[Review] Extra DVD to 3GP Ripper

{rw_text}Giveaway of the day for May 9, 2009 is:

Extra DVD to 3GP Ripper

Version reviewed:

v6.41

Software description as per GOTD:

Extra DVD to 3GP Ripper is flexible and easy to use DVD ripper software. It can quickly convert DVD movies to Mobile 3GP without any loss of quality. It is super fast, with incredible output quality. With Extra DVD to 3GP Ripper, you can watch the DVD screen while ripping, and monitor the process. Enjoy movies anywhere, anytime!

Key features:

  • Rips DVD to Mobile 3GP file formats.
  • Various settings provide flexibility and effectiveness of the output.
  • Offers a choice of which subtitles and Audio tracks to rip.
  • Output file size is adjustable. You can compress movies to any size you need.
  • You can see the ripping progress in a preview window.
  • Supports both NTSC and PAL video formats.

Ashraf’s Note:

All information, tips and advice given in this post should only be used within the constraints of the law. In other words if you  do anything illegal with Extra DVD to 3GP Ripper I am not responsible!

————————-{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Simple and easy to use.
  • Not too bad on computer resources.
  • Allows you to choose from multiple different “profiles” for output 3GP video.
  • Can by-pass DRM protection (for legal backups only of course ^_-).
  • You can pick and choose which part of the DVD to “record”.
  • Good output quality.
  • Decent conversion speed.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • Needs a third party program to assist it in playing region locked DVDs.
  • DVD aspect ratios are not carried over.
  • “Fast forwarding” past the titles doesn’t work properly for me.
  • I get an error whenever trying to record “from beginning to end”. Fixed with a creative solution.
  • When trying to record from start to finish, some “extra” unwanted video may be recorded.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Features as Described” value=”10″}Claims to be able to convert DVDs to 3GP and it does.
{/for}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”9″}Very easy to use except for the fact that you must make sure to start recording your DVD on time.
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”9″}Doesn’t use out of the norm computer resources. Output quality and size is good. However the aspect ratios are not carried over and that is annoying.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”5″}Handheld devices are used all over the world – many people may want to watch their movies on them. Others, however, may not.
{/for}
{for=”Arbitrary Equalizer” value=”8″}This category reflects an arbitrary number that does not specifically stand for anything. Rather this number is used to reflect my overall rating/verdict of the program in which I considered all the features and free alternatives.
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[tupr]
{/rw_verdict} –>

Registration and installation went fine. Be sure to manually enter the registration name and code.

Extra DVD to 3GP Ripper is a program that allows you to turn your DVDs into 3GP videos. For those that don’t know 3GP videos are the preferred video format for hand held devices like cell phones. So just at the forefront that begs the question “why would anyone need to turn a DVD into a 3GP video”? I personally don’t see why you would want to watch a full DVD video on a small hand-held device like your cell phone. At best I can see this program useful for homemade videos – something like family memories that you want to carry around with you. But hey some people may need this program (for whatever reason) and my job is to tell you if the program is worth the download or not.

How Extra DVD to 3GP Ripper works is that it literally “records” your DVD while playing it. Then after recording your DVD it saves the recording into a .3GP video. Therefore since ED3R (Extra DVD to 3GP Ripper) “records” your DVD while it plays instead of trying to convert it directly, ED3R bypasses DRM protection. In other words you can make back up copies of your DRM protected DVDs without much/any problem. The only thing is if you have a region locked DVD you need a program called DVD43. DVD43 allows you to play/burn region locked DVDs on your computer. It sits in the background and automatically detects when a region locked DVD is put in. The system try icon turns green when it has successfully unlocked the DVD.

This is what the program window looks like:

2009-05-09_022428

The program is pretty simple to use:

  • Choose what “profile” you want to use:

2009-05-09_022643

The profiles you can choose from vary in output video resolution, sound type, quality, etc.:

extra-dvd-to-3gp-ripper-profiles

  • After you have selected a profile, you have to load your DVD (from an actual DVD or a folder from your computer – works with both) into Extra DVD to 3GP Ripper. You can do this by clicking on the “Load” button at the bottom or going to “Control” -> “Open DVD”.
  • Once you have your DVD loaded by default Extra DVD to 3GP Ripper is set to skip the titles and go straight to the movie. However I found this to be buggy for the two DVDs I tested (it kept looping the videos and would not let me record) and I had to turn it off from options (“Setting” -> “Option…” -> Uncheck “Fast Forward to…”). Regardless of if you turn this feature off or not once you come to the actual movie part of the DVD you must hit “Convert now” button to start the recording process:

2009-05-09_023948

  • A window will popup asking you if you want to start recording the DVD from the current point it is at and to the end or to specify the times to record:

2009-05-09_023956

One error I keep encountering when trying to record from the start to the beginning is this:

2009-05-09_024840

For the longest time I could not figure out how to fix this. I eventually came to the conclusion that the program is bugged because obviously my end time (“To time”) is not more than my total movie time (both are set to 4:51). However I figured out that inorder to avoid the error shown above all I have to do is lower the end time (“To time”) by one second. Now this isn’t the perfect solution, because you loose a second of your original video, but it is a solution.

