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DVD – What title to rip? or: The 99 Video Titles Fix!

DVD – What title to rip? or: The 99 Video Titles Fix!
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It can be difficult to determine what title to choose for the main movie, when trying to rip or copy a DVD …

It becomes especially difficult when certain copy protection mechanisms screw with the table of contents, and applications like DVDFab and HandBrake suddenly show a lot of “movies” on the DVD (I’ve seen up to 99 titles appear like this). Obviously the DVD does not contain 99 movies, but selecting the wrong title will actually produce a screwed up rip. Parts of the movies are skipped or are not in the right place in the movie.

With a simple trick you can figure out what title to pick (covering Windows, MacOS X and Linux).




Picking the right DVD title

With “normal” DVD’s it’s relatively easy to decide which of the titles is the actual movie – Simply pick the one with the longest playback time. Sometimes though this can be difficult when a DVD contains multiple titles (TV Series for example), or when a crazy copy protection mechanism screws with the table of contents and makes it appears as if the DVD has multiple titles.

So how do you determine the right track? Simple … let your DVD playback software tell you …

VideoLAN VLC

VLC, a free video playback program available for Windows, MacOS X, Linux and other Operating Systems, is probably the easiest and most flexible tool to use for this purpose. Download VLC from the VLC Homepage, install it, and start it.

Note : Most Linux distributions come with so called package managers like APT, or Software Centre (Ubuntu), which typically allow you to install VLC straight from their.

Next insert your DVD if you haven’t already.

MacOS X

In the main menu, with VLC being the active application, click “File”  Open Disc…” (or press COMMAND + D).

VLC MacOS X - Play Disc

VLC MacOS X – Play Disc

A confirmation dialog will open showing the disc type VLC found (if you have only one DVD Rom drive – otherwise a file dialog will appear. In that case select the DVD drive on the left side).

VLC MacOS X - Open DVD

VLC MacOS X – Open DVD

The DVD will now start playback, which typically starts with the menu of the DVD.
Select the movie you want to rip and start watching the movie.

From the main menu you can now determine what title is the real title you need for ripping – make sure the actual movie is playing!
Click “Playback Title“.

The title in the list with the checkmark   in front of it is the active title you’re looking for – take note of the title number and playback time so you can find it back in HandBrake or whatever DVD ripping program you’re using and that’s all there is to it.

VLC MacOS X - What Title is playing

VLC MacOS X – What Title is playing

If you’d like to see more detail, visit Hunk’s article here.

Windows

In the “Media” menu of VLC, select “Open Disc…” (or press CTRL + D).

VLC Windows - Open Disc

VLC Windows – Open Disc

Next select the type of disc you’re about to play (DVD), enter the drive letter (VLC will select the first DVD/CD Rom player – or use “Browse…“) and click “Play” to start playback.

VLC Windows - Select the Disc

VLC Windows – Select the Disc

From the usual DVD menu (if applicable) start the featured movie – before proceeding make sure the movie is actually playing.
Once the movie you’d like to rip is playing, select from the VLC menu “Playback”  Title“.
The title marked (see illustration below) is the title you’re looking for … write down title number and playback time of that title so you can find it later in HandBrake or other application you use for ripping a DVD.

VLC Windows - See what title is playing

VLC Windows – See what title is playing

Linux

From the VLC menu select “Media” and click “Open Disc…” (or press CTRL + D).

VLC Linux (Ubuntu) - Open Disc

VLC Linux (Ubuntu) – Open Disc

Next select the type of disc you’re about to play (DVD), enter the device name and path (VLC will select the most likely device – or use “Browse…“) and click “Play” to start playback.

VLC Linux (Ubuntu) - Select the Disc

VLC Linux (Ubuntu) – Select the Disc

From the usual DVD menu (if applicable) start the featured movie – before proceeding make sure the movie is actually playing.
Once the desired movie is playing, select from the VLC menu “Playback”   Title“.
The title marked (see illustration below) is the title you’re looking for … write down title number and playback time of that title so you can find it later in HandBrake or other application you use for ripping a DVD.

VLC Linux (Ubuntu) - See what title is playing

VLC Linux (Ubuntu) – See what title is playing

And that’s all there is to in  …

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Comments


There are 25 comments. You can read them below.
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  • Feb 13, 2015 - 2:55 PM - Joe Comment Link

    I tried this and no luck. It was playing title 17 so I tried to rip that title. Handbrake aborted after a second.

