Eugene Ciurana Official Site

Archiving my DVD library

My DVD library is down to a few hard-to-find titles. Some foreign, some out of print, some from other regions. This post describes the set up and commands for backing them up to Matreoshka Video format using a headless Ubuntu server for later playback.

Cut to the chase

The backup machines are two headless enterprise servers with Blu-ray and DVD capability.  The disks must be backed up in an unobtrusive way without taking time or attention away from other tasks and without using any screen real estate.  The ripping process is simple:

  1. Install or build the latest HandBrakeCLI
    1. I built it because the HandBrakeCLI for Ubuntu Server and the PPAs are outdated and at least one disk required the latest features
  2. List all the titles to extract
  3. Identify the title to transcode
  4. Run HandBrakeCLI

That's it!

In code:

clear && HandBrakeCLI -i dvd -t0 2>&1 | awk '/+ / && !/vts/ && !/chapters/ && !/: cells/' | more && \
echo "" && read -p "Title number? " titleNumber && \
read -p "Output file (.mkv or .mp4 for encoding)? " outputFileName && \
HandBrakeCLI -i dvd -t "$titleNumber" -o $outputFileName -r 30.0 -q 20 --audio-lang-list und --auto-anamorphic --all-subtitles -F 

The backups are made with the highest possible quality given DVD resolution. 

Users may use this code and paste it to the console.  The DVD or Blu-ray disk is assumed to be mounted on the current path's dvd directory.


The video files will remain on the server.  Next I'll show how to encrypt and upload the files to the Amazon Glacier for long-term safekeeping.

What about the disks?

The disks are destroyed as soon as the video backup integrity is verified.  Only the backup copy will remain for later playback.  Backups are permitted under Fair Use.

Any CSS worries?

Breaking the Content Scrambling System or any other encryption protecting video media is illegal under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.  These backup instructions are intended for use only on region-free, non-CSS protected media.  United States federal law forbids the installation of the /usr/lib/ library on Linux machines through commands like apt-get update && apt-get install libdvd-pkg for circumventing copy protection.


Written by Eugene Ciurana on Tuesday March 27, 2018
Permalink -

« Mini-Review - Spider-Man: Homecoming - Fixing devpi package uploads in a Python 3.6.5 world »