Bits & P.C.s: DVD copying

Bits & P.C.s: DVD copying

By Richard Heller

If you have kids and DVDs, you know that they are like oil and water; they just don’t mix. You’ve spent $25 for that D company’s latest big screen masterpiece that the dog just ate. If you have a DVD or CD recorder and the

right software, you can protect your investment.

321 Studios, the company that makes the software that allows you to make backup copies of the DVDs that you have purchased, has recently introduced two new products.

Their DVDXCopy program that makes an exact copy of a DVD, including any special content along with the menus, has been released with a version that now supports systems running Windows 98SE and Windows ME as well as Windows XP or 2000. The price remains at $100, and since there are two versions available, it is important to check the box before you purchase. When you copy a DVD with this program, it will split the movie into two DVDs (or more) if necessary.

The new DVDXCopy XPRESS will copy just the movie portion of a DVD. That is, there are no menus or special content, and your movie will probably fit onto a single DVD. The retail price is $70 with a $20 rebate available.

DVDXCopy XPRESS is now included with DVDXCopy at no additional charge.

The DVDXCopy line of software requires you to have a DVD writer for it to make the copies. If you haven’t bought a writer yet, you may want to consider DVD Copy Plus. This program will also copy your DVDs, but instead of a DVD, it will write them to recordable CDs. Retail price for this program is $50.

All of these programs are intended to be used to make backup copies of the DVDs that you legally own. They ask you to confirm this before you make your copy, and they display a notice that you are viewing an archival copy when you play the DVD. In addition, 321 Studios offers a reward if you turn someone in for making copies to sell.

Also available is Instant Copy from Pinnacle Systems. This program will copy a DVD that is not encrypted, that is, it will not copy many movies. That isn’t entirely true; if you start doing a Google search, you will find that there are programs that will work in conjunction with Instant Copy that will allow you to copy a movie. The retail for this program is also $50.

If you do some Google searching, you will find that there are other programs available for free download that will allow you to also copy DVDs. The biggest problem is locating the programs and understanding the steps

necessary to make the copy. The nice thing about the DVDXCopy line of products is that you just place the original DVD into the drive and press the start or copy button in the program. You can then walk away from the

computer for an hour or two, and when you return, your backup copy will be waiting for you.

Richard Heller is an independent computer specialist who specializes in repairs, installation, upgrades, technical support, Internet sharing, data recovery and diagnostics. If you have any computer or service-related questions, please send them to The Rock River Times or e-mail

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