How Do I Know What Format to Rip My DVD In?


With the variety of digital video formats available, it can be extremely confusing trying to figure out which one to use to rip your DVDs. Some formats such as Divx and AVI have been around for awhile, but may not be the best option. And when it comes to mobile devices, some can handle certain formats and some cannot. Knowing what format is appropriate can save you time and money on wasted ripping.

  • Decide what device the media will be used on. Desktops, and laptops, for instance, use different formats than most mobile devices.

  • Choose a format for ripping your DVD to that is compatible with desktop and laptop computers, or skip to step 3 for mobile formats. Common desktop and laptop computer formats are MPEG-4, AVI, DivX and Xvid. MPEG-4 is the best overall digital video format for computers providing high-quality video with high compression for small files, but AVI is also a good choice.

  • Choose a format for ripping your DVD that is compatible with mobile devices such as iPods or smart phones, if you are not ripping it for a computer. The most common mobile video formats are 3GP and MP4. The MP4 format is more common, but you can contact your phone's manufacturer to see if your phone can handle the 3GP format as well.

  • Select your format using your ripping software, and rip your DVD.

Tips & Warnings

  • Set your software to always use the same format, to prevent wasting time forgetting your setting.
  • Never attempt to copy protected material.

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  • Photo Credit 5 dvd cases image by Trevor Goodwin from
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