Recently I was preparing to take a business trip over a weekend for a conference, and figured it would be a nice opportunity to watch a couple of DVD’s that the rest of the family didn’t have any interest in seeing yet again – Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Ran’ and The Marx Brothers’ ‘Night at the Opera’. My assumption was that I would use the Mac program Handbrake, which has done very nicely getting video from our DVDs to our kids’ iPods for long trips.
At the same time I had the opportunity to look at WinX DVD Ripper Free Edition, and I figured: what better way than to test the two free utilities side by side. I will comment on that comparison in a bit, but wanted to focus on a more recent opportunity to try out WinX DVD Ripper Platinum, based on a version supplied to me for free by the publisher.
WinX DVD Ripper Platinum is the advanced version of WinX DVD Ripper. It is a professional DVD ripper which could rip different DVDs to popular devices such as Sony PSP, Apple iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, PDA, Zune, mobile phone, rip the content of DVDs to all popular video formats as AVI, FLV, WMV, MPEG, MP4, RMVB, 3GP, etc. Integrated all DVD ripping functions together, WinX DVD Ripper Platinum could easily rip and convert all DVDs into all video formats which no matter use for personal computer or popular portable devices. This powerful DVD ripping and converting software fully compatible with normal DVDs, CSS protected DVDs and region 1-6 DVDs.
Furthermore, WinX DVD Ripper Platinum supports automatically detecting and connecting converted videos to portable devices. It enables to add video information such as display name, artist name. WinX DVD Ripper Platinum, with High Definition Encoding Engine inside, offers best video image quality. With this powerful DVD Ripper, you don’t need any other DVD ripper at all.
1. Rip DVD to popular video formats as AVI, FLV, WMV, MPEG, MP4, etc
2. Rip DVD to popular portable devices including iPhone, iPod, PSP, PDA, Zune, Mobile phone, etc
3. Support automatically detecting, connecting and transferring converted videos to portable devices
4. Rip DVD audio into MP3 music file
5. Support grabbing screenshot from DVD video
6. Enable to remove or choose subtitles for output videos
7. All video/audio parameters adjustable for users optimizing video quality
8. Supper fast ripping speed, up to 300%-500% real time
9. Best video/audio quality
10. Easy to use and 100% stable
11. Multiple DVD source supported as normal DVD, CSS protected DVD, region 1-6, commercial DVD, Sony ArccOS DVDs
12. 100% Clean, No Spyware, No Malware, No Adware and No Virus
Let me return briefly to my comparison between Handbrake and WinX DVD Ripper, which is the free version of WinX DVD Ripper Platinum. In HandBrake, I inserted and selected the DVD I wanted to rip, chose the target format (which had decent settings for quality, etc), renamed the file and clicked ‘Start’. For ‘A Night at the Opera’ I was done in about 20 minutes, while still performing other tasks. I didn’t track Ran as closely, but it was done in under an hour.
WinX DVD Ripper, however, required me to manually select all of my settings in an attempt to get them close to handbrake, then click start. The conversion is sent to a default file location and file name. The conversion was very CPU intensive, running the laptop fan to max and bogging down anything else I tried, so I simply walked away and used my netbook.
After two hours I checked, and ‘A Night at the Opera’ still had a LONG way to go. The next morning the conversion was done and the file was ready. I took a shot of both videos running in QuickTime side by side. Pretty similar in terms of results, but not in terms of what it took to get there.
I checked the WinX DVD website and found that the Platinum version featured many things that would have made my life easier, so I was thrilled to give it a try!
Immediately I noticed a huge difference in terms of interface: I could easily select a video format and within that format choose an output target, and then tweak the quality and other setting to whatever level I wanted. I really appreciated the major improvements in usability of the interface compared to the free version – it is almost hard to believe it is the same software!
The next obvious test was to try to rip ‘A Night at the Opera’ again. Starting out was easy, since as I mentioned everything was accessible. Pretty soon I was pushing the ‘Start’ button and walking away as soon as I knew the process had started. Once again I had decided to leave the system to itself and see how things worked out.
The first time they didn’t – I got a screen similar to this:
I say ‘similar’ because this screen capture was from a subsequent crash. Eventually I was able to get both movies formatted for the PSP, and ‘A Night at the Opera’ formatted for the iPod. I never got Ran done for the iPod as it crashed again and by then I was just done trying. All I had wanted was to rip two DVD’s – old and non-standard DVD’s as one is a 1930′s era transfer, and the other is a Japanese film that was released fairly early in the DVD era. So I went ahead and grabbed a recent release, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
Once again the setup was trivial, and very soon the conversion process was off and running. And once again I noticed that the process was particularly slow – after 4.5 hours I noted the progress at 87%, and it ‘completed’ conversion after ~5 hours. I put quotes around completed because I once again got an error:
The error was cryptic enough that I went into the output folder to see what was going on with the file. To my surprise the movie played perfectly from start to finish without any issues I could see as I fast-scrubbed through. For comparison I loaded up the PC version of HandBrake, and converted Prince Caspian – which took ~1.5 hours. Finally, I set it up to run in WinXDVD Platinum again overnight, and everything ran without error and the results looked fine.
I attempted to contact WinXDVD about these errors but have not heard back as of the publication of this review.
I don’t think it is shocking that I was very disappointed by my experience with WinXDVD Ripper Platinum. Across multiple attempts, uninstall and reinstall on two different PC’s, I had lousy performance and terrible stability. Eventually the results would work out correctly, but given that I had another program installed on both the Mac and PC that would give equivalent results in less than a third of the time with 100% success rate – and it was FREE … well, unfortunately I cannot recommended this utility for anyone.
Where to Buy: Buy Direct from WinXDVD.com
What I Like:
- Nice interface
- Loads of options
- Single click to convert to handheld formats
What Needs Improvement:
- Very slow ripping process
- Crash prone
- Too many errors
- Consumes too many resources
Source: Free Download during Promotional Giveaway Period (WinXDVD Ripper Platinum was available for Free during the last half of September)