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Destroy my DVDs or not?


Old media can be annoying to deal with.

That used laptop I mentioned arrived. I installed Windows on it, and yep, works.

Something I didn't even think about when I bought the thing was the optical drive. The main Linux laptop I have has an optical drive that doesn't work. The other laptop I just received is the same model, meaning the optical drive can swap right in, so I thought, "Oh, nice, I have a working DVD/RW drive again". And yeah, it works.

A few months back I destroyed a pile of DVDs very much on purpose. It was all data I'd accumulated over the years. I loaded in each disc, copied whatever I thought was worth saving, then physically destroyed the optical media.

What I didn't touch however were all the DVD movies I have, which is somewhere between 50 and 100 discs.

Given I just got a working DVD/RW drive, I obviously had to test it. Since I destroyed all my data DVDs, I ripped a movie and let Handbrake get the job done there.

Did it work? Yes. But wow does it take a long time to rip a disc because DVD media is just slow.

Even if I bought a brand new external DVD drive (or external Blu-Ray drive if I wanted to get fancy), it's not any faster than what I have because of the DVD media itself.

Now I'm left with a bit of a situation.

Ripping a DVD so the image quality is retained takes a while and there's no way around that. However, if I slogged through all those conversions, all the movies I have would fit on a single 256GB flash drive (or possibly even a 128GB) easily. It's not the storing of the video files that's the problem, but rather the time it takes to rip the discs.

Alternatively, I can just say screw it and not bother, because how often am I really going to re-watch these movies anyway?

I've honestly not decided what to do yet. I spent good money on those DVDs over the years, but at the same time I just don't like dealing with optical media.

I suppose ripping the discs is going to be one of those things where I'll eventually get to it. Doing all those conversions is not exactly high on my list of priorities, but I'd like it to be done just to be done with it.

Published 2023 Aug 15

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