    Reply

    Joe

    • Feb 14, 2015 - 2:58 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Joe, 

      I’m sorry to hear that. Title 17 should be the right title, but Handbrake could abort for other reasons, most typically the lack of the libdvdcss (see also: Windows, MacOS X, Linux). If that’s not the issue, then check the disk. I’ve found that a dirty disk, that might even play fine in a regular DVD player, can cause similar issues as well.

      Hope this helps, let me know if you need more help 

      Reply

      hans

    • Feb 9, 2017 - 12:19 PM - bryan andrews Comment Link

      I highly recommend Ideal DVD Copy (or bluray copy). It’s a no-brainer-$39.97

      Reply

      bryan andrews

  • Jul 20, 2015 - 1:42 PM - Jeff Comment Link

    How do you get around rotating titles? Each time I check VLC to tell me what title is playing it changes.  Handbrake rips the file and the video is all out of order?

    Reply

    Jeff

    • Jul 21, 2015 - 2:47 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Jeff,

      That’s interesting to hear, I have never heard of titles that rotate.
      For the trick above, you will need a tool like VLC and play the main title, and then look which one it uses.
      Which you obviously already tried.
      Are you sure that each time you’re playing the featured movie, the same one?

      If you’re on a Mac, then the DVD Player that comes with your Mac can show this as well.

      Reply

      hans

    • Jul 6, 2017 - 1:24 AM - James Comment Link

      Hey Jeff-

      Attempting to rip season 15 of south park and running into the same problem. You ever find a solution to this? I had the same thing happening to me: the first three episodes worked the way the OP suggested (track showing in the track list when played, that specific track scanned by handbrake, encoded, working good), but on the fourth episode, it jumps around all over the place. I’d really appreciate your findings if you have any. Thanks.

      Reply

      James

      • Jul 6, 2017 - 8:40 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

        Hi James,

        because of some copyright protection trickery, applications like HandBrake might have difficulties detecting what to rip and what not. The best approach I can give you is:

        – Use the trick where you open the DVD with (for example) VLC to see what episode is what title,
        – Use a commercial application like DVDFab (which is excellent by the way),
        – Use MakeMKV (I actually tested this one, originally for ripping BlueRay’s but it works great with DVD’s as well)

        There are some other tools out there that I have not (yet) tested: Win X DVDRipper (the free trial keeps working after the trial period they say, with some minor limitations), Free Make Video Converter (this one is a little confusing).

        Hope this helps – since the VLC method is great for one movie, but definitely not practical for TV series … 
        Please share your findings 

        Reply

        hans

        • Jul 8, 2017 - 4:41 AM - James Comment Link

          I did indeed try the MakeMKV, and it solved the Jumping Track problem. Not only did MakeMKV solve the Season 15 Jumping Track problem, when I did the Windows Media Player trick to find the tracks for season 14, the tracks it identified and I therefore ripped didn’t have audio. So, I tried the Make MKV method.

          1. Scan DVD with Make MKV. It did an incredible job of identifying the real and fake tracks. No red herrings threw it off at all. Downloaded the five separate episodes per DVD. However, the files directly off the DVD with MakeMKV were large. Some episodes were up to a gig each. This was way too big.

          2. Ran it through Handbrake to compress (Open Source -> find file (second option) from MakeMKV [generally ‘track01’]-> select destination folder -> Start Encode). Did it on default 1080p Fast setting. Barely any compromise to quality, and it moved it from a gig down to a much more manageable 70MB or so (1000 MB in a gig).

          3. For doing multiple tracks (such as episodes in a TV show), a lot of time can be saved by Adding to Queue once it starts. While the first “track01” is compressing, click Open Source -> find specific file (second option) -> select destination folder -> Add to Queue. This way you can line it up and leave the area.

          So the only differences between using Handbrake alone and MakeMKV first is that you add an extra step and you might need a bit of extra room on your hard drive. Of course, once they’re compressed, they larger files from MakeMKV can be deleted. I had no problems with the episodes after this. Hope this helps someone else!

