man acidrip () - a Gtk2::Perl wrapper for MPlayer / Mencoder


acidrip - a Gtk2::Perl wrapper for MPlayer / Mencoder




AcidRip is a Gtk2::Perl application for ripping and encoding DVD's and other media files. It neatly wraps MPlayer and MEncoder, which is pretty handy, seeing as MPlayer is by far the best video player software. As well as creating a simple interface for those scared of getting down and dirty with MEncoders command line interface, It also automates the process in a number of ways:

Parses DVD into contents tree
Finds longest title
Calculate video bitrate for given filesize
Finds black bands and crops them
Divides long films into multiple files
Other stuff!


Some simple steps to ripping with AcidRip:

1 - Load DVD or file

To load a DVD, press Load with the disk in your drive (after checking that the device is correct. You might want to symlink it to /dev/dvd). To load a file, or a whole directory, enter the location in the Path box and hit Load. This loads contents and displays it as a tree of tracks (and chapters for DVD). The longest track, assumed to be the main feature, is automatically selected for you. If you wish to only encode certain chapters of a DVD title, just expand that branch and click on the first and last chapters you want, while holding shift.

2 - Choose correct file name and desired size

The name of the output file is defined by a number of variables:

%T - Title of the track, as in the editable box above
%N - Number of the selected track - useful for batch encoding
%L - Length of the selected track
%f - The first letter of the title [useful for organisation]
%b - bitrate of the video stream
%l - language of the audio track
%w - width of the video output
%h - height of the video output For example, /var/film/%f/%T-%N-%wx%h might be evaluated to /var/film/s/simpsons-2-480x360. Also select a file size. This is used to calculate bitrates for the codecs you are going to use. If the codecs you choose do NOT support a bitrate option (e.g copy, rawrgb etc. for video) then the given size can NOT be enforced at all. A film can be split into a number of files by setting a value in the relevant box. The created files are split by chapter boundaries, so the chapters must be suitable. You can also add additional information, akin to the ID3 tag's in MP3s. Choose the field in the combo box and enter the correct value. Few players other than mplayer use this information though.

3 - Choose audio track

Select the language for the audio. You may also have the option to encode directors commentary etc., however the tracks will only be listed as such if the description is actually on the DVD itself, which doesn't seem to happen that often.

4 - Choose audio output

Use the combo box to choose how to encode the audio. normally this should be an MP3 stream. If you do not have mp3lame listed in the codecs combo box then you need to compile it into mencoder, it is nothing to do with acidrip at all. If you choose mp3lame set your options in the box below. See the mencoder manpage for a list of options (look for lameopts).

5 - Choose video output

Select the desired video output. lavc (FFMpeg's avcodec libraries) is the default choice. Despite what you might assume vcodec=mpeg4 relates to divx4/5 encoding, trust me on this one..! Many people prefer Xvid encoding, it's up to you of course. Set any options specific to the selected output in the options box below. See the relevant entries in the mencoder manpage for the full selection. Only defaults for lavc are provided. The three main codecs can also use 2 pass encoding, select the option if you wish to encode the film twice to improve quality. You should also check the bitrate here. This value is based on the desired file size and the selected audio bitrates. You may wish to enter your own bitrate and lock the value using the check box to ensure that it is not changed. This naturally means that the file size can not be guarenteed.

6 - Crop film

Assuming you are using a proper encoding codec (lavc / xvid / divx) then you should want to chop off any widescreen bars and such like. These bars just soak up disk space, leaving less for the actual film. Just pressing the Detect button should suffice, but it's a good idea to check the results to make sure, and adjust the values accordingly. Pressing the Detect button uses mplayer to pick frames throughout the DVD and analyzes it for unwanted areas. Note that the values for cropping are not related at all to the output size, but instead the size of the DVD itself (720x568 for PAL, 720x480 for NTSC).

7 - Scale film

The final output dimensions of the film can now be set. By default the height is locked against the width setting in line with the aspect of the video (including any cropping to be applied). The scaling of the film is most likely to affect the BPP (Bits Per Pixel) values of the file. For a typical divx film you want about 0.17 - 0.20. A value higher than this just wastes space: divx just doesn't *need* it..., a lower value and the output is blocky and poor. By adjusting the width of the film you can affect the BPP value directly. Obviously file size and crop values can also affect the BPP among others.

8 - Filters

You can now enter any flags for processing the film, such as deinterlacing, deblocking etc. See the mencoder manpage for details. There are no set options other than a default pp=de as you should only use the options if you know what they are there for. rtfm!

9 - Encode

Everything should be set up now so press the Start button and make some tea.

That is all that should be required to rip a DVD or file(s). However you should not need to perform each step every time. By saving your settings they will be automatically loaded next time, and if Autoload media is selected in the Additional settings dialog then the DVD / file / directory will be automatically loaded for you. Further more is autoload is set, and cropping in enabled then it will be cropped automatically too. After this, all you should ever need to do is that press start. One button!


Acidrip has the ability to build and process a queue of events. Clicking on Queue rather that Start will take the current encoding settings and create the commands as normal but then add them to an execution queue which will not be executed until the Start button is pressed. The queue can also be exported to a standard bash script (~/ to execute outside of acidrip.


There are a number of other additional features in the Additional settings dialog window. These are: Mencoder / Mplayer / lsdvd entries: Change the default program names / locations. Allows you to set default parameters not handled elsewhere, or set something such as changing mencoder to nice mencoder to run the program via nice. Cache DVD / Delete Cache: Values used in caching a disc. Firstly the directory to place the cached track in, wether to cache at all and wether to automatically delete the cache after encoding. NB. you do NOT NOT NOT *need* to cache a DVD at all, you jsut might want to. Language: The default ISO639 language code or full language name to use, e.g. en, de, English... Overwrite files: Movie files will be overwritten if they aleady exist. Shutdown: Attempt to shutdown system after completion. Compact progress dialog: Hides the main window while encoding, and only shows the encoding box by itself. There is no Stop button etc, so as well as the smaller footprint you can't stop it by mistake. Enforce size check: The file size value set will turn red if there is apparently not enough space in the provided output directory. As the file size value is only used as an estimate and does not guarentee a fixed output size, you may well know something acidrip doesn't, so you can allow the program to encode regardless if you wish.


Please report any bugs or functional inconsistencies by email or on the tracker.


mencoder(1) lsdvd


Chris Phillips <>