For quite a while now, I’ve kept Mac DVDRipper Pro and HandBrake on my Mac, not because I’ve had frequent need for them but because I’ve occasionally had use for them. MakeMKV fell into that “potentially useful” category, too, so it’s also had a place on my Mac, although the instances in which I’ve played with it have been almost vanishingly rare.
Well, I’ve finally discovered a use for MakeMKV: keeping me from wasting purchased Blu-rays in the event that my Blu-ray player application acts up.
I bought and registered Macgo Blu-ray Player early last year when my initial testing demonstrated that with a Blu-ray capable external optical drive I could play Blu-rays on my Mac mini. So I bought my first Blu-ray movie and tried it out, only to discover a couple of significant flaws, one of them a deal breaker. (For details, see my review of Macgo Blu-ray Player Pro.)
In an attempt to determine whether the failure was due to the player program or to the disc itself, I fired up MakeMKV to see whether I could rip the movie to my hard drive. That proved successful, and the rip played flawlessly with VLC, demonstrating that the disc was fine and the limitation was in the player program. I immediately bought a license for MakeMKV, and I consider it money well spent.
Those flaws in Macgo Blu-ray Player have since been corrected in the Pro version, and so far, it works well with my first Blu-ray and with the handful I’ve purchased since. But it’s nice to know that there’s a fallback available, and that as long as you have a Blu-ray capable optical drive, it’s not necessary to have a Blu-ray player application to watch Blu-rays on your Mac.
The price you pay for that, though? The time it takes to rip. And storage space. You’ll need lots of storage space. My MakeMKV rip of the Mondo Vision Blu-ray of Possession, for example, resulted in an .mkv file that was 36.28 GB.
Life is trade-offs. But options are good.