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Old 01-14-2010, 10:47 PM
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LordXenos LordXenos is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Louisville, KY, USA
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Default Tutorial: Ripping DVDs to play on your ZEN X-Fi2

The following is one of the easiest ways that I have found to rip DVDs to a format playable by the ZEN X-Fi2.

EDIT: Updated with how to rip TV episodes.

Step 1 - Download some stuff:
  • DVD43 (This will decrypt (unlock) the DVDs allowing other ripping programs to access them) *NOTE: In some countries, it is illegal to 'unlock' some types of encryption. This is obviously a really stupid law but I just thought I'd let you know.
  • HandBrake 0.9.3 (Unfortunately, the developers got rid of both the .AVI container format and support for XVID encoding in the newest release. Therefore, you need version 0.9.3)
Step 2 - Install and reboot. (In order for DVD43 to find all your DVD drives, you should reboot after installing)

Step 3 - Insert DVD and wait for the DVD43 tray icon to turn into a green smiley face ( - like that but w/o teeth)

Step 4 - Load up HandBrake 0.9.3 * DON'T update if it asks you to *

Step 5 - Click the 'Source' menu and select your DVD

...It will take a few seconds to a minute to load...

Step 5.5 - Make sure that the proper 'Title' is selected. It will be the one that is the length of your movie. (HandBrake usually does a good job at this automatically)

Step 6 - Under 'Destination' choose your file name and where you want to save it. Make sure you save it with a '.avi' extension. Next, under 'Output Settings' select 'AVI'. Then, in the 'Picture Settings' tab, choose 'Anamorphic: None' and set the 'Width' to 640 leaving the 'Height' blank. This will keep the video within the 640x480 max resolution that the X-Fi2 has but allow different screen ratios. **Tech Stuff --> 640/480=1.333 ... This means that 'Full Screen' videos (4:3) will work fine with this method since the Aspect Ratio of 4/3=1.333 ... This is the ratio of the screen width to screen height. Wide screen (16:9 = 1.778) will still be okay because we keep the width at 640 and the height will drop to 360 instead of 480. Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85 or 2.35) drop the height even lower.

Step 7 - Under the 'Video' tab set 'Video Codec:' to 'MPEG-4 (XviD)' and set the 'Avg Bitrate (kbps):' to 800 (If your ripped video is choppy on your X-Fi 2 you may want to lower this number)

Step 8 - Under the 'Audio & Subtitles' tab change the 'Audio Codec' to MP3, the 'Mixdown' to Stereo, and the 'Samplerate (kHz)' to 44.1. You may also want to change the 'Subtitles' to 'Autoselect' and check the box next to 'Forced Subtitles Only'. Forced subs are the subtitles that you would normally see when someone speaks a non-English language in an English movie (like when Jaba the Hut talks in the Star Wars movies).

Step 9 - Press the Start button once everything looks good.
** If you are ripping TV episodes replace this step with the ones in the section at the bottom of this post **

Step 10 - Make a sandwich, and watch some cartoons... no really it will take a while.

Step 11 - When your video is ready test it on your computer. If it works fine, then move it to your X-Fi2 and test it there. You should be able to just drag and drop it into the video folder using Windows Explorer.

To make a 'Preset' for your X-Fi2:

Step 12 - Make a 'Preset' in Handbrake so that you don't have to go through this whole process every time. Click 'Add' in the bottom right of the HandBrake window.

...Type a name for your preset and hit 'Add'...

...You should now ba able to select the preset from the preset menu and start encoding without having to change all of the settings manually...

Ripping TV Episodes from a DVD:

Replace Step 9 from above with the following...

Step 9 - Click 'Add to Queue'

Step 9.1 - An encoding queue window will pop up... just move it to the side or minimize it for now.

Step 9.2 - a) Select the next episode (title). They are usually very similar in length as seen in the screen shot below.
b) Rename the episode
c) Click 'Add to Queue'

Step 9.3 - Repeat step 9.2 until all of the episodes on the disk are queued up.

Step 9.4 - a) Check that no two titles are the same (you may skip titles on some DVDs that have extras)
b) Check that each episode has a different name.
c) Click 'Encode' then continue on to step 10 above.


Well, I hope this tutorial has helped. If you need me to make something a little more clear or think I should change something, just let me know.
If you have a question, please ask. I am more than happy to help.

Your friendly neighborhood
Dark Lord

Last edited by LordXenos; 01-27-2010 at 06:36 PM. Reason: Added some detail and a part on how to rip TV episodes
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