Petter Reinholdtsen

Ripping problematic DVDs using dvdbackup and genisoimage
17th September 2011

For convenience, I want to store copies of all my DVDs on my file server. It allow me to save shelf space flat while still having my movie collection easily available. It also make it possible to let the kids see their favourite DVDs without wearing the physical copies down. I prefer to store the DVDs as ISOs to keep the DVD menu and subtitle options intact. It also ensure that the entire film is one file on the disk. As this is for personal use, the ripping is perfectly legal here in Norway.

Normally I rip the DVDs using dd like this:

# apt-get install lsdvd
title=$(lsdvd 2>/dev/null|awk '/Disc Title: / {print $3}')
dd if=/dev/dvd of=/storage/dvds/$title.iso bs=1M

But some DVDs give a input/output error when I read it, and I have been looking for a better alternative. I have no idea why this I/O error occur, but suspect my DVD drive, the Linux kernel driver or something fishy with the DVDs in question. Or perhaps all three.

Anyway, I believe I found a solution today using dvdbackup and genisoimage. This script gave me a working ISO for a problematic movie by first extracting the DVD file system and then re-packing it back as an ISO.

# apt-get install lsdvd dvdbackup genisoimage
set -e
title=$(lsdvd 2>/dev/null|awk '/Disc Title: / {print $3}')
dvdbackup -i /dev/dvd -M -o $tmpdir -n$title
genisoimage -dvd-video -o $tmpdir/$title.iso $tmpdir/$title
rm -rf $tmpdir/$title

Anyone know of a better way available in Debian/Squeeze?

Update 2011-09-18: I got a tip from Konstantin Khomoutov about the readom program from the wodim package. It is specially written to read optical media, and is called like this: readom dev=/dev/dvd f=image.iso. It got 6 GB along with the problematic Cars DVD before it failed, and failed right away with a Timmy Time DVD.

Next, I got a tip from Bastian Blank about his program python-dvdvideo, which seem to be just what I am looking for. Tested it with my problematic Timmy Time DVD, and it succeeded creating a ISO image. The git source built and installed just fine in Squeeze, so I guess this will be my tool of choice in the future.

Tags: english, opphavsrett, video.

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