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  #1  
12-10-2009, 01:19 PM
prsterling prsterling is offline
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Why should I ever save a copy of my DVD disk as an ISO? Can ISO be 're-converted' back to a playable DVD, with Video_TS and Audio_TS folders?

In other words, why not just create copies of the DVD Video_TS and Audio_TS folders (and not bother with ISO)?
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  #2  
12-10-2009, 02:45 PM
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There is no conversion going on. What is happening here is data is being stored different.

Data on the computer hard drive is stored with one of several types of file systems. For Windows, this is probably NTFS, or FAT32 on older systems. Many years ago, it was FAT or FAT16. Mac OS and Linux use different file systems, too.

Discs have their own file system options. The most common ones are ISO, Joliet and UDF. To be compliant with the official DVD-Video specifications, data must be in ISO+UDF 1.02 format.

When you copy the files off a disc to a hard drive, the file system is lost. When you make a new disc, you must remember to correctly set all the file system attributes, or the DVD may not play in your DVD player!

An ISO file retains the file system information. It is an image file of the disc, both data and formatting. When you burn a new disc from the ISO, nothing needs to be set -- it's automatically extracted from the ISO.

Beyond that, some "ripping" methods only look at the visible files in a VIDEO_TS and/or AUDIO_TS folder. Any hidden files/folders, or any non-video ROM data materials, are not read. This means you did not actually copy the disc entirely. This is more common, of course, for retail DVDs, not one you made yourself -- unless you purposely added extra material into a folder. Sometimes I purposely included hidden bonuses or source files in a DATA or ROM folder, or the "DVD player stop" images into a JACKET_P folder.

You can play an ISO image in the VLC media player, or open them as a virtual hard drive using software like Daemon Tools, Gizmo Drive or MagicDisc.

Storing as ISO also leaves file gapping to the DVD spec. The gaps are lost when the data is moved to the hard drive file system. Not all burning software (Nero, for example) restores proper 32kb gaps between BUP and IFO files. ImgBurn will properly burn the gapping.

This becomes more important on dual-layer discs, when the ISO tool also creates a complementary MDS file. You lose both the gaps AND the layer break by converting the disc data to the computer's file system. The ISO+MDS file retains these bits of super-important information for your DL disc, and makes burning a DL copy easy.

A bit complex, but I hope it's still helpful.

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  #3  
12-16-2009, 11:28 PM
prsterling prsterling is offline
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Excellent. Thanks so much for this information. I've looked at ImgBurn, but unfortunately it does not work for Mac. I Have a new Mac with OSX.

I am currently evaluating Aimersoft DVD Copy and DVD Backup. They do support ISO. However, I am wondering if there is other Mac Compatible software that is freeware, and supports ISO standards like you have so nicely spelled out above...
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  #4  
12-16-2009, 11:42 PM
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I've not done it in a while now (Mac-less for most of 2009 now), but I'm pretty sure Toast can rip and burn ISO files just fine. It's not freeware, however.

The built-in "Disk Utility" (in utilities folder, in applications) can burn ISO images to disc. I don't know if you still need PatchBurn for external drives. http://www.patchburn.de/

"Burn" might also be an option for reading and archiving an ISO. The documentation is somewhat crappy, so I'd just test the freeware out, see if it has a rip/read/save feature of some kind. Get it free at http://burn-osx.sourceforge.net/Pages/English/home.html

Remember that commercial/retail released DVDs have copy protection, meaning you can't just rip an ISO with standard copy software. It has to DeCSS, too. I've not used this, so I'm not sure if it rips to ISO, but http://thelittleappfactory.com/ripit is a current tool. MacTheRipper ceased development, so it may or may not work on all discs. MTR was pretty good, back in its day. http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/14414

Except Toast, everything I'm mentioning is freeware.

Hope that all helps.

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  #5  
12-16-2009, 11:46 PM
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Also, VLC is available on OS X.
And then Toast and Disk Utilities can both mount an ISO as a virtual drive.

