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Extract Content From A Blu-ray Disc
In this guide we will look at how to extract titles from a Blu-ray disc. Unlike DVDs, where there are a multitude of tools capable of doing the job, Blu-ray's increased complexity and relatively young age make it more of a challenge. But with the right tools, and a little bit of work, you should be able to extract the contents of any disc for re-encoding, copying to a HTPC, set-top box, or other media device, or even authoring into a new Blu-ray disc.
For simplicity, I've separated the guide into two parts. On this page you will learn how to analyze your disc and decide what to keep. On the next you will find out how to use that information to extract video, audio, subtitles, and even chapters. Before you begin, make sure you have already ripped your Blu-ray disc to your hard drive.
Because there are so many ways to author a Blu-ray disc, it's very difficult, perhaps even impossible, to analyze a disc in an automated fashion. However, by using a combination of tools you can find out pretty much anything you need to know about the titles and menus found on a disc. Specifically, we will be using BDInfo and Media Player Classic - Home Cinema. Optionally, Notepad (or the text editor of your choice) may be used to save or view information from both programs.
Although the instructions are separated for simplicity, you will probably want to use both programs simultaneously. Once you get information about a title from BDInfo you should preview it in Media Player Classic to see what it actually is and get a title-specific report if you wish. It's not as convenient as using a tool like DVD Shrink for analyzing a DVD, but the information you will end up with will be much more detailed.
Step 1 - Analysis
We will be using BDInfo primarily to give us a list of titles we may want to extract. Each title is represented by a playlist. BDInfo will examine each playlist in your Blu-ray files and give you a list of the ones it determines may be of interest. This automation is limited to skipping playlists which have certain characteristics, such as looping (typically used only for menus) or an extremely short length. A title listed by BDInfo should still be previewed in Media Player Classic unless you are sure it's one you want.
- Before opening your Blu-ray files you should consider what kind of content you are extracting. By default, BDInfo uses settings intended to skp certain playlists altogether. In particular, it will ignore most menus and very short extras like legal warnings.
A. Filter playlists that contain loops
- Perhaps the best indication that a particular playlist is for a menu is looping. That means the playlist will start playing again after it finishes instead of automatically going to a menu or another title. Leaving this box checked will skip looping titles. If you want to extract menus, or if your disc has a looping playlist which isn't a menu, you should uncheck this.
B. Filter playlists with length <
- Most of the time playlists with extremely short playback times are either menus or unwanted content like legal warnings and the like. The default value for this box is 120 seconds. In some cases you may want to extract a title shorter than this, such as a trailer, which will require that you set this to a smaller number. As a rule I keep it between 20 and 25 seconds so I still see information on playlists for short titles such as trailers. Where you set it is entirely up to you. You may even uncheck it completely so BDInfo will not filter playlists by length.
2. Open Blu-ray files
- Click the Browse button to open the files ripped from your Blu-ray disc. You will need to navigate all the way to the BDMV folder.
- BDInfo will tell you when it has finished scanning your files.
- If BDInfo tells you BD-Java is detected it may affect what parts of a menu you can extract. Although BD-Java is primarily intended for complex navigation and general programming of disc playback, it can also be used for simple things like adding text or images to menus. If you aren't extracting any menus you shouldn't need to worry about it.
- The playlists found on your disc will be displayed in the top pane. Click on a playlist to see more details about its contents.
5. M2TS Files
- M2TS files hold the content (video, audio, subpictures) on a Blu-ray disc. Each playlist refers to one or more M2TS files. Notice that there is no correlation between the M2TS filename and the MPLS (playlist) name. They may be the same, but that's completely coincidental. In fact, a single M2TS file may be used by any number of playlists.
6. Stream details
- You can also see details about each of the streams found in the M2TS files for each playlist. Obviously streams ending with the word video are video streams and audio streams end with the word audio. Presentation Graphics streams are subpictures, which generally means subtitles. Notice also that langages are listed for audio and subpicture streams, as well as the bitrate for all streams.
7. Select streams to scan
- Although the size of each playlist is listed as soon as BDInfo scans your files, this information may not be completely accurate. To ensure accuracy, select any titles you want to check.
8. Scan Bitrates
- Once you've selected the files you want BDInfo to analyze, click the Scan Bitrates button. Depending on the size of the files involved, this may take several minutes. When it finishes, you will see an additional column in the title list which reflects this scan.
9. View Report
- Click on the View Report button to display a comprehensive report on the disc's contents. Use the Copy to Clipboard button to copy the entire contents of the report to save it. This is completely optional, but very useful if you want a single file showing you details of your disc later. The report also includes formatting for posting on most online forums (including AfterDawn), making it easier to get help if you need to provide details about the disc.
Saving a BDInfo report
BDInfo's report is good for more than just posting on a forum. Once you have it copied, you can also save it as a text document in Notepad. If you are saving it to read later I recommend doing some editing to remove all the formatting code. When I finish this process, the results look something like the image below. notice that it tells me everything I saw in the BDInfo main window and much more.
Step 2 - Previewing
As the name suggests, Media Player Classic - Home Cinema is primarily a media player designed for watching media in a home theater environment. The same features which make that possible also make it a good tool for previewing Blu-ray playlists. Although its also capable of playing most Blu-ray discs once they've been ripped to your hard drive, features like BD-Java are problematic for it. Fortunately we won't need BD-Java support for our purposes.
In addition to previewing, MPC-HC can save detailed information about each playlist. This is similar to BDInfo's report feature, except it lacks any type of forum formatting and you will only get information specific to one title (playlist) at a time.
Keep in mind that you don't need both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of MPC-HC. The 64-bit version requires 64-bit Windows. If you aren't sure whether your copy of Windows is 64-bit, use the 32-bit version of Media Player Classic to be safe. Also make sure you're not using the older version of Media Player Classic (no Home Cinema) since it predates Blu-ray and therefore doesn't support Blu-ray playlists.
Media Player Classic Home Cinema (32-bit)
Media Player Classic Home Cinema (64-bit)
Open the playlist you identified in BDInfo by dragging it (the MPLS file) to the Media Player Classic window. Once you've watched enough to determine whether you want to extract it, you can stop it and continue on to generating a text file with media information. This step is optional, particularly if you plan to save a report from BDInfo. However, I prefer to have both. The BDInfo report is good for getting an overview of the entire disc while MPC-HC's individual files allow you to keep track of what titles you need to extract by simply looking in Windows Explorer.
Accessing media properties
To access the properties of your playlist, select Properties from the File menu.
Once the Properties dialog is open, select the MediaInfo tab to see detailed information about the M2TS file(s) associated with your playlist. You can also save this information to a text file using the Save As button.
Select the location where you wish to save the playlist details. I like to save mine in the root folder of the ripped Blu-ray disc for convenience, but this is by no means mandatory.
Ready for extraction
Once you have identified all the playlists you want to keep, you can continue to the next page to extract it.
Last updated: 15 August 2011