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Digital Media

Get WinX DVD Ripper Platinum for free

Still clinging to that DVD collection? Take a weekend and convert those movies to digital format for phones, tablets, etc. Plus: one of my favorite sci-fi movies on sale for $6, including Blu-ray, DVD and digital!

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.


Digiarty

Not long ago I suggested that no one was interested in buying a computer with a DVD drive, because no one uses DVDs anymore.

Apparently I was wrong! (You'd think I'd be accustomed to that by now.) In fact, many of you still covet DVD drives, in part because you still have DVD movies. Furthermore, several people asked me for a DVD ripper, something I haven't shared in a looong time.

So here you go: For a limited time, you can get a free copy of Digiarty WinX DVD Ripper Platinum (Windows). All you need is an email address. Do take note, though, that although this giveaway version is fully functional, it doesn't include tech support or updates.

Update: Apparently the free copies have run out, but only for today; there should be more tomorrow (and for the next 11 days). You can still get it, though, by sharing the offer on Facebook or Twitter.

Once you've supplied your email address, you'll be able to download the giveaway version, a zipped file containing both the application and a readme file. Open the readme file; it contains the license key needed to activate the software.

If you don't, you'll end up with just the trial version, and then you'll post an angry "bait and switch!" comment here, and then everyone (myself included) will make fun of you.

A DVD what-now?

In case you're unfamiliar with the concept, a DVD ripper converts your discs to digital formats (just about any format you might want: AVI, MP4, WMV, etc.). You will, of course, need a PC that has a DVD-ROM drive.

You'll also need some time, as the ripping process can take awhile. It's been years since I converted a DVD, but I seem to recall anywhere from 15-20 minutes per disc. So it's a good weekend project.

The goal, of course, is to liberate those movies from their physical prisons so you can watch them on your phone, tablet, laptop or the like. And why not? You paid for them, so it stands to reason you should be able to view them when and where you please. Copyright law backs this up -- it's "fair use."

You could also use a media server like Plex to sling your ripped movies to your TV by way of, say, a Roku box. But keep in mind that DVD resolution is on the low side, so images will look at little softer than you're used to.

My question: Do you even still have DVDs? And a PC with a DVD drive? If so, here's a great tool for an unbeatable price. Go forth and rip!

edge-of-tomorrow-poster.jpg

A guilty pleasure, or just a pleasure? Either way, $6 well spent.

Warner Home Video

Bonus deal: Speaking of movies... Lately on Twitter (you follow me, right?), I've been sharing some movie and TV recommendations, simply because I love movies and TV. So then I got to thinking, why not share some deals as well? Like this one: For a limited time, Best Buy has the Tom Cruise sci-fi vehicle "Edge of Tomorrow" Blu-ray/DVD/digital for $5.99.

Widely overlooked in theaters but bordering on cult-classic now, this action-packed "'Groundhog Day' with aliens" is relentlessly entertaining. And you don't need to rip either disc because it includes an UltraViolet license for a digital copy.

If you purchase prior to tomorrow, you'll also get a code for $8 off admission to "Kong: Skull Island," though you have to use that coupon by April 4. A buddy dragged me to see the movie last weekend; it's beyond terrible, but I do have to acknowledge the seriously impressive special effects. Seriously, though, Hollywood -- enough with the monkey movies!

Loftek

Bonus deal 2: Father's Day is still a couple months away, but no harm in planning ahead. I can think of at least one dad (you're looking at him) who would appreciate a portable LED work-light that's also a power bank. Like this one: the Loftek 10w LED work light for $33.49 shipped with promo code 10W4400M. Regular price: $42.99.

It has a 4.5-star average rating and, arguably just as impressive, an "A" grade from Fakespot. The cute little light includes a 4,400mAh battery that lasts more than four hours on a charge and has a USB port for charging mobile devices.