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  #6  
12-17-2009, 07:22 PM
prsterling prsterling is offline
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Your statement: "When you copy the files off a disc to a hard drive, the file system is lost. When you make a new disc, you must remember to correctly set all the file system attributes, or the DVD may not play in your DVD player!"

I have downloaded BURN as you suggested, and it gives the option of using the following Filesystems on the DVD disc:
- HFS+
- ISO9660
- Joilet
- UDG
- HFS Standard (only)

I assume that I should check all?

thanks again!
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  #7  
12-17-2009, 11:37 PM
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No, you don't want to check them all.
Again, DVD-Video formats uses UDF 1.02 plus ISO 9660. That's all you want.

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  #8  
12-22-2009, 12:52 PM
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Admin,

I haven't done this before and would like some how-to clarification: if you want to make an exact copy of a disc - retail or homemade - you copy/"rip" all the information off the disc and, as long as you include all the files (including the ISO), you're all set? Single layer/dual layer issues aside? Or do you only need to copy the ISO?

I have a Mac, so if I just dump all those ripped files to DVD-R (including ISO) and click burn - like I would if I was burning data - should it play on a home player so long as all the files are included? Again, SL/DL issues aside?

Thanks
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12-22-2009, 05:45 PM
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The ISO is not a file -- it's an image of the disc. The ISO file is what is created on the hard drive. There is not an ISO file on the CD or DVD.

This is not much different than a PDF -- something else people have a hard time understanding. A PDF is not a "file" as much as it's a piece of virtual paper. Instead of printing to a printer, you print to this file.

An ISO is a virtual copy of the disc. Instead of burning to a new disc, you burn to a file.

If you dump files to a disc, then a new formatting must be created. It's not the original disc anymore. You can re-create the original disc if you know how, but letting software automatically make the formatting decisions usually ends up wrong. Most software auto-selects an ISO+Joliet or Mac HFS+ option, not the proper DVD-Video compliant ISO+UDF structure.

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  #10  
02-19-2011, 11:39 AM
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I know that this thread is over a year old, but perhaps my observations and comments are a worthy (albeit belated) contribution to this topic.

I Currently use a notebook PC with Windows Vista OS and NTFS formatted Hard drives (both internal & external USB 2.0) and an external DVD reader/burner.

I have backed up numerous DVDs using the following tools & steps:

1) using either: DVDFab Decrypter, DVDFab 6.1.2.5, or DVD Decrypter v3.5.4.0to crack & transfer Full DVDs of varying sizes to hard-drive.
(Note: in exceptionally large DVDs where I am unable to obtain greater than at least 60 percent of the original using the DVD Shrink 3.2 compression settings, in non-documentaries, I generally just back up the main movie.)

2) using DVD Shrink 3.2 to create a back-up in a separate folder that will fit on a single layer 4.7 GB DVD
(Note: these back-up files will never exceed 4.36 GB)
DVD Shrink 3.2 is set to Region Free, I do not check the Perform Deep Analysis or QE Quality Settings, These back-up files are saved in titled DVD video folders with Video_TS & AUDIO_TS subfolders (the AUDIO_TS folder is always empty as the sound is in the Video_TS folder).

3) ImgBurn v2.5.0 is used to create a back-up DVD for either separate archiving or use in a DVD player using either branded Verbatim DVD-R or DVD+R or Taiyo Yuden DVD-R media.
I simply select the hard-drive folder and then write the files/folders to disc.

So far I've had no visably notable artifacts or difficulties playing these DVDs and the "Full disk" burns seem to have all of the same DVD menu options as the original master.

I've read what has been written here on the advantages of Hard-drive archiving an ISO "virtual copy" vs DVD Folders with VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS sub folders.
I'm not sure what I may be actually missing doing hard-drive back-ups the way I have, but it doesn't appear to be noticeable on my HDTV screen. Perhaps I have just been lucky thus far?

