Mon 22 Dec
The so-called “SuperDrive” in my new 12” PowerBook G4, while not the first DVD-RW I’ve ever had access to, is the first one I’ve personally owned. So, with a little bit of free time this past weekend, I decided to sit down and see if it was possible to burn myself a copy of one of the movies that I own in DVD format — for fair use, back-up purposes only, of course.
The effort required to do this is not significant, but it’s also not as simple as burning a music CD from iTunes, say. This is mostly owing to the fact that the process involves several steps and several distinct software applications — it’s just barely complicated enough that it might dissuade the most casual of users from undertaking the task.
Furthermore, all this effort doesn’t even yield a true back-up of the entire contents of a standard DVD. The recordable DVD-R discs available today aren’t sufficiently roomy to copy all of the extra features and menus found on a typical manufacturer’s disc. This means that some compromises must be made when one engages in this kind of activity, though it’s still completely possible to produce a pixel-perfect duplication of the movie itself — sans all the interactive extras — which is good enough for me.
I cribbed most of this process from various sources, so for the benefit of others, I’m posting my notes here. They’re not the most detailed notes ever, but anyone with a moderate comfort-level with new software will be able to fill in the blanks easily. If you’re running Mac OS X Jaguar or Panther on a system that more or less resembles mine, then these steps might work for you, but I warrant nothing and, due to a severely limited expertise in this subject, can’t offer support or answer questions. Also, I have to assume that everyone who uses these instructions intends to use them exclusively for legal back-ups of their personal, legally-owned DVDs… right? I know that’s how I’m using them, Mr. Aschroft.