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I have spent the past few days trying to find a solution here. I want all my DVD's on my pc so as my DVD's can stay new and scratch free. I started out with the trial of DVDfab. Things seemed to be going ok. I converted my first DVD. Came out with stereo sound and should be 5.1. At this stage it's worth mentioning that this was all ripped on mp4, not m4v. Just mp4. Itunes imported it and it worked but only in stereo. After some fiddling I found I need to use audiocopy in the settings. All testing for audio was done using VLC as waiting to import each time into iTunes was a bit of a pain.

Once I had my 5.1 correct version of my movie I imported it into iTunes to which I received the green box as an image preview. Not phased I clicked play. Nadda. It just sits there and stares at me. It opens up the window to play but after that nothing. If you move the slider along it moves to that frame but doesn't play. I hit play pause skip any bloody button i can. Try in VLC and it plays. Try Quicktime and I get the error code 2041. After some trawling of google I came across a post mentioning m4v and that itunes and quicktime are fussy with DRM and everything. I found a converter on a trail, Wondershare video converter, and converted it and then it worked except I have stereo again. Out of pure desperation I manually changed the mp4 to m4v in explorer. It works in VLC, but what about iTunes? Nope. Does exactly the same as above. It works in Quicktime but no sound.

So my question is: Can Itunes play 5.1 audio from a movie or is it only 2.0 in itunes and 2 if yes to 5.1, what encoder/ ripper can I use and with which settings to set it to. I will gladly hand over $$$ for it, so long as it works!

PS I'm on iTunes 10.7 and Windows 7 ultimate 64bit and sound is running out of HDMI to my sony receiver.

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If VLC works, why not just use VLC? – Kruug May 2 '13 at 20:49 – heavyd May 2 '13 at 20:55
@heavyd: A KB article dealing with iTunes on Windows might be more helpful to the OP. – Karan May 3 '13 at 23:07
up vote 0 down vote accepted

iTunes is capable of processing 5.1 audio but AFAIK it needs to be AC3. Indeed, many of the WEB-DLs (from iTunes store) are h264 video / 5.1 AC3 audio

Without breaking copyrights etc. etc. the bare minimum programmes you will need for a ripping / conversion workflow are as follows:

  1. Rip DVD | AnyDVD / DVDFab
  2. Index files | DGIndex
  3. Encode .d2v | Avisynth + x264
  4. Mux files together | Mp4Box (use the -ipod switch for compatability)
  5. Encode metadata | Atomic Parsley

FWIW you can ignore the 2+3 above if you don't want to index the files (which is preferred method). Using a programme called eac3to you can just extract the video and audio streams directly (and convert audio at same time if wanted). I would advise hiaving this tool anyway just for its sheer utility.

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Thanks for the help. With regards to itunes, I've decieded to use XBMC to play my movies but your detailing of ripping dvd's was very helpful. – Mark May 8 '13 at 8:33
no worries. you probably will also want to read answers here… – James May 8 '13 at 13:50

Are you tied to iTunes? I have a mac mini hooked up to my tv and I use XBMC to play the media and handbrake to rip the dvd's. XBMC can play anything, and is generally much better for managing a large media environment. I have 800+ movies and 12k+ tv shows on a san and XBMC handles it just fine. I tried several years ago to get iTunes to play nice and it never worked so I gave up and went down this path, it is a much better experience and you don't have the other hassles of iTunes such as file type restriction, large overhead, and poor(in my opinion) playback quality over a network.

When necessary there is also legal software available to remove the DRM from iTunes purchases and convert it to a mkv for play with xbmc, vlc, etc.

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I'm not completely tied to itunes, so for movies I'm looking at XBMC. Thanks for the advice – Mark May 8 '13 at 8:32

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