How to put a DVD on your iPod or iPhone
A guide to putting a DVD onto an iPhone or iPod

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Put a DVD on your iPhone

Put an internet video clip (e.g. YouTube) on your iPhone

Put a video file on your iPhone


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What you have:

A DVD with a movie or some other video on it that you want to put on your iPhone or iPod. Or you have some .vob or .iso files; or a folder called VIDEO_TS that has something to do with a DVD, but your not sure what!

What you want:

The video on your iPhone or iPod.


DVDs frequently have copy protection and DRM (digital rights management) on them. These mechanisms are intented to stop unauthorised copying or viewing of the DVD. These present a problem when wanting to put a movie from a DVD onto a device.

The first step is optional in that it is instructions about what to do if your DVD has copy protection. If the DVD has no copy protection then you can skip to Step 2. If you're not sure then you might as well try Step 1 as it won't hurt, and you might find out that you can skip to Step 2.

You should also skip to Step 2 if you already have .vob or .iso files which have no copy protection.

Step 1:

Note: This step could involve removing the copy protection from a DVD. This is illegal in certain countries, if you are in one of them, stick your fingers in your ears and squint your eyes while you skip to Step 2.

Being able to tell if a DVD has copy protection can be hard. There are a some copy protection techniques that are easily detected, but others that may not be detected until you try ripping the video off the DVD and you notice some problems.

Each of the the software outlined below does not necessarily remove all copy protection techniques on its own. For instance with DVD Decryptor, it may detect a copy protection called CSS on a DVD but when you try to remove it, it stalls very early on. This is on newer DVDs and is a copy protection mechanism which DVD Decryptor cannot handle.

If you have a DVD and you are having trouble ripping the video from it then you should search on a search engine for the name of the DVD and 'copy protection' and see if it is mentioned anywhere with potential fixes.


Some of the choices for removing copy protection on Windows are below. The way they work and can be used is different. Try them and see which one you like. Remember you can get by using the free software, however AnyDVD is very convenient and works in background and removes a lot of hassle.

DVD Decryptor - Free

DVD Decryptor is completely free, however it has not been updated for a while and as such cannot remove the latest copy protections. However for the ones it can remove it is simple and easy to use.

Just start up the program when you have a DVD in your drive and observe where its going to place the files it rips from the DVD. Then click the big button to start it. Going to the menu Edit > Select Main Movie Files will select what is labelled as the main movie on the disc so only this is ripped from the disc. Assuming this picks the right files, it will be quicker if you choose this option when ripping.

After this is done you will have copy protection free files ready to be used in the next step.

DVDFab Platinum - Not Free (but trial version will be fine, although the extra features if you pay will mean step 2 can be automaticall done for you)

After installing the software, put a DVD in your DVD drive, then load up the software and it will start reading the disc. After a minute or two you will be able to choose your options. You can now decide whether you want to rip part of the video from the DVD or the full DVD:

When ripping part of the move you are presented options for choosing which part, audio files to include as well as which subtitles. After doing one of these, you can click start to begin ripping the DVD to files in the folder specified. Or you can choose to make the output a single .iso file (there is no technical difference in the video ripped):

These options will output file(s) that contain video that is not copy protected which can be used in the next step.

DVDFab Platinum, which costs around $49.99, has options to output the video in a format supported by iPhones and iPods which means that the next step is not necessary and you could go straight to Step 3.

AnyDVD - €49 or €36.76

AnyDVD has the convenience that it works in the background and removes the copy protection on the fly. This means that any program on the computer which looks at the DVD in the drive sees an version with no copy protection rather than the actualy copy protected DVD. This means that once installed and your computer has rebooted, you don't need to do anything except put your DVDs in the drive and you can go to the next step.


MacTheRipper is available for Mac OSX to remove some copy protections. If this does not remove the copy protection from a DVD, use a search engine to find which software other people have used to remove the copy protection.


For Linux it is possible to use Wine and run DVD Decryptor and other Windows software like DVDFab Platinum to remove copy protection from DVDs. In these cases the above instructions apply, although you may have to change settings about the way DVD Decryptor tries to access your DVD drive, try changing what is selected in Tools > Settings > I/O > Interfaces if you have problems. 

Step 2:

Mac OSX, Windows and Linux

This step will take either the folder containing .vob files or a single .iso file that was created during the previous step and convert the video to a format that you can put on your iPhone or iPod.

The program to use for this is HandBrake. The Mac and Windows versions have a graphical user interface which this step will look at. However the linux version is a command line interface which is not covered here.

After you have installed HandBrake start it up and in the box labeled "Source" choose file only if you chose the settings which created a .iso file in the previous step or you already had a .iso file. You should choose folder if your non copy protected files were placed in a folder, which is probably called something like VIDEO_TS. You should also choose folder if you have .vob files and choose the folder which they are in.

Now click on "Browse" and locate the file or folder you created earlier. If you used AnyDVD in the previous step, then you will not have created any files, all you need to do is browse to the VIDEO_TS folder on the DVD. HandBrake will then perform some analysis on the file(s).

Now, in the "Title" drop down box, choose the title number which has a length that matches the length of the movie or just leave it on "Automatic" to let HandBrake automatically pick out the main movie:

Now on the right hand side you can choose some preset settings for the format to save the movie as. Choose one of the iPhone or iPod ones as appropriate:

In the future you could tweak the settings more manually as well as using one of these presets, although the presets are satisfactory for the majority of people.

At this point you may want to add optional subtitles so they appear on the movie, or add "forced subtitles". This done by clicking on the "Audio & Subtitles" tab.

Now click "Browse" in the destination box and choose the name and location of the output file.

Now click the start button near the top of the window:

This should output a .mp4 file to the folder you chose for the destination earlier. This file should be in a format which is compatible with your iPhone or iPod.

Step 3:

This step is easy, you just need to put the converted file onto your iPod or iPhone. All you need to do is start iTunes and drag the file onto it or import it any way you choose. Now when you connect your iPod or iPhone to update or synchronize the video should appear on your device.