When you need to do one thing -- rip movies to your Mac's hard drive -- and one thing only, the US$24.95 RipIt from Little App Factory does it well and does it quickly. But it's a no-frills app, so other software may meet your needs better.
RipIt gets your movies off the disc and onto your Mac, where it's easier to find, organize and play 'em. I ripped a DVD of The Spirit in about 23 minutes (whether that 2008 movie deserves 4.35GB of your hard drive space is another story).
Ripping a DVD to watch, has several advantages. If you're watching a movie on a laptop, a "ripped" version conserves battery space over playing the DVD because extra juice is required to spin a disc. You can use Spotlight in Mac OS X to find a movie in your collection. Movies stored in your computer can't get lost, scratched or broken. Plus, you don't have to carry about the DVD discs themselves with your laptop.
RipIt, which requires Mac 10.6 or higher, couldn't be easier to use. Start the app and it asks you to insert a DVD. Do so, and it quickly rips it to your hard drive, saving it in your Movies folder.
On the downside, it doesn't put ripped movies into iTunes. If you do a regular or “full” rip you will not be able to play the .dvdmedia file in iTunes as some conversion is necessary. You can use the compression feature to produce a high quality video that can play in iTunes. Before ripping the disc, under the compression preferences select your desired video target such as iPod/iPhone/ AppleTV.
However, if you don't mind that -- or only plan to watch ripped movies on your Mac -- RipIt is a conveniently simply app to use.