So just before Christmas it was revealed that Universal had screwed up the transfer for the DVDs of Back to the Future II & III. Not only that, but they had screwed them up for the Region 2 release, and knew that the transfer was screwed up when preparing the North American release, but elected to release the DVDs with the error and “fix it later”. Well, they have finally started shipping the replacement discs, so I dropped my DVDs in the mail tonight to get replacements. For images comparing how the transfer SHOULD look and how Universal screwed it up, look here.
I wasn’t sure how long it would take for them to send me the replacements, so I decided to back up the DVDs before I mailed them off. In the past if I wanted to make a backup of movie that was double layer I was kinda screwed, but fortunately technology wins out again. Enter DVD2one, which does some magical decompression magic to squeeze a double-layer disc to fit onto one disc. In addition to it’s straightforward sounding usage, you can use “Movie Only” mode, where you can recompress the feature less by throwing out all the menus and special features. In “Movie Only” mode you can also select which audio, subtitle, and angles you wish to backup. For instance, the Back to the Future DVDs were about 8GB each. The feature with all the Audio Tracks and Subtitles was about 5.5GB. The feature had a 5.1 french track and two other audio tracks (at least one was a commentary) that I could throw out, saving only the 5.1 english track. I’m not sure exactly how much recompression was necessary after throwing all that audio data out, but it couldn’t have been much. Anyway, DVD2one is wicked cool, and I highly recommend it to anyone with a DVD writer. They are very close to releasing an OSX version, according to threads and screenshots in the forums. Apparently they already have their recompression engine running under OSX, which sounds to me like the hard part.
One other thing about DVD2one: They released a new version today that lets you selectively drop audio tracks in “full disc” mode too, so you can preserve all the menus and stuff but still lower your recompression needs… I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds pretty sweet!