DVD

Upload photos from a DVD to Facebook

Last week I took my family to Cabo for vacation, and we did one of those snorkeling cruises where they take all kinds of great pictures and then let you purchase the DVD of all the photos (which I did). When we returned home, I wanted to upload those pictures to my facebook page so my friends and family could see them.

It's a 2-step process. First I imported the photos from the DVD to my computer, and then I uploaded those pictures from my computer to my facebook page.

Here's how to upload photos from a DVD to Facebook

1. Import the photos from your DVD to your computer.

Insert your DVD into your computer's DVD drive and wait for the Autoplay dialog to pop up.

Choose the "Import pictures and videos" option. You can tag your photos with something that'll help you find them later, and then click "Import" to copy them from the DVD to your computer.

The pictures will be uploaded to your Pictures folder, which is "C:\Users\Rick\Pictures" on my computer.

2. Upload the photos from your computer to your Facebook page.

Now that the photos have been imported to your computer, you're ready to upload them to Facebook.

Log into your Facebook account and click "Add Photo / Video" at the top of your homepage.

Click "Create Photo Album" and then click "Select Photos to Upload".

You'll be prompted for the location of your photos that are on your computer from Step 1 above. Find them, select the ones you want to upload, and that's all there is to it!

Here's another tip: hold the Ctrl key down while selecting photos. This will let you select individual photos on your computer.

Happy uploading, and I'm sure your friends will love seeing the new photos you'll be posting :-)

How to Rip Copy-Protected DVD Movies

DVD movies that you buy or rent can be viewed on your computer using a number of DVD player programs, but there are a few downsides to this approach - especially for laptop users who travel a lot:

1. Battery life on laptops is greatly reduced by the mechanical spinning of the DVD drive.

2. It's a pain to swap out DVD discs for each movie, let alone pack the discs along if you're on a vacation or business trip.

3. The spinning DVD drive is noisy and can be annoying for passengers sitting next to you.

For these reasons, it's often desirable to convert each DVD movie to an electronic format so they can be viewed as videos. This approach lets you store several videos on your hard and play them as often as you like without having to swap out DVD discs. Your battery life will also be a lot longer, because you won't have to keep a DVD drive spinning to watch the videos.

Converting commercial movies into video format requires software that's able to crack the copy-protection and convert the movie into common digital video formats, such as Quicktime's .mp4/.mov format, or Windows Media's .wmv format.

Getting Started

In this article I'll show you 5 easy steps for converting copy-protected DVD movies into videos using Wondershare's DVD Ripper Platinum program. You'll be able to convert your movies into numerous formats for viewing them on your computer as well as mobile devices like the iPhone, PSP, Zune and even an Apple TV.

To get started, download Wondershare for Windows (also available for Mac) from their website and follow along with the steps below:

Five Easy Steps for Ripping DVD Movies

1. Install and start Wondershare DVD Ripper Platinum, and insert the DVD movie into your disc drive.

How to convert Hi-8 or VHS videos to DVD

My wife and I bought a Sony Handycam about a decade ago, to capture video of our kids as they grew up. It records on Hi-8 video cassettes, and I needed a way to convert these analog recordings into digital movies and save them to DVD.

The Sony Handycam (model number CCD-TRV22) has RCA outputs for video and mono audio, and I found an EasyCAP USB2.0 Video Capture VHS-to-USB Adapter that converts the analog Hi-8 recordings into digital movies.

The Easycap adapter plugs into the RCA jacks on the Sony Handycam (I used the white line for the single audio jack), and the USB jack plugs into my laptop. Also bundled with the adapter is a licensed copy of ULead Video Studio 8.0 for creating and editing movies.

I had to use an RCA patch cable between the female adapter jacks and the camcorder, just like you would between a VCR and your TV. In fact, this adapter could also be hooked up to a VHS VCR (yep, I still have one), to make digital copies of old VHS movies.

Once I hooked up the camcorder with my laptop using the EasyCap usb adapter, I ran the Ulead Movie Wizard software and selected the "Capture" menu.

I put the camcorder in Player mode, loaded the video tape and pressed play. Then I pressed "Capture Video" in the Ulead program, and received an error indicating that no input signal could be found.

The reason was the video capture options are set by default to record from Video Tuner and I was using a video camcorder with RCA (composite) outputs. I clicked "Options" and then selected "Video and Audio Capture Property Settings" to change this setting:

How to Backup Copy-Protected DVD Movies

Question: I have a few DVD movies that I'd like to copy for backup purposes, and would also like to view them on my laptop when I go on business trips. The software that came with my laptop isn't able to do it though - it says the DVDs are copy-protected. Is there an easy way to do this?

Answer: You'd think it would just be a simple matter of plugging the DVD into the DVD drive on your computer, and clicking a "Create Backup Copy" menu somewhere in Windows Explorer (or in the Finder for Mac users). It turns out however that copy-protection and encryption on commercial DVD movies have made it a lot harder than that.

Your operating system will not let you make backup copies of your favorite copy-protected commercial DVD movies without the help of third-party software programs. You'll also most likely need to find software made outside the United States. Thanks to some confusing legislation, and the fear of copyright law suits in the states, companies like Roxio, Nero, and others have removed the ability to copy commercial DVDs.

Is it legal?

If you're intentions are to copy your DVDs and sell them for profit, then you're clearly violating copyright laws and will be subject to fines or imprisonment if caught.

But what about making backup copies of your own DVDs that you paid for? I'm not a lawyer, so I recommend that you read the copyright laws for your country and decide for yourself what's legal and what's not. Personally I found them confusing at best, and conflicting with regards to fair usage laws that should allow me to protect my personal property by making backup copies of my own DVDs.

I'm a firm believer in the right to protect your own personal property. For DVDs that means being able to burn backup copies to your heart's content, provided they're for your own personal viewing (ie. you aren't selling them or using them to make a profit).

The search for a good DVD Ripper and Burner