My new laptop doesn't have optical disk reader anymore. So I need to save my DVD on a more readable format for my different devices (HDD MediaCenter, iPad, computer, ...). Iso files are enormous and I just would like to get 700Mo video files.

For the moment I've saved a dozen of my DVD on ISO disk image format. What tool can I easily used to perform the last conversion to a common video format (like avi)?

Must to have :

  • Runs on Windows or Linux (or web-app but it would surprise me...)
  • Gratis
  • Ability of queuing file conversions (batch mode)
  • Ability to choose the language track to export
  • Common video format output (avi prefered)

Other informations :

  • No GUI requirement but nice to have
  • My DVD can have many channels but I just need stereo support (and only one language sound-track)
  • Optional subtitle support
  • No specific quality or size is required for output, if output file is too heavy I can correct it with another software. Of course if many software fits my needs, quality will become a criterion to choose the soft.
  • Final format must be .AVI. .MKV or .MP4 or some other format is not acceptable?
    – danijelc
    Feb 26, 2014 at 15:21
  • @danijelc I prefer .avi but I accept .mkv and .mp4 (or other well known format). Feb 26, 2014 at 15:33

4 Answers 4


I'll presume the DVDs aren’t copy protected since they are in ISO format. My software to go considering your requirements would be HandBrake (runs on Ubuntu, Windows and Macs). Handbrake reads pretty much any format you throw at it.

Handbrake main screen

Note on Ubuntu: in case your DVD image is copy protected or won't play, you need to be sure that libdvdcss2 is installed. Simply use this terminal command:

sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2 libdvdread4 libdvdnav4

Or alternatively you can go with these commands too

sudo apt-get install libdvdread4

and then run

sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

Your requirements:

  • Runs on Windows, Linux(Ubuntu) and Mac too
  • Free of charge
  • Queue up of multiple files to encodes (batch encoding)
  • You can chose audio track to be included from DVD or even imported from different location.
  • Converts to .mp4 or.mkv (but not .avi - this I see as a plus)

Other information :

  • Handbrake can be used with CLI but comes with easy to understand GUI too
  • Various audio channel supported
  • Subtitles supported (VobSub, Closed Captions SRT and others)
  • Handbrake comes with universal profile (standard or high quality
    conversions), but offers presets for specific devices too. However quality fine tuning is available from app it self. This guide is quite handy when setting up encoding.

Download from here

  • I test it this night (thanks to the shutdown option when finished) and it seems to be a very good tool. I just to adjust my parameters to get a good quality/size ration. Feb 27, 2014 at 8:42
  • Quality parameters possibilities are endless but it's gonna take some time to find what suits you.
    – danijelc
    Feb 27, 2014 at 10:37

Except for two caveats (price and ISO see below) DVDFab will work great for that.

The only functionality caveat: There is a chance it won't natively open ISO files (i.e. I can't remember) - in which case you would have to extract it to a dvd-video folder or mount it using for example PowerISO (Free unlimited time, limited functionality but enough for this trial available) (any other disk image mounting software would work just as well).

To run down on the must haves:

  • Runs on Windows or Linux: Windows
  • Gratis: Unfortunately not: free 30day unlimited functionality trial though and $45 after
  • Ability of queuing file conversions (batch mode): Yes it has batch mode, I haven't used the batch mode so I can't speak to its ease of use; although all its other features are easy to use.
  • Ability to choose the language track to export: I'm pretty confident that it does allow that but it has been a while since I used it.
  • Common video format output (avi preferred): It will export to more formats than any one person should ever need

And your extra details:

  • No GUI requirement but nice to have: Has a full-feature GUI.
  • Optional subtitle support: Yes it supports subs
  • No quality or size output requirement, if the file is to heavy I can correct it with an other software. Of course if many software fits my needs, quality will become a criterion to choose the soft.: It has various options for quality/size so you can to some degree make an intelligent choice of the trade-off - not as much as say AVIdemux but that is what AVIDemux is designed to do so not really comparable.

I would recommend DVDx

enter image description here

DVDx is open source and available as a free trial on Linux, Windows, and OS X. DVDx can be used to decrypt and copy ISOs from or rip DVDs, HD-DVDs, and Blu-ray discs. DVDx supports ripping to many different formats out of the box including:

  • avi
  • flv
  • h264
  • mkv
  • mp4
  • webm

DVDx does support burnt-in subtitles.

As for size, the final ripped AVI file should hopefully be much smaller. You can always tweak the transcode settings yourself for more optimal results and even use a separate tool such as Handbrake for transcoding as well.


If you want to preserve the original quality or don't have much time to convert and don't mind about the size (which you probably don't, because you already store the discs in ISO format) then you can mount the ISO files and copy the whole disc or just the VIDEO_TS folder in the disc to the hard drive.

In fact you can just copy the *.VOB files and open them directly in video players but other files will provide some more features/information such as subtitles, tracks... Those files are actually MPEG2 files so any MPEG2 compliant decoders can open them.

Some players such as WMP can automatically recognize that's a DVD when you open a VOB file and play it like normal. Some others like MPC require you to use specific options like open DVD/BD or open directory and select the VIDEO_TS folder in order to enjoy the full DVD features, or you'll lose a few functionality

Or just leave the ISO file as-is, and mount it as a virtual DVD whenever you want to play

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