I need to rip a few dozen DVDs. However, it takes about 45 minutes or so per DVD. Anyone know why there seems to be a limit to ripping speed? Running Macbook Pro, 4GB Ram, Intel CPU, OS X 10.6.4.
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I presume you are talking about the speed to just raw rip the data off the DVD into a disk image on the Mac, and not the speed to convert the contents into another format (i.e. MPEG2 to H264 conversion)??
Unfortunately, it could be a limit at the DVD firmware level - a significant number of DVD drives out there limit the speed at which they will extract data from video format disks. Like region protection it's actually something you are more likely to find with newer DVD drives than older ones.
Without knowing the exact drive in your MacBook it's difficult to tell, but you could try using Disk Utility to create a disk image from an unprotected software DVD, and watch your read speed, then try the same with a video.
If that's not the issue, and it's conversion speed, then it's software. Try Handbrake and Fairmount if you haven't yet. People were reporting 30 mins for a dual-layer DVD in Handbrake on worse hardware in 2006. . .
Reflashing the DVD firmware to a version that does not have it seems to be the only way to increase the speed.