How do I edit content from a DVD?

How do I edit content from a DVD?

It seems more and more common that editors are being asked to use content from a DVD- perhaps the client has provided you with last years annual report DVD… and wants you to redit it. (Remember, ripping off copyrighted content is a Federal offense with imprisonment and large fines possible!)

You can use MacTheRipper to get the content from a DVD on your hard drive (OS X only)

MPEG Streamclip is an application that converts MPEG files (including transport streams) into muxed, demuxed, QuickTime, AVI and DV files.

Here is a tutorial on extracting content with MPEG Streamclip, but it specifies DV codec, which you will in most cases want to avoid – use Pro Res, PJPEG or other higher quality codec instead.


  1. Pom16/10e 17 years ago

    There is an app for pro results in this DVD-to-edit job.
    It’s called DVDxDV and is by far the best solution, since it does this conversion very nicely, in one single pass (extracting then encoding with ffmpeg works -and that’s how i do it- but you have to deal with the sound in a second pass)
    It even allows you to extract to a 10bits uncompressed file, with awesome results (if the DVD was encoded fine that is)

    But if you are looking for a free solution, mactheripper (or yadeX) then ffmpegX to encode in DV is the way to go. just remember to make two passes : one for picture, one for sound, then merge them in FCP, save as a standalone moovie, and this is your “media” file to start editing with.

  2. Author
    /**/ 17 years ago

    mpegstreamclip will get you from VOB to a range of formats in one go:

    (and it’s a lot faster than ffmpeg 🙂 )

  3. Josh 17 years ago

    Here is another, an open source Windows app:

  4. Rick Sustek 16 years ago

    Just heard of iSquint, at also!

  5. Rick Sustek 16 years ago

    …okay, iSquint is simply a GUI front end over the ‘ffmpeg’ program. So it essentially makes using ‘ffmpeg’ easier.

  6. Tyrone 16 years ago

    When using Handbrake, if I want the best quality video file to be imported, what format should I use? (eg. avi, mp4, h.264)

    • Vanessa 14 years ago

      I have a clients wedding video – not copywritghted I used handbreak to pull off m4v files and converted to .mov through quick time but fCp won’t recognize. It likes the .dv files I made through quick time put I lost quality.

      Do you know which settings to go from Handbrake and then in quick time for best quality.
      I’ve been troubleshooting for two days because the exports take so long.

      Thanks for any help you can offer.

  7. Ellie 16 years ago

    I am getting sporadic audio dropouts when I ‘export to quicktime’ my VOB files. I’m an exporting in progressive format with IMA 4:1 audio format at 48khz. I have also tried using Uncompressed audio at 48khz. I can’t figure out what the problem is. Any ideas?

  8. Josh 16 years ago

    Uncompressed is what you want.

    What are you using? Handbrake? ffmpegx? MacTheRipper?

  9. Lis 16 years ago

    when importing my Video TS folder into final cut express, it says it doesnt recognise the files and wont import them. Any idea how i can fix this?

  10. Jessica 15 years ago

    This is all so confusing. Why can’t their just be something that rips a DVD into files that Final Cut can read automatically? Why would I want to rip VOB files and the like anyway. If I want to copy a DVD, I can do that on my home DVD player which costs much less than a Mac and Final Cut editing software!

  11. tuco 15 years ago

    Another option, maybe less popular because of “shell shock” of the GUI generation, is to use vobcopy. For popular Linux distros, it is snap to install. It is a shell application that you can do a few things with. One is mirror the DVD to hard drive. For OSX, just install Fink and do the “apt-get install” thing. I find it’s slow on OSX but on my Linux box it rips fast.

  12. Alex 14 years ago

    This is just odd. In Premiere, all I had to do was install an MPEG 2 codec and I can edit VOB files with sound directly….. Why is there no solution like this for FCP?

  13. Linsey Kennedy 14 years ago

    I am trying to get footage off a DVD into FCP to edit. Its footage a company made and want it incorporated into their promotional video so its not copyrighted.
    I cant download anything because im at work and its a company computer and im unsure about downloading anything. They have a video converter but it doesnt seem to work.

  14. Josh 14 years ago

    Linsey, You will need to download some of the apps listed above.

  15. Randy 14 years ago

    Josh, I use Handbrake. Should I convert the DVD into DIVX? Problem is, the audio doesn’t stay rendered for some reason, only the video does (once inside the FCE timeline).

    I uses Handbrake to capture from the DVD, and then Quicktime to convert to DIVX. It worked last time i tried almost a year ago, but I wonder if there have been updates to FCE that now prevent such conversions?

  16. Bob 14 years ago

    Funny, but I have been captureing video from DVD’s for several months through Final cut Pro, did not know I needed specialized software to do this. I capture it and Im able to edit any part I want within FCP! If anyone wants to now what Im doing, just write.

    • nick shelley 14 years ago

      “Funny, but I have been captureing video from DVD’s for several months through Final cut Pro, did not know I needed specialized software to do this. I capture it and Im able to edit any part I want within FCP! If anyone wants to now what Im doing, just write.”

      Please enlighten me.

      Thank you

    • BILL COLBARY 14 years ago

      I would love some instruction on how you import please

  17. Elin 14 years ago

    Hi Bob,

    I would very much like to know how you import dvd footage into fcp without having to use extra applications….thanks…:-)

    • Bob Barney 14 years ago

      No problem with sharing, it’s my pleasure. I have been needing to answer this question for quite sometime, I have just had too many irons in the fire. Basically I use my HDR-FX1 as a hardware interface by hooking it up my DVD player VIA RCA and then capture manually in FCP! Obviously i’m hooked up with firewire from the Camera to the MAC. Anymore questions, feel free and happy editing!

      • kilowatt 13 years ago

        thankx bob, and all the others, easy does it, bypass. But without HDR-FX1;
        iMovieHD gets VOB-files straigt of the DVD, so you don’t need to enter the whole film, iMovie’08 doesn’t, so keep an iMovie HD somewhere (it takes a hell of a time). Once you saved them, you enter them in FCP or FCE. This is how far I got. No sound though in FCP, howcome? How to prevent loss of quality of the image? I do care less about the sound.

  18. Loek 13 years ago

    Question, i got my old video vhs-c E45 tapes on dvd, and like to start editing the story.
    I have final cut pro 5.1.4 on the mac but i can not import the following dvd files names;


    They are quicktime player 7.6 documents and Unix-bestanden.(maby it is window stuff)

    Do you know who i can ask to get it rolling..

  19. Joan 13 years ago

    Hi Bob,

    thanks a lot! What is an RCA?

    thanks, Joan

  20. Christopher Newbury 13 years ago

    Thanks for the guide. QUite a few of my precious dvd are getting scratched, so time to make some backups!

  21. Kalin 13 years ago

    I would suggest using Cinematize or Cinematize Pro. Works great, and seems a little more elegant and easier to use than Mpeg-Streamclip. I also couldn’t figure out how to get StreamClip to preserve the correct aspect ratio. It seems it only lets you choose 16:9 or 4:3. That just won’t cut it.

    Also Mac DVDRipper Pro has ripped anything I’ve thrown at it. MactheRipper is abandonware at this point if I’m not mistaken…

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