Linux has become a popular choice for home theater computers, in addition to general users. One of the earlier complaints about Linux, aside from the difficulty for nontechnical users, was the general lack of software for everyday things, such as video editing and encoding. This has changed, however, and it’s now possible to do complex tasks, such as combining and encoding DVD VOB movie files.
VOB files are essentially chapters of a movie – one long MPEG file is split into small VOB files, each as long as each chapter. These files can be extracted with DVD backup software, and burned to a new disc. If you wish to have a digital movie to watch, instead, you can combine the files into a single MPEG file. This MPEG file, unfortunately, will range from 3GB to 5GB in size, which is too large for most individuals to store. The solution is to encode the file into a new, smaller file while retaining the video quality.
The best software to do this for Linux operating systems is OGMRip, which is a simple, easy to use app for general users, and works with both DVDs and VOB files. If you need to combine and encode your VOBs, read on to find out how.
Step 1: Download OGMRip – how this is done will depend on the Linux distro you’re using. For example, in Ubuntu, simply open Add/Remove Programs by navigating to Applications > Accessories > Add/Remove. Type OGMRip and install the package that appears.
Step 2: Once the program is installed, you’re need to obtain VOB files. This is done with DVD extraction software – some programs include DVD Shrink and DVD Decrypter. Simply insert the disk, choose VOB as the extraction files of choice, and wait for it to rip to the hard drive.
Step 3: Start OGMRip and navigate to Edit > Preferences. This will open the settings dialog box, where you can choose the encoding settings for the movie. If you want a small-yet-high quality video, the x264 codec with an AVI container is the best option. Choose Stereo or Surround Sound for the audio, and then choose OK.
Step 4: In the VIDEO input video, click the browse button next to it, and open the VIDEO_TS folder. All the VOB files will be auto-selected; simply press OK to load them.
In the AUDIO drop down box below the video box, choose the audio option available – if the DVD offers different languages, choose the audio with the language of your choice. For example, it will say something like ‘English_48k-stereo’.
Step 5: If you only want to encode the main movie (and not the menu), then scroll through the VOB files and only select the one with the largest file size – it will usually be something like 1.5GB in size.
Step 6: Press the EXTRACT button to begin encoding. It will say ‘extracting audio’ first, and then ‘encoding video’. Depending on how many VOBs you are converting, and the speeds of your hard drive, the process will take about two hours.
Step 7: When finished, navigate to the saving location and test the AVI in a media player, such as VLC.