor 330 that I think is too slow etc. but I?d be willing to upgrade the computer if editing such DVDs was possible.

Any advice would be appreciated and thanks for your advice you?ve already posted.


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