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Get WinX DVD Ripper Platinum (Win/Mac) for free

This powerful utility can turn your DVDs into digital files for viewing on smartphones, tablets, and optical drive-less laptops. Strings attached: zero.

The latest version of WinX DVD Ripper Platinum supports all the latest smartphones and tablets.
The latest version of WinX DVD Ripper Platinum supports all the latest smartphones and tablets. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

This January I'll be winging my way to the Consumer Electronics Show for the first time in many years. The flight from Michigan takes a good four hours, so I'll need to stock my iPad with plenty of media for the trip.

Because I prefer to watch "comfort shows" when I fly, I'll be bringing along episodes of "Firefly," "Arrested Development," and "The West Wing." I've got the discs right here; just need to find the DVD slot on my iPad.

Oh, right. What I meant was, just need to rip those discs to an iPad-friendly digital format. Does that mean paying for a pricey DVD-ripping utility? Not today: Through Nov. 27, Digiarty Software is offering WinX DVD Ripper Platinum absolutely free. (Mac users can also get MacX DVD Ripper Pro for free, but for purposes of this post, I'll be focusing on the Windows version.)

Because some users invariably have trouble with these giveaways, I'll walk you through the steps:

1. Click the above link that corresponds to the version you want (Windows or Mac).

2. Click Get License Code.

3. Click the Download link to download the program. At the same time, copy the registration code (AA-LERBKVJ-THANGAW for the Windows version, TX-MACXDVD-RIPPER for Mac).

4. Install and run the program. You should immediately see an activation window where you can paste in your registration code. Do so. You must activate the software before Nov. 28, otherwise you'll end up with the trial version.

I've written about Digiarty's rippers before, but it's worth noting that this is an all-new version with an overhauled interface, updated output profiles (for everything from the iPad Mini to the Galaxy S III), and support for Windows 8. It can also make straight copies of DVDs to ISO or MPEG2 format.

I just used it to rip season 2 of "The West Wing," and it worked quickly and effectively. The catch, of course, is that you're not entitled to tech support or updates. But because Digiarty does these giveaways on a regular basis, it's a good bet you'll be able to score future versions just as easily.

If you have a DVD collection you're looking to make mobile, this free utility gets the job done, no fuss, no muss. What's not to like?