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Notice: Almost all the commercial DVD's available today are protected with Content Scrambling System (CSS) encryption. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the US prohibits “circumventing” this encryption. If you feel like this violates your "Fair Use" of a product you have paid for, please visit Digital Consumer and do your part.
First off I would like to say that this is not a trivial process and besides being a royal pain, it takes a long time too. Rather than re-typing the "free" way of extracting video to use in iMovie, I will send you to Matti Haveri's site. He is very good about keeping it current and is also very, very knowledgeable about these things. NOTE: Steps 2, 3, 4, and 5 (below) have been simplified by the program MPEG Streamclip and the good news is the cost. Nothing! Yes, free!
- Pull the Video OBjects (VOB files) off the DVD using something like Mac the Ripper (Not necessary if you have an .MPG/.MPEG already on your hard drive).
- Demux the VOB or MPEG file (extract the audio and video tracks out of it) with something like BBdemux. (Streamclip)
- Convert the video to a format that iMovie/Quicktime can read with something like DiVA. (Streamclip)
- Extract/convert the audio with something like MadPlay or Wiretap. (Streamclip)
- Put the audio and video back together using Quicktime Pro or iMovie. (Streamclip converts to DV)
- It will be an easier job if you have bought and paid for the Quicktime MPEG-2 playback option. (A must have for Streamclip)
- A good tool for the "video tool box" is VLC, it will play about any type of video out there.
- The MPEG-2 playback option comes standard with DVD Studio Pro and Final Cut Pro and also you can encode professional grade MPEG's with Compressor.
- If you need a good, inexpensive MPEG creation tool that has a load of other features mentioned above, I highly suggest MPEGworks.
- If you just want a DVD conversion to watch videos on your laptop just buy Forty-Two DV and DivX and be done with it.
- If you just want to pull video off a DVD you created previously, get DVDxDV or Cinematize and be done. It exports out a DV file that Quicktime will import right into iMovie.
- If you have an MPEG file you want to convert to a QT movie so you can edit it you most likely can use DiVA to convert it. Bonus, it is free! One that may work a little better but cost you a few bucks Export2QT or DropDV
- If you cannot figure out how to get the freaking sound out (demuxed from the video) you can use Audio Hijack, or the free version Wiretap, to capture the sound then paste it back in later. Audio Hijack is a little more feature rich and Audio Hijack Pro is the bomb!