I was given a marvellous DVD of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain for Christmas, and wanted to get the audio tracks off on to my iPod, along with the superb Glyndebourne Theodora (which I recently bought on DVD). Neither has a CD version, and I though that given that I own the DVDs, I thought that ripping the audio was probably OK. I also assumed that I could find some free programs to do this, rather than paying for it.

It wasn’t simple. I ended up using the Mac. I have FFMPEG and Perian installed (not sure if either matters).

First, use MacTheRipper to get each chapter off individually (you have to select Mode when the DVD has been scanned, then Title-Chapter Extraction, then SChptX for each of 1-N where N is the number of chapters. I had to press Go on each one to ensure I got multiple files to convert to MP3). You might get different file types (I had PCM on one and AC3 on the other).

For PCM: use Audacity to convert the PCM files to MP3s (use File>Import raw data to get the PCM file into Audacity, then use the File>Export>MP3 to get the file you need).

For AC3 use MPEG Streamclip to convert AC3 files to MP3s (File>Open Files. you may have an “unsupported file” error, but say open anyway. Then File>Export Audio then format MP3 and OK).

Then import the MP3s into iTunes and good to go you are.