Also one thing to keep in mind when using the “Set beginning to end…” option is that when you click “OK” it takes ED3R a few seconds to restart the video. During these few seconds the video that is currently playing is recorded. So at the start of your video you may have a few unwanted seconds of footage. I say may because on some of my videos this unwanted footage is recorded while others it is not. I honestly don’t know why.

  • Wait for the video to finish recording. It does not take long – it took me just under 1 minute and 30 seconds to fully record and convert my 4 min 51 second long DVD into its 3GP version. Also, system resource usage is not too bad while converting either: it was costing me ~40 MB of RAM and ~50% CPU which are normal for video converters. When the recordering has finished, a window will popup telling you that:

2009-05-09_025625

Once you click “OK” you are done. The folder where you saved your 3GP video should open up – go enjoy your 3GP video.

Last thing to note that a 167 MB DVD was converted into a 12.6 MB 3GP. It took me just under 1 minute and 30 seconds to convert as I already mentioned above. The “profile” I used was 2009-05-09_031009.

You can download the original DVD from here (for free – 100% legit). You can download the 3GP version I created from here.

Overall I give Extra DVD to 3GP Ripper a thumbs up. As I said I personally don’t see why people would want to watch a DVD on such a small screen but at merit ED3R is a good program – you can decide if you need it or not. While I have explained a few of my “The Bad” already in my review above the one I have not yet is my biggest con against this program: not keeping DVD aspect ratios.

As we all know DVDs are “special” in the sense that they have designated resolutions/aspect ratios they must follow. The two resolutions of 3GPs you can create (320×240 and 176×144) don’t really follow those rules. In other words when viewing a DVD as a 3GP created by ED3R the aspect ratio “feels off”. Now I understand the resolution/ratio is a hardware based restriction – i.e. the hand-held devices have small standard-size screens. However I would have liked if the developer of ED3R added in some option to create a  3GP video that keeps the DVD ratio aspects – even if you have to add black bars to the top and bottom of the video.

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_freea}

FormatFactory

With FormatFactory, you can literally convert almost anything to anything. If you have this program, you will never need another conversion program ever again.

This is from the developers website:

Format Factory is a multifunctional media converter.
Provides functions below:
All to MP4/3GP/MPG/AVI/WMV/FLV/SWF.
All to MP3/WMA/AMR/OGG/AAC/WAV.
All to JPG/BMP/PNG/TIF/ICO/GIF/TGA.
Rip DVD to video file , Rip Music CD to audio file.
MP4 files support iPod/iPhone/PSP/BlackBerry format.
Source files support RMVB.

Format Factory’s Feature:

  1. support converting all popular video,audio,picture formats to others.
  2. Repair damaged video and audio file.
  3. Reducing Multimedia file size.
  4. Support iphone,ipod multimedia file formats.
  5. Picture converting supports Zoom,Rotate/Flip,tags.
  6. DVD Ripper.
  7. Supports 42 languages

—————-

FormatFactory also has a DVD ripper feature that allows you to convert to 3GP (+ a lot more other formats). The DVD ripper of FF is better than ED3R except for one difference: ED3R can bypass DRM while FF cannot.

However if you combine FF with DVD43 you may also be able to bypass DRM. I say may because I have not fully tested this theory yet.

{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}While I have personal reservations about converting DVDs to 3GP (the screens are too small!) I must give Extra DVD to 3GP Ripper a thumbs up. While ED3R is not perfect (my biggest gripe with ED3R is the aspect ratio issue) it can bypass DRM (w/ a little assistance from DVD43), conversions are done at a decent speed, it is not more resources intensive than the norm and output quality is good. That being said if you have lots of DRM protected DVDs I recommend you get ED3R. Even if you don’t think you will need to convert your DVDs to 3GP (for legal use only), you can always use ED3R to convert DVD -> 3GP (to bypass the DRM) then use FormatFactory to convert 3GP -> a more useful format (for legal use only). For everyone else: just stick to FormatFactory.
{/rw_verdict2} –>

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13 comments

  1. Tortuga

    Hi Ash
    Hope you are well & Studies are going stupendously :D

    So, was truly disappointed when I came here this morning and saw you hadn’t review ShellLess.
    Then went to GOTD and started reading the comments & stumbled into your post …
    Well, I thought right away: Darn, I must be blind!!!
    So came back here and … … …
    I’m still blind!