          Reply

          James

        • Jul 8, 2017 - 1:58 PM - hans - Author: Comment Link

          Hi James,

          glad to hear MakeMKV did the trick, and thank you very much for taking the time to write down your work flow. Excellent! 
          A step you could add, right after ripping with MakeMKV, is renaming the episodes right away before queueing them in Handbrake with Rename My TV Series – a little program I wrote once upon a time for that purpose (Windows, MacOS X, and Linux available). This way there will be no confusion and you can queue everything and let your computer run for a while … 

          Reply

          hans

  • Mar 27, 2016 - 10:53 AM Comment Link
    PingBack: ihatehate.wordpress.com

    […] a school of red herrings, containing just parts of the movie or other such crap.  What you need is “The 99 Video Titles Fix”.  What you need is […]

  • Dec 13, 2017 - 8:29 PM Comment Link
    PingBack: mysolutions.tech

    […] For Linux users, VLC is also very helpful to discover the real DVD title for ripping. For more details please visit Hans’ guide here. […]

  • Jun 12, 2018 - 9:46 PM - emv Comment Link

    I know this thread is old, but thanks to your article, I was able to find out which title to copy in a DVD with over 50 titles on the thing – Thank you very much.

    Reply

    emv

    • Jun 13, 2018 - 9:56 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi EMV,

      no worries and thank you very much for taking the time to post a “Thank you” note!
      I very much appreciate it and I’m glad it was useful to you! 

      Reply

      hans

  • Feb 11, 2019 - 7:29 AM - Bill Berit Comment Link

    I tried the VLC trick as follows. I ran a DVD and as it played the movie, I Right Clicked on the display and told VLC to RECORD.

    I took the full time to Record the entire movie to my HD as a MPG file. That file played perfectly in VLS, but I do not know how to Edit it, or to Shrink it to fit a Standard DVD. I use DVDDecrypter, DVDShrink, AVStoDVD, Nero 2015, and Imgburn for video. Suggestions please!

    BB

    Reply

    Bill Berit

    • Feb 12, 2019 - 5:03 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Bill,

      by the sound of it, you’re running Windows?

      If needed, but I doubt you would need it, you could convert the MPG to MP4 with Handbrake.

      For editing, I’d take a look at VideoPad Video Editor, you can do the 14 day trial or get the free version (for non-commercial use). Not sure if the free version links to the Mac or the Windows version, so you may have to open the first link instead and look for the line that says “Get it Free. A free video editor version is available for non-commercial use only. If you will be using it at home you can download the free version here.”
      I have used it a few times on my Mac, and it does what they claim. Now keep in mind; I have not tested this one under Windows yet.

      Let me know if this works, if not, I’ll help and see what else I can find for you.

      Reply

      hans

  • Mar 3, 2019 - 9:06 AM - Erik Comment Link

    Thank you for this article it has helped me alot! I am having an issue with selecting the correct track on disney blurays (hand break default to a title with commentaries). When i followed your guide i find the track in vlc player but that track it auto plays does not match track numbers in handbreak. Am i doing something wrong?

    Windows 10 using vlc,hand break and anydvd

    Thank you!!

    Reply

    Erik

    • Mar 3, 2019 - 9:45 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Erik,

      let me start by saying that I have no experience with BluRay disks, so I cannot confirm if HandBrake “rips” these properly or not.
      However, MakeMKV should be able to do this properly for you. You can download MakeMKV for free on the MakeMKV website.

      After ripping the BluRay, you could use HandBrake to re-compress the video and/or save the file in MP4 format (in case you’d rather not use MKV).

      Hope this helps. 

      Reply

      hans

  • Nov 17, 2019 - 2:19 AM - Yirmin Comment Link

    Another option when trying to pull episodes from a TV series on disc is to queue up all the video files and start them when you go to bed.  When you wake up look at the output files and generally the red herrings will be very short files only the full episodes will be longer files.  It is what I have done as the VLC method didn’t work it gave me specific title numbers but only 1 of the ones it gove on a disc with 3 episodes was correct.  But by using the queue method it ran all night but in the morning I it had 80 different mp4 files created but only 3 were over 200,000 kbs in size… those were the 3 that were full episodes, all the others were between 3 and 4800 kbs in size so it was easy to tell which one to just delete.  I watched a few of the files in the queue going through handbrake and it appears that when it is a red herring it will only eat up about 3 or 4 minutes of time so I suspect the whole process of it doing 80 different titles probably took less than 3 hours. 

    Reply

    Yirmin

    • Nov 17, 2019 - 5:33 AM - hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Yirmin!

      This would indeed be a good fallback plan if everything else fails.
      Thanks for posting this! I’m sure others will benefit from this as well 

      Reply

      hans

  • Jan 26, 2020 - 8:52 PM - dom Comment Link

    the problem is VLC titles will be different than Handbrake titles. For example, VLC might say: title 29 (2:04:30) then in Handbrake the titles will say: Video_TS, VTS_01_0. How to match titles?