I've observed that DVD Shrink 3.2 (which offers either the ISO or DVD (VIDEO_TS sub-folder) option when backing up an original DVD) could not always decrypt the DVD, whereas DVDFab Decrypter, DVDFab 6.1.2.5, or DVD Decrypter v3.5.4.0 were most often successful, but did not offer an ISO back-up option. On disks larger than 4.36 GB I still needed DVD Shrink 3.2 to compress the files for reburns, though after using the previous decrypter programs DVD Shrink 3.2 no longer offered the ISO option when compressing.
ImgBurn v2.5.0 does offer an option to "Create an (ISO) image file from (VIDEO_TS) files/folders, but since this would be from folders already on the hard drive and not from the original DVD I'm wondering if there is any real benefit to this other than creating an ISO image of an already, possibly corrupted VIDEO_TS folder?
(NOTE: The FULL DVD ISO back-up is a WinRAR archive that contains both VIDEO_TS & empty AUDIO_TS folders. There is also a separate mds file with the same title of the DVD selected DVD. DVD Shrink 3.2 will NOT CAN recognize or compress an ISO file and an ImgBurn v2.5.0 ISO conversion of an already shrunk DVD folder will not yield an additional mds file).

I store both the ISO & the mds files (when present) in a titled folder but when I use ImgBurn v2.5.0 to burn a back-up DVD disk I can only select the mds file when it's present on DvDs that did not require any compression, or select just the ISO file when the mds file is not available.
In either event I end up with the VIDEO_TS and (empty) AUDIO_TS sub folders burned back to a DVD, with or without the benefit of that mds file, and so far they seem to play just as well as those that were not converted to ISO on the hard-drive. So any discrepencies are (for me) thus far imperceiveable.

I keep my original DVDs in storage and use my DVD back-ups for viewing. But I also keep these same DVDs stored on several large capacity USB 2.0 external hard drives from which I can also view them directly on a notebook PC screen.

I have also discovered that there are some media players (such as the Argosy HV676 HD Media Player) that can open and play USB Hard Drive archived movies, on an HDTV with a functional DVD menu regardless of whether they are ISO images or DVD VIDEO_TS folders.

Argosy HV676 HD Media Player

http://www.amazon.com/Argosy-HV676-H...7536944&sr=1-3

http://www.argosyusa.com/hv676.shtml?DefaultTab=0
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  #11  
02-21-2011, 02:29 PM
Harry Harry is offline
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I erred in my previous post when I stated:
"...DVD Shrink 3.2 will NOT recognize or compress an ISO file..."
DVD Shrink CAN recognize & compress an ISO file.

I wanted to edit that post, but could not find a tool on this forum that would let me do it.
Hopefully I'm not going blind, but if if an "edit post" function does exist, could you (or someone) please direct me to it?

Thanks

Last edited by lordsmurf; 03-19-2011 at 11:11 PM. Reason: Edited above post with correction information from member. Thanks, -LS
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  #12  
03-19-2011, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry View Post
So far I've had no visably notable artifacts or difficulties playing these DVDs and the "Full disk" burns seem to have all of the same DVD menu options as the original master.
This is a topic of storage methods, which has no bearing on the visual quality. To both repeat and summarize what's been written into the earlier posts, the benefit of the ISO is to keep disc contents unaffected by the file system or the OS of the computer. An ISO is sort of like a biodome -- an isolated environment, even if it does exist inside of a larger one (the Earth, as an analogy for your computer).

Quote:
it doesn't appear to be noticeable on my HDTV screen. Perhaps I have just been lucky thus far?
To reiterate, for sake of clarity -- ISO vs VIDEO_TS is unrelated to visual quality.

Quote:
I've observed that DVD Shrink 3.2 (which offers either the ISO or DVD (VIDEO_TS sub-folder) option when backing up an original DVD) could not always decrypt the DVD
This is because DVD Shrink is a video transcoder, and not a disc extraction utility. A transcoder reads the content of a DVD-Video disc -- regardlress of whether "the disc" is still on a physical disc, stored as ISO, or stored as VIDEO_TS files -- and reinterprets the math. A target file size is set, and the transcoder alters the math to fit that space. Although it will technically always reduce the quality, it's not always visible or easily-visible loss. Contrary to silly statements online about what percentage of "shrink" is acceptable, the difference between input and output quality is based upon the source, and not any arbitrary number scheme. A disc with a 50% transcode can look better than a disc with a 99% transcode, depending on source quality. (Most homemade DVDs fall into the latter category, while professional DVDs can fall into the earlier one. It's all about source.)

