Hey, everyone. Summer’s here, school’s out, and there’s nothing to do but chill. And blog. So, I though I’d do a nice review and then do a giveaway right after. So, here’s my review. Expect the giveaway in a day or so.
Check back soon for a giveaway!
I was asked to do a review of “WinX DVD Ripper Platinum” by WinX as a joint promotional attempt, of sorts; In exchange for reviewing their software, I was given 10 copies of the software to give away to you folk. I’ll write up that giveaway later, but for right now, I want to do a review of the software, because I was actually thoroughly impressed.
First off, function, the most important part of any bit of software. To rip a DVD, all you need to do is launch the program, pop a DVD in the drive, and wait a second. The software automatically detects the video files on the DVD and chooses the one most likely to be the movie that you want to rip (as opposed to trailers, extra scenes, etc.). You additionally have the option to manually select the source drive or Video_TS folder (dvd video folder) by clicking the “Disk” or “Path” buttons at the top of the screen.
Selecting the video output format for your video is as simple as choosing a tab at the bottom of the screen. The software comes with a lot of pre-configured settings optimized for any output device. You additionally have the option to customize these settings manually. You have manual control over many aspects of the finished rip; the software allows you to choose quality rates from drop-down boxes, select sample/frame rate for the audio and video, tweak the gain (in decibels) for the volume, select audio and video filetypes and containers, and adjust the resolution and aspect ratio. A large “Start” button allows you to start the conversion process.
The pre-configured outputs are as follows:
- Direct, lossless backup
- Apple TV
- Music (Just the audio from the DVD)
The software includes a few extra features to enhance the conversion process.
Advanced De-Interlace Accelerator – When recording video, some cameras use “interlacing,” when twice the required frames per second are shot, the heights of the frames are scaled in half, and the two frames are meshed into one frame. This can cause individual frames to be blurry (to see what I mean, check this out). The software uses the De-Interlace Accelerator to quickly remove interlacing from videos.
High-Quality Engine – Using a specialized rendering engine, the software can create high-quality rips, lengthening the time it takes to rip a DVD but increasing the quality of the final product.
Intelligent A/V Synchronizer – When I had previously tried to rip DVD’s, I had always encountered issues with synchronizing the video and the audio of the films. WinX included an automatic A/V synchronizer into it’s software so that people like me don’t have to fuss with video files and audio files just to see a movie as it’s supposed to be seen.
Things to be desired
The software, despite the fact that it works, smoothly and without error, is ugly. Its gui looks like it was designed in the ’90’s, complete with a serif-typeface splash screen. The buttons are rather gawky, and the icons for buttons and the actual buttons themselves don’t match. For example, in it’s main window, it lists 3 steps to get you started, but provides different images to represent the buttons than what they use for the buttons themselves. Just look at the screenshot above.
Besides the crummy visuals, there is no option to convert a standard video_TS folder or something like that. You must select a drive physically attached to your computer, which is limiting. It’s not the biggest of deals, but it would certainly help.
After spending a good 2 weeks with a working copy of this software (I had initially tried running it on my desktop, which currently has a faulty optical drive), I can honestly say that there has yet to be a DVD that I haven’t been able to rip easily. I’ve successfully ripped and played back in almost every format, from full resolution to the “iPod” configuration, with no issue. I tried playing a movie on my brother’s psp, which worked fine. Seriously, I can’t see anything wrong with the software, bug-wise.
Cost: $30, includes 2 years of free backup downloads.
Check back soon to find out how you can get a copy for free!