If you need to rip a DVD so you can watch it on your tablet, smartphone, or whatever, you're crazy if you pay money for the software to do it.
That's because a handful of software developers (all of which work out of the same office designing the same products under different names, I often suspect) routinely give away their products.
Case in point: Digiarty software is once again giving away MacX DVD Ripper Pro, which normally sells for as much as $49.95. FYI, that link takes you to the Mac version; if you want the Windows version, you'll have to "like" Digiarty on Facebook.
Update: For reasons that aren't entirely clear, the Mac version of this product is called MacX iPhone iPad DVD Ripper. But as far as I can tell (without having an actual Mac to test it), it's more or less the same program as MacX DVD Ripper Pro--and able to rip to formats other than just iPhone and iPad. If you have a Mac and can clarify this, please do so in the comments.
(Interestingly, there's also a WinX DVD Ripper that's free, no "liking" required. And it's for Windows, natch. But it's not as feature-rich as MacX DVD Ripper Pro for Windows. Confused yet? Me, too.)
This is your basic (but powerful) ripping utility, designed to turn your movie and TV-show discs into digital files you can play on your phone, tablet, game console, and so on.
It can cut through all the "popular" forms of DVD encryption, and it comes with conversion profiles for all kinds of devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Android phones. It can also rip to generic video formats like AVI and MP4.
To get the Mac version, just click Download to reveal both the download link and the license code (BE-TNUOTOYG-MXGPER). Note to newcomers to giveaways like this: If you don't paste that code into the program the first time your run it, it will appear as a trial version. This is not some shady trick; it's by design.
As noted above, the Windows version reveals itself after clicking "Like" on Digiarty's Facebook page. Yes, I know, some of you hate Facebook, so feel free to bypass this deal if that requirement bothers you.
As with most freebies of this nature, MacX DVD Ripper Pro is provided without technical support, and you're not entitled to future upgrades. That's not complaining I hear, is it? This is free, after all.
Free, and quite good, based on my informal ripping tests. If you haven't yet outfitted your PC with a good ripper, give this one a try. And if you miss out, well, fear not: another free DVD ripper is just around the corner, guaranteed.
Bonus deal: 16GB is the new 8GB. By which I mean you can now buy a 16GB flash drive for what you once paid for an 8GB drive. For example, while supplies last, Meritline has the ADATA Classic C802 16GB flash drive for $12.95 shipped. It has my favorite flash-drive design: a sliding, retractable USB plug.