Rip DVDs to play on your phone with DVDSpirit

This shareware DVD ripper's trial limits conversions to 10 minutes.

Ripping and converting your DVDs lets you watch your videos on your smartphone, tablet, or player of choice. DVDSpirit is a shareware DVD ripper and converter specifically designed to make it easy to extract and convert DVD video to play on a wide range of devices. It also rips audio tracks. It's free to try, but the trial limits conversions to 10 minutes of video.

DVDSpirit's user interface borrows more from a smartphone app than a Windows program, with a series of basic screens, most of which only offer two buttons, such as Back and Next. It also uses scrolling expandable menus that save a lot of space on a cell phone but tend to look and feel a little cramped on the desktop. Still, there's definitely something to be said for making the user experience similar to a phone app, since that's where most of the videos DVDSpirit creates will end up anyway. When we opened DVDSpirit, it started scanning the DVD in our tray. To get the program to scan a new DVD, you just have to load a disk and click Back. DVDSpirit's interface walked us through each step, beginning with audio language and subtitle options and moving on to output options (you can choose by format or device) and directory. We mentioned a menu of advanced options, including codecs, bit rate, deinterlace, frame rate, size, and flip. Clicking the arrow on any entry expanded its list of options. When we were ready, we pressed Start Now, and DVDSpirit began ripping and converting our tracks (within the limitations of our trial).

We experienced some glitches with DVDSpirit, including a freeze-up, and it could use some attention to detail, such as changing True or False choices into less confusing Yes or No (or On or Off) choices. The file browser wouldn't let us select individual chapter files to convert, yet it only managed to convert 15KB of the intro title, and it crashed on our second attempt. Whether that's due to the trial limitations, we can't say. We've used shareware DVD rippers that cost less and work better than DVDSpirit.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of DVDSpirit 1.64.

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