How To: Rip a Blu-Ray movie on the Mac
Ahhh… Megan Fox’s midriff in stunning HD, as God intended it to be seen.
Last week I tweeted about having successfully ripped my first Blu-Ray disc on the Mac, and while the process wasn’t actually all THAT difficult, quite a few of you inquired about how I did it, and what my hardware/software setup was, so I figured I would throw this quick tutorial up.
First, the most important piece of the equation is that you have a Blu-Ray drive hooked to your Mac. I don’t anticipate Apple including them even as a BTO option any time soon, so your best bet is to go external. I happen to have used a LaCie d2 Blu-Ray 12x USB 2.0 and FireWire Drive 301906U just because we had one kicking around Macenstein Labs. Personally I am not a fan of LaCie’s hard drives (or more importantly, their power supplies) but to be fair the drive performed impeccably and was whisper quiet, so perhaps the external Blu-Ray drive will be their thing.
Most of you are likely familiar with the excellent Handbrake for ripping standard Def DVDs, but while the latest version of the software has added SOME support for reading Blu-Ray folder structures, it cannot yet decrypt the Blu-Ray discs the way it can with regular DVDs, so you’ll need to add an intermediate step. The software you’ll need is called MakeMKV.
Basically what it does is decrypt the Blu-Ray file into a GIANT MKV file (as large as 41 GB or so), which you can then use in Handbrake as a source instead of the Video_TS folder you’re used to in SD ripping. It works well, and reasonably fast, assuming you have a recent-ish system. I found my 2 year old unibody MBP did the decrypt in about real-time.
Step 1: Assuming you have downloaded both MakeMKV and Handbrake the first step is to load your Blu-Ray disc and fire up MakeMKV. The software should recognize the disc, and you can go ahead and hit the button on the left with the Blu-Ray disc and a green arrow pointing towards the hard drive to start the process (see below).
Step 2: You’ll then be presented with a list of chapters and titles that the software found on the disc, somewhat similar to how Handbrake works. You want to choose the largest one with the most chapters listed. I’ve found that depending on the disc, you may only see 2 or 3, as in the shot below, or as many as 15 or so.
Uncheck the other titles, and then twirl open the main one you’ve selected.
Step3: Uncheck everything except the Title, and the first two audio checkboxes (TrueHD 5.1 and DD 3/2) in the language of your choice, and Forced Subtitles (again, in the language of your choice). The hit the green MakeMKV button in the top right.
It should then start cooking.
Step 4: Once the file is done, the workflow is pretty much the same familiar Handbrake workfow you’re used to, except that you’ll be selecting your MKV file as the source instead of the Disc’s Video_TS folder. So fire up Handbrake, Hit SOURCE, select your MKV (possibly named Title00.mkv) and then choose your desired device preset from the preset window on the right. (If you don’t see a list of presets, hit the TOGGLE PRESETS button on the top right).
The only hiccup I have ever run into so far is in selecting the correct audio track. You may remember that when we ripped the movie using MakeMKV, we told it to give us both the TrueHD and the DD3/2 audio. I’m not entirely sure of the difference, but it seems that in my experience, certain discs work better with either track, so I rip both and then choose in Handbrake. For the most part, I choose Track 1 (see below) in Handbrake’s audio tab. What I usually do is choose a random chapter somewhere in the middle of the disc, and just rip a 6 minute section or so to see if everything sounds good. If yes, I then do the whole MKV with that track selected.
So there you have it. Pretty simple. The only thing to keep in mind is that with this workflow, you’re going to need to keep a good 50 GB or so free on your hard drive in order to make your source MKV. Obviously you can throw this out once you’ve made your iPod/iPad/AppleTV version.