One of the great things that Plex will do is organize all of your media so that it is available to you on all of your devices. You’re probably wondering how you can take your entire DVD collection with you and this guide will walk you through the process of adding your media to Plex.
How to rip DVD’s for personal use
Let me start by saying that it is illegal to copy DVD’s for sale or public use. It is OK to make copies for personal use so long as you do not circumvent security measures to make a copy. That is illegal! It’s important for you to understand this so you don’t get yourself in legal hot water. You can read more about this here and here.
That being said, use these instruction at your own risk. They are provided here for entertainment purposes and to educate you on the process of ripping DVD’s so that you can watch the backup through Plex instead of having to insert the actual disk.
To create a backup of your DVD (which from here on we will assume is not encrypted), you will need the following tools:
Start by downloading these tools and install them on your server.
MakeMKV will analyze the disk and then present you with a list of titles on the disk.
- Insert the disk – close out of any program that tries to play the disk
- In MakeMKV, open the disc. This will take a few moments while it reads the disc.
- Look for the title that is about 500MB’s for each 30 minutes of the title. For example, if the title is 1 hour long, you’ll want the title that is at least 1GB in size. A 2 hour title would be at least 2GB’s.
- Uncheck all other titles.
- Click on the + for the title you want to copy and make sure you uncheck all subtitles and other audio tracks.
- Click Make MKV
- Save the file to a temporary location.
- Make MKV will create a file entitled something like title01.mkv
- When the copy is complete, rename the “titleXX” to match the name of the title like “Our Town” so it will look like “Our Town.mkv”
Next, open up WinFF
- In WinFF, add your title (Our Town.mkv in our example) to the queue. You can add multiple titles to be converted sequentially.
- Change the “Convert to” to MP4
- Change the preset to MP4 (Widescreen)
- Change the Output folder to match the Library that the title type is. For example, if your title is the movie Our Town, you would want to select the folder for your Movie library in Plex.
- Click the big “Convert” button and WinFF will open a black (DOS/Command Line) window and start converting your title.
Adding TV Shows to Plex
Adding TV shows to Plex is much like we did for the movie shows above. We’ll still use the same tools but we need to use a slightly different naming convention. For Television programs, you’ll want to make sure that you include the season and episode of the season for the show so that when Plex retrieves the data it will match what is found on TheTVDB.com.
For example, you have a set of Dragnet, Season 1. You would want to name the first episode Dragnet s01e01. Plex will do the rest if you include that.
I also suggest giving each show a separate folder. You’ll want them all under a folder called TV Shows and the a subfolder called Dragnet (using our example).