While that may seem like an off-topic stray, it's really not. The author of DVD Shrink was a transcoder developer, and not a disc extraction/decrypting expert. As such, that afterthought feature never worked very well, even when it was a still-development and new program. The task of extraction was better left to other tools.

Quote:
whereas DVDFab Decrypter, DVDFab 6.1.2.5, or DVD Decrypter v3.5.4.0
These would be the aforementioned "better tools".

Quote:
were most often successful, but did not offer an ISO back-up option.
Actually, these tools do offer output to ISO files. DVD Shrink, for example, can open a DVD-Video from the disc (not suggested), from a VIDEO_TS folder, or from an ISO. Inversely, it outputs to these same formats: ISO on hard drive, VIDEO_TS folder on hard drive, or burning with the Nero API (if Nero is installed) or ImgBurn API (if ImgBurn is installed, and using the modified ImgBurn + DVD Shrink 3.2.exe file).

Quote:
DVD Shrink 3.2 no longer offered the ISO option when compressing.
No, it's there. Looks for it when you go to the backup menus (after clicking big Backup button)
Select Backup Target = Use ISO Image File

Quote:
ImgBurn v2.5.0 does offer an option to "Create an (ISO) image file from (VIDEO_TS) files/folders, but since this would be from folders already on the hard drive and not from the original DVD I'm wondering if there is any real benefit to this other than creating an ISO image of an already, possibly corrupted VIDEO_TS folder?
It would actually, yes. It will gap the IFO and BUP in the new ISO file, when the target is a single-layer disc. This exact process, however, is also performed when burning DVD-Video files to DVD, using ImgBurn. So there's no reason to double-up here, unless you're planning to save a hard drive version in addition to the disc version.

I would note that any non-DVD information was lost once the DVD was run through DVD Shrink. This includes JACKET_P, any ROM data, etc.

Quote:
when I use ImgBurn v2.5.0 to burn a back-up DVD disk I can only select the mds file when it's present on DvDs that did not require any compression, or select just the ISO file when the mds file is not available. In either event I end up with the VIDEO_TS and (empty) AUDIO_TS sub folders burned back to a DVD, with or without the benefit of that mds file,
MDS files are only a benefit when the source and target are both dual-layer media. DVD9 or DVD+R DL for the source, and DVD+R DL for the new disc.

Quote:
and so far they seem to play just as well as those that were not converted to ISO on the hard-drive. So any discrepencies are (for me) thus far imperceiveable.
That would not be true if the new disc is a DVD+R DL, and the layer break has moved. Although it is possible for ImgBurn's intelligent automatic layer break tool to select an identical position as found on the source disc, I've often found it to be incorrect. Not that the new layer break position is bad in any way, but simply that it may be more noticeable if it were placed between chapters during peak action. Or in the middle of a clip, instead of between clips on an episodic style DVD.

Quote:
I keep my original DVDs in storage and use my DVD back-ups for viewing. But I also keep these same DVDs stored on several large capacity USB 2.0 external hard drives from which I can also view them directly on a notebook PC screen.
And for this reason, I would suggest ISO files.

Quote:
I have also discovered that there are some media players (such as the Argosy HV676 HD Media Player) that can open and play USB Hard Drive archived movies, on an HDTV with a functional DVD menu regardless of whether they are ISO images or DVD VIDEO_TS folders.
The WDTV Plus is known for its ability to playback ISO files, and the WDTV is one of the better media center devices currently on the market. It's quite popular, and quite inexpensive. It's comparable to DVD player pricing, but far more feature-packed in terms of the kinds of video files it will play (DivX, AVI, MKV, etc), and from what sources (USB flash drives, USB hard drives).

Currently about $95 + free shipping from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.ht...reative=390957

Quote:
Hopefully I'm not going blind, but if if an "edit post" function does exist, could you (or someone) please direct me to it?
The option to edit a post disappears an hour after the post was first made.


Good topic.

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