State of Video, as I see it. Part V: Other Methods and Conclusion

    Preface: The information contained within this article(s) is only given as information purposes. Macgasm and it’s authors do not condone nor support the violation of copyright. We cannot be held responsible for the actions of the reader of this article. Statutes differ depending on locale, so consult the laws for your region.

    There are many options for consuming video on your computer or even on your High Definition TV. Whether it’s a Mac, Windows or even a Linux flavor. The options for video have expanded exponentially over the past several years. Back in the early 2000’s online video was a figment of many people’s imagination. Video was compressed so horribly that nothing more than a few minutes of video could be tolerated or downloaded. Now, with the explosion of broadband and the increased speeds available to consumers, the video market has grown to include the masses. There are several ways to consume video on the Internet. Throughout this multi-part article you’ll learn about many of the differing ways to get your video fix.

    Another famous way to go ahead and consume your content is via the decryption of the DVD DRM called Content Scramble System (CSS). This can be done using several programs. Two of the more famous Mac applications are Handbrake ( and MacTheRipper. These each serve different functions, but are both used to accomplish different objectives. Let’s take a good look at these.

    Handbrake is a cross-platform video encoding tool that will take DVDs and convert them into compatible files that will play on your iPod, AppleTV, PSP or any other player (if you specify the right parameters). The input for Handbrake must be a DVD, which can be a folder or physical DVD. It will only decrypt CSS encrypted DVDs. Any other content protection methods are not supported. It does take some time to convert the DVDs, but it will produce a file that can be copied to your chosen device.

    Similarly, Mac the Ripper (MTR) ( allows only for the decryption of the DVD that will strip off the encryption. MacTheRipper will not convert the files into any other format, it is used strictly for pulling the DRM off of DVD. MTR will only rip the DVD to a folder of your choosing.

    The last, and final way that we’ll talk about video is BitTorrent. BitTorrent gets a bad rap because it is the primary peer-to-peer technology that is used to exchange copyright-infringing files on the Internet. Bit-Torrent uses a tracker system that keeps tabs on what files are out there to be found and where to find them. Bit-Torrent, while not wholly illegal, does have a multitude of illegal files being traded amongst the users. Both the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have used Bit-torrent in their attacks against copyright infringers.

    As you can see there is a plethora of ways to obtain video content and even more ways to consume it. Many of these are legal ways, but some can be less so. It ultimately comes down to your personal ethics and the way that you want to consume the video. One mention before we close, Tivo is an option, but not included in this article. Not because I don’t think it’s relevant, but because it depends on a connection to your satellite or cable provider in able to utilize the service and it is more of a recorder than a way to get video. Thus, it’s beyond the scope of this article.

    I'm into everything technology related, particularly anything Apple related. I enjoy programming and tend to lean towards server-based technologies over client-based. You can contact me on twitter, via e-mail, or follow me on friendfeed.