I read a post on the Technologizer blog. It was entitled “A Real Review of RealDVD” by Harry McCracken. Real Networks has released a new application which copies DVD contents to your computer hard drive. There are already other programs out there that do this. However the competitors actually decrypt the DVD, which might be an illegal activity. The RealDVD product from Real Networks takes another approach.

RealDVD is a DVD copying program. It is, in fact, a DVD ripper. However it does not violate the DCMA rules. It achieves this by not removing the copy protection. In fact, RealDVD adds extra copy protection to the output it stores on your hard disk. In essence, you cannot share copies of the rip with anybody else.

This program costs $30. McCracken says that it is easy to use. The ripping does not degrade the quality of the DVD. The amount of DVDs you can rip is only limited by the amount of disk space you have. You can also rip a DVD to a USB drive. The ripped movie is bound to the device you rip the DVD to. So you cannot just make a copy somewhere else and hope that it will work. This is the key benefit of RealDVD.

Personally I watch all my DVDs on a DVD player. So I don’t have the need to store a copy on my computer. I am also not worried about backing up the DVD. If something happens to my DVD copy, I will just buy another one. The interesting part of the RealDVD program is that Real Networks found a way to copy the DVD, encryption and all. You can then play the DVD back, but it is somehow tied to where you ripped the DVD to. I wonder how many takers Real Networks will get for this product. It is not excessively expensive. I just don’t know whether they can stand out in a crowded market or not.