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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!

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 …


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.


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.


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


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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There are 19 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.



    • 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 



    • 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


      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?



    • 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.



    • 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.



      • 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 



        • 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!



        • 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 … 



  • Mar 27, 2016 - 10:53 AM Comment Link

    […] 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

    […] 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.



    • 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! 



  • 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!



    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.



  • 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!!



    • 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. 



  • 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. 



    • 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 



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