Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How to Copy your own discs made in a Sony DVD recorder

I'm not sure what Sony is thinking here but if you burn a DVD using one of their DVD Recorders and then pop it into your Mac you'll see the contents are shown as empty despite it playing in DVD Player.app.


It's not empty. There really is a VIDEO_TS folder in there, only Sony doesn't want you to see it. I'm not sure what they've done to make it invisible since it'll still be invisible even if you show hidden files in the Finder (still gotta figure that one out, see below). Sure it'll show up on some Windows and Ubuntu boxes but not on Snow Leopard. Lets see if we can just change the permissions to access the VIDEO_TS folder...


Nope.

So how can you copy it?

Well, the usual methods work like Toast & Disk Utility although I had an issue with Disk Utility not ever "finishing" the disc. It just unmounted, never said it was done and the disc kept spinning in the drive forcing me to restart the Mac to get it to eject (Hey, holding the mouse button while the Mac boots still ejects stuff after all these years...go figure).

So, angry at Sony for hiding the VIDEO_TS folder from me even though the client who handed it to me OWNS the content on the disc (and couldn't have known about Sony's degage draconian attitude) I decided to find a way to get to the VIDEO_TS folder just to spite them in Snow Leopard. Here's what I did:

1. Pop the disc in. Open it in a Finder window.
2. Launch the Terminal.
3. Type cd (spacebar) and then click and hold on the icon at the top of the Finder window for the disc and after a beat drag it into the Terminal to set the path.
4. Hit Return while in the Terminal.
5. For fun type ls (for list) and see "ls: .: Permission denied" so force it to list the contents by typing "sudo ls" without the quotes and then enter your password and hit return.
6. Bang. VIDEO_TS is listed. Screw Sony.
7. Copy this to your Desktop with "sudo cp -R VIDEO_TS ~/Desktop" sans quotes and enter your password. If you want to copy to a place other than the desktop just put a space after VIDEO_TS and drag the window icon of the volume or folder you want to copy it to to the Terminal window. An example would be "sudo cp -R VIDEO_TS Volumes/volumename/foldername"
8. Toss the VIDEO_TS folder into Disk Utility or Toast and burn it as the client requested and screw Sony.
9. Feel free to change the permissions for the VIDEO_TS folder as you need from the Finder now.

About why the VIDEO_TS folder is invisible I suspect it has something to do with this:

Macintosh:SONY_DVD_RECORDER_VOLUME user$ sudo ls -al
total 8

d--x--x---   3 4294967295  nogroup   88 Jan  2  2004 .
drwxrwxrwt@ 12 root        admin    408 Sep  8 23:03 ..
dr-xr-xr-x   2 4294967295  nogroup  768 Jan  2  2004 VIDEO_TS
Macintosh:SONY_DVD_RECORDER_VOLUME user$ 

"sudo ls -al" forces the Terminal to show the permissions of the files in the directory and as you can see two files are assigned to "nogroup". I suspect this is what's helping to hide the folder although I'm not done investigating just yet.

UPDATE:

Another option is to just pop the disc into a box running Ubuntu and simply drag it to some volume to copy it. How can you not love that?

7 comments:

Magnus P. Bjarnason said...

Thanks Walker, I'm running Ubuntu 10.04 myself, but had this problem nontheless.

But I used sudo to copy the folder to my desktop, and then changed ownership of the folder using "chown user:user VIDEO_TS", after which I had no more problems with it : )

- Magnus

Magnus P. Bjarnason said...

EDIT:

Had to do a chmod 755 as well for VIDEO_TS and add a "-R" to the chown line before.

- M.

pisceschic1021 said...

Im about to cry. I have no idea what you are talking about i don't know what a finder is or a terminal or type what where . I really need help all i want to do is copy my home movies to my mac so i can edit them. Is there any way you can do a visual step by step to help me im not a computer person. I have looked all over the internet and so far you are all i have found but i just am not getting what to do. Please help me.

pisceschic1021 said...

Im about to cry. I have no idea what you are talking about i don't know what a finder is or a terminal or type what where . I really need help all i want to do is copy my home movies to my mac so i can edit them. Is there any way you can do a visual step by step to help me im not a computer person. I have looked all over the internet and so far you are all i have found but i just am not getting what to do. Please help me.
PS. I am getting rid of my Sony recorder it so sucks

Walker Ferox said...

To get to the terminal go to your Utilities folder, or from the Desktop hit:

Command + Shift + U

Double click on the Terminal app and follow the instructions. Hope this helps.

brown beard said...

Thank you mucho. Very clear instructions.

Lane Wyrick said...

If you use the program "Ripit" ( http://thelittleappfactory.com/ripit/ - $24 ) on the Mac, you can easily create a copy of the DVD on your desktop and the Video_TS folder will show up.

Just open Ripit, insert the DVD and the hit "Rip". Once you have the DVD on your hard drive with the Video_TS visible you can do whatever you want with it. I just received 5 DVDs at work that had invisible file structure and used this to quickly fix this problem.

Some good Mac programs after you've ripped your dvd are:
DVDxDV Pro - use this to convert it to a DV stream that you can edit in Final Cut Pro. Cinematize also does this.

Or you can use RipIt to make MP4 streams. It uses Handbrake as it's engine, so if you want to use Handbrake after you "Rip" your DVD you will have more control over the features. For instance, RipIt would arbitrarily crop my video when going to MP4, but using Handbrake I was able to set it to always make the videos 640x480.