Since the Blu-Ray Disc replaced the DVD a few years ago, many people are collecting quite a few Blu-Rays around the house, and want to know how to convert these movies to put on their iPod, computer, iPad, etc.  There’s still an ongoing debate whether copying DVDs or Blu-Rays that you own for your own personal collection is legal, but continue at your own risk, understanding that this does violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.

Things You’ll Need

You’ll need two programs for this process, MakeMKV and Handbrake.  This can be done on both Windows and Mac OS X.

1. A USB Blu-Ray Drive (These can be purchased around the Internet for between $50-100)

2. MakeMKV and Handbrake (links above)

3. At least 40GB of free hard drive space (per Blu-Ray)

1. Ripping the Blu-Ray

Put the Blu-Ray Disc in the drive and wait for it to be recognized by the computer.  On Macs, you should see this icon pop up on your desktop

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and on Windows you should see it appear in “My Computer”. Open MakeMKV and wait for it to recognize the disc and load in all of the chapters. Generally, the movie is the chapter with the largest file size (usually between 20-40GB). Uncheck all other chapters. You can also select subtitles, different audio languages, and Dolby Surround 5.1 or DTS HD (depending on the movie). Uncheck all of the options that you don’t want, (Generally everything that isn’t English) then click on the Blu-Ray drive icon to begin the rip.  Since Blu-Rays have much more encryption than DVDs, it may take several minutes to decrypt the disc.

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Once MakeMKV is done, you should have an MKV file around 30GB in size (depending on the length of the movie).  Don’t worry, the final result will only be around 4GB when it is converted.  Open Handbrake and open the MKV file that MakeMKV just created.  For the best settings and playback on all devices, select the “Universal” preset.  Important: Make sure to check the box that says “Large File Size” or else the movie will be unplayable.  Press the start button, and when Handbrake finishes, your movie has been converted.  If you know what you’re doing, you can change the video and audio settings, such as if you want to retain 5.1 Surround Sound, however certain audio formats will not be playable on certain devices.


You will end up with an M4V file that can be played on Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, and more.