Need soem advice on archiving

I want to begin the process of creating an archive of my DVD collection on my computer. Storage is not a problem, I currently have over 400GB of empty space.

Basicly, what is going to be the best way for me to archive in format wise, and what tools will I need? Is there an all in one tool avaialble that will decrypt and encode in on process, or is there soem automation script I can use to make the process easier.

Also, whats the best format to use? I would just create an iso for each DVD, but that severely limits the usability and would prevent me from easily encoding the movie for my Zune.

ISO doesn’t “prevent” you from doing anything, but not all programs will open an ISO.
You haven’t really stated your true objective. If it’s simply to back up and store movies and space is not an issue, then simply rip the movies in file mode. DVDDecryptor is still as good a choice as any. A few Sony movies will require AnyDVD or another alternative to overcome protections.

If you want to conserve space, and don’t need to save all the DVD extras and menus, then an MPEG-4 solution like DIVX would be an excellent choice.

DVDShrink is also an excellent and free tool for ripping, and does also allow you to select what to save and what to lose.

I realize creating ISOs won’t prevent me from doign anything, it just adds more steps in alot of cases. I still want to easily be able to encode copies for my Zune and play the files back in most video players. AFAIK, there are few which can play an ISO.

Is there some program which can rip directly from dvd to MPEG-4?

On the other hand, it would be nice to maintain the complete DVD.

There’s no such thing as “ripping directly to MPEG4”, as that is a conversion. If the movie is all you want, then use DVDShrink in re-author mode to rip the movie only. Also set Shrink to rip into a single VOB file. That will give you the flexibility to handle the VOB file as an mpeg if you choose to do so. Also set Shrink to eliminate all but the one audio track you want, which will further make the MPEG more compatible with a wider range of video converters. Saving only the 2-channel audio track will make it even more compatible with a wide range of video converters.
One this is done, you can do just about anything with the movie, including converting it to any other format.

If you want to convert the movie to a portable format, you’ll need a converter that supports that format, I believe Zune would be WMV of some type. There are a few DVD players that will play back MPEG-4, but the simplest option for re-burning the movie for DVD players would be to burn it as DVD-video, which you will already have after ripping with DVDShrink.

So there’s really no one choice for all your intended uses for the movies, you’ll basically need to take conversion steps for each of the intended uses.