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I'm trying to convert a DVD to some reasonable format. I'm not opposed to 1:1 conversion, but I want to at least change the container to ogm/mkv.

I have already tried various GUI tools like dvd::rip or ogmrip, but they all fail after a while of converting. And my manual converting attempts using ffmpeg just fail gloriously (the quality is appalling).

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

There's a piece of software called handbrake that has served me very well.

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Handbrake is a great app, but it is nowdays more focused on coding into h264. – Johan Sep 1 '11 at 19:32
Last I checked it still had presets for most stuff. Granted, I primarily use it to convert movies into a format I can watch on my tablet. – Shadur Sep 2 '11 at 5:31

Check out x264transcode. The shell script contains probably man years of x264 know how and many sane defaults.

It uses the MKV container format, it is designed to run unattended and it even supports multiple CPU cores for transcoding.

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x264transcode is exactly what I needed by the looks of it. – ixtmixilix Feb 17 '12 at 23:12

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