dvd-shrink-introAnyone with an elaborate DVD collection can tell you how much space it takes up. The cost to accumulate such a collection can climb rapidly as you collect more and more. Why wouldn’t you want to back up all of these movies? Or perhaps you are looking to create a digital copy of your DVDs to take them with you while you travel. Whatever the reason, DVD Shrink can help you backup your DVDs.

DVD Shrink will decode and use built in decryption to let you backup your DVD collection. Unlike other options, you can use whatever software you’d like to burn the DVD backup. You can use DVD Shrink to burn your backup if you have newest version of Nero installed.

 Starting out with DVD Shrink

DVD Shrink has a lot of options, but is easy to use. The setup is a standard setup wizard with no surprises. You can choose to launch DVD Shrink at the end of setup.

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When DVD Shrink starts, the main window will look like something like this. This is a good time to play around with the menus and get yourself acquainted with the interface.

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To go any further, you will need a DVD to back up. So go grab your favorite movie. You know, the first DVD you would buy if you lost every single DVD in your collection. Put it in your computer’s optical drive. You should see some sort of pop-up window asking you to select the disc you’d like to back up. If you do not see a window similar to this, click on Open Disc.

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You will be asked which region you want. This will make sure the format is correct to play in your DVD player.

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Getting to know DVD Shrink

You can use DVD Shrink right after the installation and will have great results. There are other options in the settings to get you better results when backing up your DVDs. Here is what the window will look like when the DVD is loaded and DVD Shrink is ready to back up.

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With this movie, you can see in the picture above, there are several check boxes; some are surround sound settings while others are subtitles. When the boxes are unchecked, the quality of the movie’s picture and sound will be better because the extra space is not taken up by the need-not parts of the film you may not use.

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At this point you are ready to rip the DVD to your hard drive so you can burn it to a backup disc. Click the Backup button.

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DVD Shrink in action

DVD Shrink will run a quick analysis on the disc before it starts to rip the movie to your hard drive.

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Once the analysis is complete, you will be asked where you want the files to be created. In the drop-down you have the choice of ripping all of the files to your hard drive or making an ISO Image file. An ISO Image is a great choice for backing up a software installation disc. The default location is on your root C drive. You can change the location by clicking on browse.

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Ripping a DVD with DVD Shrink

DVD Shrink runs at a low priority process. What that means is, ripping may take a lot longer at time depending what other applications are running on your computer at the same time.

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When you click OK to start the encoding, DVD Shrink will start to rip the disc to your hard drive. There will be a progress screen telling you how far into the encoding the disc is. Optionally, you can enable the Video Preview so you can see how far into the movie the process is.

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DVD Shrink files

After the encoding is done,  there will be a notification letting you know the process is finished and where to find the files. If you ripped the DVD with the optional setting to have a separate Video TS folder, the link in the pop-up window will take you there when clicked. Otherwise you will be taken to the main folder for the ripped DVD files.

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If you want, you could use your media player (e.g. VLC) to test the output of the DVD rip to make sure everything works. Test the menus and other functions before you use a burning software to compress and burn the files to a DVD.

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Conclusion

While there are potential copyright issues, having a backup of your DVDs and software  installation discs can be a lifesaver if the original discs become unplayable in the future. As mentioned earlier, if you are looking to make your DVD collection more portable, this is a great place to start. While the DVD files are somewhat compressed, they aren’t going to play well with your mobile device.

Download DVD Shrink.

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