For those of you who haven't figured out how to rip and encode your personal DVDs so that they'll play nice with your iPod, check out HandBrake Lite, possibly the most fuss-free method of making yourself a fair-use copy of your favorite DVD. A "holiday gift" from the creator of iPod video conversion software, iSquint, HandBrake Lite basically rips your DVD and formats it for the iPod in one fell swoop. I tested it with the first Lord of the Rings, and the speed and quality were more than satisfactory. In fact, the movie (1.37GB after transcoding) looks brilliant on the little iPod screen. Basically, the simple application locates the movie file on the DVD, then begins converting it to the iPod-compatible 320x240 MP4 format. The rest is pretty simple. The only problem I had was the fact that the iPod died on me just as Gandalf fell into the fiery chasm (2 hours, 9 minutes). Sure, software of this ilk brings up lots of DMCA-related legal issues, but conversion software is only a Google search away.