iToolSoft produce a wide range of ripping and conversion software. And, at the moment, they are giving away their popular DVD Ripper software – it’s 100% clean of viruses, etc, and is restriction free.
It’s a 15.5 MB download and 60.9 MB once installed.
It’s quick to start and uses it’s own GUI, rather than the Windows “standard”. It’s not too different, so isn’t too bothersome (I hate it when software operates totally different to everything else – Apple software is a good example of this). One thing I wasn’t keen on was that the fonts used were not smoothed by ClearType, obviously showing that the GUI was “doing it’s own thing” rather than being handled by Windows (and I’m sure if it was, the download and install sizes would be smaller!).
It’s let down a little by some spelling and grammar mistakes, but its very easy to use. Simple choose the DVD drive that you wish to rip and then either select a profile or create your own. There are profiles for all sorts of devices in different categories, and selecting one of these chooses suitable conversion formats, including resolutions, file types, etc. There’s lots for Apple devices, but when it comes to mobile phones it gets a bit more general, so in my case I’d have to set up my own for my Android phone. Obviously, there are a lot of phones on the market, but catering for some of the more popular, other than Apple, would have been nice.
There’s a preview window, from which you can take screenshots, and a few user-changeable options. But not many. You can also edit video – this is a very simply editor which simply allows you to “clip” parts from it where needed. There are no instructions as part of the installation and the website has some sketchy help, but it’s not a great deal – you’re going to have to work out most of it for yourself.
To test it, I ripped a region 2 copy of Star Trek First Contact to .mov format. Obviously, depending on the various profile options selected, and the length of the film, conversion time will vary. In this case it took around 70 minutes – but this is certainly something you can leave and come back to later. You’ll probably struggle to use the computer at the same time, as it will attempt to use maximum CPU usage (across all cores). There is a “background” option, but this seems to simply send the program to the system tray, rather than reduce CPU use so that the computer can be used for other things (which is what I assumed it was for).
The rip results were very good and I had no complaints about the quality.
I then tried Star Trek Generations – specifically because I have this on Region 1. Windows Media Player refused to play it unless I change my region number (and you can only change this a number of times). However, DVD Ripper had no issues and played and copied it without a problem.
A couple of little foibles – it wasn’t unknown for the time remaining (of the rip) to go into the negative. Also, when you select the option to “check for updates” (assuming because there were no updates) no message was returned, so you wasn’t sure if it had done anything or not.
This review was for the FREE version of the iToolSoft DVD Ripper. A commercial version is also available with the same name for approx $26, and includes additional options such as video editing facilities.
[review]Good, solid DVD copier – lots of conversion options, although a few more that weren’t Apple themed would be nice. Lacks decent instructions but it does its job easily and with a minimum of fuss. And, best of all, it’s free.[/review]