    Can’t find any review or entry relating to it!!
    WHERE IS IT??
    Someone is hiding it for ransom? ;-)

    Peace

    PS: Yes, editing is working just fine. YEAHHHH :D • :D

  2. DavID

    If you were to directly try to remove DRM then you had better have deep pockets to fight lawsuits against APPLE. Nobody wants to do it in the USA and nobody wants to even sell it if it comes from across the pond either, same APPLE lawyers will get you. so just play it, no harm done and copy it, n harm done. A little loss will never be missed unless you setup a Laboratory to find it.

  3. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    WE,
    Well it “plays” in fast forward mode while it records so you don’t actually have to sit there and wait for the whole movie to play. It takes about 1/4 of the total movie play to record the movie.

    GOTD actually offered Extra DVD’s full version of this software (i.e. can convert more than to 3GP) in the past. But I don’t know any freewares.

    And thanks.

  4. windowsexplorer

    Oops, sorry, my bad, but based on what I’ve seen here of your work, I’m sure you did well on your finals and probably even aced them. From my perspective and a regular reader, I was just trying to call it as I was seeing it, and pass that along to you for your use as you see fit. My memory on the Wondershare was apparently wrong, for which I apologize, but I do have a related question, namely, if you have to play it then copy it in order to legally remove DRM, that would take a lot longer, so is there any free (and legal if possible) way to both remove DRM and shorten the time factor? If not legal freeware, then maybe there is a commercial or shareware product that we could hope GOTD will offer? Or even better, of course, one that dotTech could make available to us. I can always hope, and good luck on any remaining finals you may have.

  5. David Roper

    Windowsexplorer said:

    another reason to prefer a Format Factory/DVD43 combo if it actually works.

    Here goes without trying to make enemies.

    Neither FF or DRM43 will remove the dreaded DRM protection.

    FF will change formats,DRM43 will neutralize the region code. I know, I know it is called DRM43, but it’s not what it does.

    To get around that DRM protection legally you have to “play” the music and then “instantly” record what is playing. Think of playing it at home and putting a recorder in front of the speakers. Stupid I know, when it’s all there. Bad process because when it plays you lose “something” rather than direct decoding and coding from the orig data.

    It’s not enough difference for most folks, like me who don’t hear as well as I used to. Just turn up the music at a party. Who cares if a little sound is degraded.

    It’s NOT illegal doing this so long as the music is played first.
    That’s the catch.

    Ashraf, some of the rippers on the web that sell for $50-60 use this play/copy way if they claim to get around DRM. It’s the only way to do it legally and stay in business. Play and copy is the “key”.

    next…anyone?

  6. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @David

    $50 programs out there that will record DRM music to a “virtual” harddrive and then you copy from there. Same idea, I think. Your call.??

    I am afraid I have never heard of these programs so I don’t know.

  7. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    WE,
    One word: finals.

    The other Wondershare program “from the other day” could not break DRM as far as I know.

    There is always some loss of quality obviously. However it was not like the end product was unwatchable – it was still better quality then most of the junk you see streaming on the internet. The three step process is a free work around – it won’t be perfect. If you want direct DRM break burning you can always purchase their full version…

    Lastly: you can always click on GOTD reviews from my homepage – I just took away a dedicated widget and merged the reviews into my other widget. Look at it now if you don’t believe me.

  8. windowsexplorer

    First, I have to wonder why this got reviewed while others did not. It seems like you are getting away from the thing that really put you on the map and still drives a lot of traffic to your site: GOTD reviews. To some extent this is also true of your most recent rejuggling of your home page, where you now have to drill down the GOTD review listings, instead of having the latest ones prominently featured and clickable. In the words of that old country saying, you might want to keep dancing with the one that brung you.

    Second, I understand that converting between different video formats usually causes a loss of quality each time that you convert, but if you addressed this issue, I missed it, especially where you suggest one conversion to get rid of DRM (for legal use) and another to get back to the format you actually want to use. Seems like an unreviewed prog the other day would do that directly, I think it was the Wondershare one. In other words, I am told, the fewer conversions you have to perform, the better the quality of the final video. If that is right, then wouldn’t you want to have it undergo fewer conversions if possible? That would be another reason to prefer a Format Factory/DVD43 combo if it actually works, so maybe we’ll soon hear the results of some testing on that. (Oh, for Legal use only.)

  9. David Roper

    This method of getting around the damned DRM sounds like a perfect solution. There are several $50 programs out there that will record DRM music to a “virtual” harddrive and then you copy from there. Same idea, I think. Your call.??

    Now if FF could only do this, FF would be “perfect”. But, hey, since both are digital copies, both can be used all day long without “copy loss”.

    Have fun on your vacation, you deserve it.