I finally got my iPad 2 last week, and some magic powers must really control the universe – same week my DVD player stopped working :-)

But both things gave me a good reason for trying out converting DVD’s for my new iPad.

After some research I came out with 2 products I wanted to try out:

My criterias for selecting there 2 was, that it should run on Windows and be really simple, as I have no idea about video converting, and have no intention of getting that knowledge.

Also I found that I needed a program that would be able to get rid of the copy protection that is found on some DVD’s. But after some research, it was clear that I could get the (almost) full protection removal from combination of different free products, but I would have to have like 2-3 different programs an try out which one worked to this DVD. Or I could just buy AnyDVD and get it all in one program. So I decided I didn’t want to spent time on this and would just go for AnyDVD, which is like  CloneDVD mobile also created by SlySoft.com.


HandBreak is really simple to use, with a list of presets – where most of the presets are for Apple products.

The interface is really simple you choose the source (DVD or file), then select what title (Movie) from the source you want to convert. Then select the output file, select a preset you want to use and off out go!

When selecting the source you are able to limit your select in different ways. Maybe you only want chapter 3-5, or only want a specific time period of the movie, or even if you only want a specific frame range. The limitation by time period is really nice when you want to try out different presets, to find the best balance between quality and file size. You are then able to only covert a couple of minutes from somewhere in the middle of the movie, and because it is only a couple of minutes the time it would take to convert is really low.

Another really cool thing about HandBrake is that you able to tweak every output setting. You are not limited to what the preset dictates. The presets are only setting a baseline for you, and if you do not completely aggree with the preset, you are able to change the settings before you start the converting process. You are also able to same you own presets.

And not to forget, it is open source with means that it is free.

CloneDVD mobile

CloneDVD mobile is created by SlySoft.com, who also created the well known CloneDVD and AnyDVD. If you already use CloneDVD you would properly love CloneDVD mobile, as they look a lot like each other.

CloneDVD mobile is build line one of those next-next-wizards. It seems really cool if you are a novice PC user. But as soon as you get the hang of what you are doing, all those next-next-clicks seems kind of annoying  - You have to go through all screens in the wizard no matter if you just want to use that defaults.

Another great thing is that CloneDVD mobile has been translated to a lot of languages, so you will probably be able to get it in you own language. (I know my father would love this as his English is not the best.) The downside of  this is that if your language exists – you are stuck with it! You can’t change language in the application!

CloneDVD mobile comes with a long list if presets (I guess 3 times more then HandBrake). The presets is a wide selection of different devices from Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, Sony, seems like almost every manufacture is on that list. The bad thing with this presets is that you are stuck with the setting from the preset – You can’t change them, and you can’t add your own.

Then there is the price. CloneDVD mobile starts from €32.60, but you are able to get some discount if you also buy some of SlySoft.com other products. Like AnyDVD which also come in handy with both CloneDVD mobile and HandBrake.


None of HandBrake or CloneDVD mobile, takes care of the copy protection. So if there is a copy protection on the DVD, you probably can’t convert it.

AnyDVD is one of the most popular products to remove the copy protection of a DVD. According to what I found, AnyDVD do not really have a open source alternative. If you want to go with open source, you will need to do a combination of different programs.

It seems like AnyDVD is very superior on what it does and does a really good job. And the best thing is that it does it without you event notice it.

But AnyDVD is unfortunately not free - price starts from €41.00, but if you decide on CloneDVD mobile you can get 15% bulk discount, and get AnyDVD and CloneDVD mobile together with prices starting from €62,56

What i decided on

I ended up with HandBrake and AnyDVD.

The price of CloneDVD mobile had nothing to do with my decision, as I would have expected before I started. What I didn’t like with CloneDVD mobile, was the fact that I couldn’t tweak the settings – and can’t event see what settings the selected preset is using. I like to be in control and know what what the program is doing for me, and to be able to tweak the setting a little. I might never want to do this tweaking, but I would like to be able to do it. Also I think that 5 pages wizard i too much clicking, I don’t want to see screens with information that I know I don’t want to change.

HandBrake does makes it really simple, but I’m still able to access and tweak all the advanced settings (and screw everything up). And I can just stick to selecting source, detination and preset, if I like – I don’t have to make decisions about something that is already decided in the preset.

And AnyDVD… well I thought “I’ll buy it when I need it the first time”, and that “first time” was my second DVD. But SlySoft.com has a 21 days trail on all there products, and I still have 15 days left – but I know I will end up buying the product.