I know the basics, but I need to make sense of them!

First off hello, and thanks to anyone willing to answer my admittedly stupid questions about all this stuff.

I just got my first DVD burner and I’m trying to figure out the best way to go about burning a bunch of ISO/MDS files on my computer without losing too much quality. I have 2 programs: DVD Shrink and DVD Decrypter…is one better to use than the other? Decrypter seems more straightforward in that it simply has me open the MDS file then burn it, while Shrink let’s me “edit” the video by taking certain things out. It seems like I could edit out superfluous junk with Shrink thus resulting in less compression, but maybe it’s better to just use Decrypter? Also, what’s the difference between an ISO file and an MDS in the first place? DVD Shrink will let me work with either, but Decrypter makes me choose the MDS. Does it really matter which?

Lastly, for backing up my DVD’s in the future…What I was initially taught was to use DVD Decrypter to rip the entire disc in ISO mode so I would get an ISO image copy of the WHOLE disc, then to use DVD Shrink to edit that image (taking out directors commentary or whatever) which would THEN be analyzed/saved all over again as a whole new (edited) ISO image which would then be burned to disc using DVD Decrypter. Wouldn’t it make more sense just to put the DVD in the drive, open it using DVD Shrink, choose what I want to edit out then click the backup button? I’ve had two different websites tell me to do it each respective way and I don’t know which to listen to. Confusion!

These are the sites in case anyone’s curious:





Welcome to the forums MB Arkestra.

I’d like to start by saying that the two tools you have mentioned are both fine programs, but neither one has been updated for several years now. DVDDecrypter was shut down by Macrovision, and DVDShrink has been abandoned by its author for an even longer period of time than Decrypter.

They still work for many dvd movies, but neither one will work well with modern dvds that have structural protection built in to stop copying programs. For modern films with this type of protection, your best options are DVDFab HD Decrypter and AnyDVD. DVDFab HD Decrypter is the free section within DVDFab and will continue to function even after the trial for the main part of DVDFab expires. AnyDVD is a commercial program, but it will do the hard part of decryption in the background and let you use DVDShrink as the ripper/compression program.

Assuming you are starting with a dvd with only simple CSS encryption, you can use DVDShrink for the entire process, as you alluded to in your last paragraph. There is no need to use DVDDecrypter unless you wish to use the IFO ripping section within it, and most people never do that.

Open the dvd with DVDShrink, let it analyze the movie, select the sections you want in your copy, then hit Backup. Set Shrink to do a Deep Analysis of the movie for better compression. Back when I still used Shrink a lot, I used the Sharp option in the Quality Enhancements also. (some people vary this according to the amount of compression used, but I never saw much difference personally). Have it output as an ISO. But instead of using DVDDecrypter to burn, I suggest using ImgBurn. It is the updated burning engine from Decrypter, written by the same author. It is highly recommended, and free to download and use. www.imgburn.com

If you want to burn automatically with ImgBurn from within Shrink, get this executable file and replace the one you have now in C:/Program Files/DVDShrink. http://rapidshare.com/files/35280436/Shrink_w_ImgBurn.rar This executable replaces DVDDecrypter burning option within Shrink and lets you use ImgBurn.

If you run into a movie with advanced protection, rip to the hard drive with DVDFab HD Decrypter as files. Then open those files with Shrink to work with.

As to your question about mds files. They contain metadata about the original disk, specifically it has information about the layer break that is necessary for a successful burn to double layer media. If you are making a complete backup to DL media, with no compression, use the mds file as input to DVDDecrypter or ImgBurn.

ImgBurn will also set the layer break correctly if you just use an ISO, and that is one of its great advantages, but this really only applies to double layer blank dvd burns, not single layer.

Great advice above as always, but maybe the following can help also. Posts #67 to #74, but please also read Posts #77 & #78.


A couple more for Dual Layer.



If you ever use DvdFab to compress & rip to your hard drive, but want to burn the Audio/Video_TS output to a single layer.


Wow, thanks for all the great info. That really cleared a lot of things up. Fortunately I haven’t really run in to any problems with ripping newer DVD’s, though there was one where Decrypter kept telling me that “Brute Force Cracking Failed” or something to that effect. I would just click “OK” however and it would continue on it’s way. As far as I can tell the disc came out fine. Thanks again!