Gathan Beaga

ripping DVD audio

And still, here I am ripping my stuff.

Sometimes, bands put out bonus DVDs with a few videos on them – like Coldplay’s X&Y Australian Tour Edition from a few years ago. There are several audio tracks on here that I don’t otherwise have – and so the question becomes how to rip these so I can listen to them in the usual manner1.

I’d done this several years ago, but had noticed that the result seemed slightly slowed down, something that probably related to the different sampling frequency of the source material. The DVD audio seemed to be sampled at 48,000Hz, but regular CD audio is at 44,100Hz (I think), and so if any part of the lengthy chain of transcoders is assuming it’s dealing with CD audio then there’s a problem.

I think I’ve sorted it now. I’m sure there’s a better way, but here’s what I did on my Mac:

  • Mac The Ripper – this can be used to separate (demux) the video and audio. At the end of this process you should have a large .pcm file containing all the audio tracks as well as a video file you can discard.
  • Audacity – import the PCM file as “raw data”, making sure you set the sampling frequency to 48,000Hz in the appropriate import dialog.

At this point you’ll have to select each song separately out of the one long audio file and “Export Selected…” in Audacity. It’s a bit of an interesting exercise if you haven’t done it before (I’m sure Audacity has better ways of doing this too, though I haven’t delved that far as yet). You can export as MP3 / WAV etc etc – I did two exports, one to Apple’s lossless WAV equivalent AIFF for archival purposes, and another to 320kbps MP3.

I’m glad I only have to do this once.

Later: So much for knowing what I was doing. The next one I tried, the DVD version of the Super Furry Animals Rings Around The World turned out to have a variety of audio encodings resistant to the above. I’ve ripped it once before, several years ago, but to a less than adequate quality. Unfortunately I can’t remember how I did it. Back to the drawing board!

1 The question as to whether or not it’s actually worth the bother I’ll leave aside for now.