    Reply

    dom

    • Jan 27, 2020 - 5:15 AM - Hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Dom,

      unfortunately, I do not have a DVD-Rom drive or DVDs any more, so it is difficult to verify this.

      It looks like you’re talking about the individual files of a DVD (Video_TS etc) and not the actual titles (or tracks) of the DVD.
      With Handbrake you select the entire DVD as a source, and then the “title” option in Handbrake then allows you select a specific “track” or “title”.
      So not the individual Video_TS, or VTS_xx_x files.

      A title may actually be spread over multiple files, so a file does not represent a track (see also this Wiki page).

      In short:

      A DVD volume for the DVD-Video format has the following structure of directories and files:

      • AUDIO_TS directory: empty or not present on DVD-Video discs; contains files only on DVD-Audio discs.
      • VIDEO_TS directory: stores all data for the DVD-Video.
      • VIDEO_TS.IFO file: the Video Manager information file—stores control and playback information for the entire DVD.
      • VIDEO_TS.BUP file: the backup copy of the VIDEO_TS.IFO file. 
      • VIDEO_TS.VOB file: the first-play Video Object of the DVD-Video disc, usually a copyright notice or a menu.
      • VTS_01_0.IFO file: stores control and playback information for the Video Title Set 01 (I’m not sure if this would be same as the “title” you’re looking for).
      • VTS_01_0.BUP file: a backup copy of the VTS_01_0.IFO file.
      • VTS_01_0.VOB file: Video Title Set 01, Video Object 0, contains the menu for this title. 
      • VTS_01_1.VOB file: Video Title Set 01, Video Object 1, contains the video for this title. 
      Note: all BUP files are just backups.
      So best case scenario: VTS_01_1.VOB holds all the video for “title” 1 (if it even matches the VLC “title”) – but I do recall a file size limitation, so if I’m right about that, a title can be spread over several VOB files. That’s why you’d want to drop the entire DVD on Handbrake, so Handbrake can determine the “titles” and you can selected the needed “title” in Handbrake.
      Another reason is that some DVD’s use misleading information as a copy protection, so manually choosing the “title” file will quite often result in the wrong (typically incomplete) video.

      Hope this helps, and apologies if I misunderstood your comment. 

      Reply

      Hans

  • Feb 20, 2020 - 7:04 PM - Jill Jones Comment Link

    I’m ripping a tv series dvd with the multiple titles.  is it safe to assume that the titles with a minute or two are duplicate scenes of the longer titles or do I need to cut and paste those scenes in?

    Reply

    Jill Jones

    • Feb 21, 2020 - 4:37 AM - Hans - Author: Comment Link

      Typically those shorter ones are indeed duplicates.
      They are put in place to mislead ripping software in thinking this is the episode you’re looking for.
      For each episode you’ll find one title that holds the correct “file”, which in turn will result in one single file.

      Reply

      Hans

  • Mar 17, 2020 - 5:54 AM - Doug Comment Link

    I disagree with the Windows method of determining the proper movie title from the long list of titles on my Transformers – Revenge of the Fallen.  I open VLC on my Windows 10 PC and Title 51 is the one that plays.  My ripping software tells me the same title is “the title” to rip.  I ripped title 51, and it’s incomplete; the end of the mp4 is NOT the actual end of the main feature.  When playing on VLC, title 51 ends properly, with the credits at the end, finishing the scrolling of the credits, and ends the  movie, as one would see in a DVD player.

    Now, if title 51 is the real mcCoy, why did my ripper software not rip an mp4 like the actual  movie?

    Reply

    Doug

    • Mar 17, 2020 - 6:19 AM - Hans - Author: Comment Link

      Hi Doug,

      well, in 2013 this worked fine for most DVD’s. There is never a 100% guarantee of course.
      These days I’m not doing anything with DVD’s anymore and a lot may have changed when it comes to DVD structures, Windows and VLC changes when it comes to accessing DVD’s, not to mention what your DVD ripping software is using to access the DVD structure.

      Since I don’t know what application you’re using for ripping the DVD;
      Back in the day I used HandBrake which is free and still available.
      Handbrake had 2 options for “reading” the navigation of a DVD: “libdvdread” and “libdvdnav“.
      You could give both a try and see which one works best.
      Unfortunately, I do not have any DVD’s anymore, and I do not have a DVD drive either, so testing is a little challenging on my end. 
      I’d be interested in hearing about your findings though! 

      Reply

      Hans



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