• How To Rip High Resolution Blu-ray Audio

    The recent release of Neil Young's Archives on Blu-ray Disc piqued my interest in the Blu-ray format. The audio on Neil's Archives is at 24/192 for the Blu-ray box compared to 24/96 for the standard DVD box and 16/44.1 for the CD box. I have no desire to purchase a dedicated Blu-ray player, but I am very excited about the possibility of ripping audio off Blu-ray discs that I legally own. Ripping Blu-ray content is not the easiest task and I was initially unsure if I could actually get the audio from a Blu-ray Disc. Instead of purchasing the whole Archives box for a few hundred dollars, I picked up the Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds: Live at Radio City Blu-ray Disc. This way I wouldn't have a box full of expensive unplayable discs if my little project went awry.

     


     

    Hardware

    I needed a Blu-ray drive and the right combination of software to get started on this journey. I picked up a Pioneer BDC-2202 internal Blu-ray drive for about $150 at a local computer store. Since Mac OS X does not support Blu-ray, my plan was to use Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit running on a Boot Camp partition on my Mac Pro. Unfortunately it took me about 15 hours to realize this plan was not going to work as designed. The Blu-ray drive connects to a computer motherboard via a single SATA connector. Mac Pro computers have two available SATA ports on the motherboard so I thought I was in the clear. After fighting with Widows Vista for hours and hours trying to get it to recognize the Blu-ray drive I was ready to scrap the whole project. After some "Googling" I found out the available SATA ports in a Mac Pro do not function with any operating system other than OS X.

    I then started to work my backup plan. I installed the Blu-ray drive into the Dell 530 that I configured for the Audiophile Reference Music Server for a Song article. The operating system immediately recognized the Pioneer drive and I was on to the software portion of this journey. Note: No special drive software or applications included with the drive are required.

     

     

    Software

    Ripping Blu-ray discs can involve several processes and several software applications. The process for ripping video is a little different from ripping audio. I will concentrate on ripping high resolution audio off Blu-ray discs. Audio seems easier than ripping the whole shebang.

     

    Software Required:

    1. AnyDVD HD from SlySoft. Currently Windows only and $55 after 21 day trial.
    2. tsMuxeR from SmartLabs. Freeware for Windows, Linux, and OS X.

    Additional Windows Based Software May Be Required in some instances:

    1. Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0
    2. Avisynth
    3. ffdshow
    4. Haali Media Splitter

     

     

    Blu-ray Disc

    As previously stated, I used the Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds: Live at Radio City Blu-ray Disc. I selected this disc in part because the back cover clearly displayed the details about the disc that I wanted to know. if only all Blu-ray discs were this detailed.

     





    Video/Audio?
    - 9-camera, HiDef shoot?
    - Full 1080P24 HD resolution?
    - 16:9 Wide screen format?
    - PCM Stereo Sound (48kHz/24bit)?
    - Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround Sound (96kHz/24bit)?
    - Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (640 kbps)

     

     


     

     



    The Ripping Process

    This process will be limited in part by the speed of your Blu-ray drive. I recommend you purchase the fastest drive you can find otherwise you'll need to set it and forget it until the next day.

    1. Install AnyDVD HD
    2. Start AnyDVD HD
    3. Right click the AnyDVD HD icon in the Windows system tray and select Rip Video DVD to Harddisk.

    Once the ripping is complete the unencrypted files will have a directory structure similar to that pictured below.


     

    Rip Blu-ray File Structure
    click to enlarge


     

     

     

    4. Open tsMuxeR
    5. Click the Add button on the upper-right side and browse to the largest m2ts file located in the newly created STREAM directory.
    6. Under the Tracks section of tsMuxeR select the audio version desired. In my case it's the LPCM two channel 24/48 version.
    7. Under the Output section select Demux
    8. Select the Start Demuxing button on the bottom of the tsMuxeR window and wait.

     

    Rip Blu-ray File tsMuxeR
    click to enlarge


     

     

    The output will be a single large WAV Audio file that can be imported into any playback application or converted to another format. I have yet to break up this single file into individual files for each track, but since it's a live concert I kind of like the continuity of a single file and I actually listen to the whole concert in a single sitting. I chose to convert to AIFF and add album art in iTunes. Once added to the iTunes library it's possible to look at the track information and see the Sample Size and Sample Rate to make sure the audio has not been downsampled. In an effort to save disk space downsampling can occur automatically by some applications designed to rip Blu-ray. tsMuxeR did not downsample the audio track in any of my tests.

     

     

    Rip Blu-ray File Audio 01
    click to enlarge


     

     

     

    Rip Blu-ray File Audio 02
    click to enlarge


     

     

     

    Conclusion

    Since I spent a couple days on this journey I'm pretty sure I can complete the whole process blindfolded. The tough part was figuring all of this stuff out and exactly what was the minimum required to rip Blu-ray audio. This is a huge plus for all the Computer Audiophile readers. I waste my time so you don't have to :~) (That kind of sounds like one of those slimy personal injury lawyer commercials). The whole process is really two steps. 1. Rip the Blu-ry disc to your hard drive, and 2. Demux the m2ts file to a WAV. Now that I've successfully completed a Blu-ray audio rip, I think it's time to purchase the Neil Young Archives!

     

     






     

     
    Comments 63 Comments
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi Eric - As a music lover and audiophile I think ripping Blu-ray is wonderful. Please let me know where you can find Neil Young content at 24/192 that is not on Blu-ray. The same goes for all the high resolution concerts like the Dave Matthews concert I ripped for this article. I realize you can download some hugh resolution material right now, but the selection is far to limited. <br />
      <br />
      The more music the better and when it's high resolution it's hard to top.<br />
      <br />
      Plus having this all without the limitations of a dedicated Blu-ray player and being able to use a real high end DAC is fabulous.
    1. jonsmirl's Avatar
      jonsmirl -
      Why rip? Because my music server is two stories below where I'm sitting and it's a pain to change the disks every 45 minutes.
    1. ruffuford's Avatar
      ruffuford -
      I did this exact same thing a few months ago for this exact same disc, I then edited the massive .wav file, cut out all of his talking between tracks, and created single .wav files for each track then converted them to flac. Worked out pretty well; I just did it for a higher fidelity version than the CD. It's 48hz 2.0 PCM, love it.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Fabulous ruffuford! The higher res version is exactly what I am after as well. Editing the massive WAV is something I need to do, but for now there are bigger fish to fry :~)<br />
      <br />
      Thanks for the post.
    1. One and a half's Avatar
      One and a half -
      Wow, it's not so simple, but when someone else has done all the hard work for you, it all looks so easy doesn't it? What a pain that the SATA ports on the Mac are only for OSX use. Apple must have a real bee in its bonnet about Blu-ray, although PC notebooks with BD are slowly coming to the fore, not in droves but enough to give you a reasonably wide choice now.<br />
      <br />
      So..... how long did it take to click "start ripping" until it was cooked? May have have to invest in a long backup UPS?<br />
      <br />
      General Question. The ripped AIFF file was 2.4GB. Depending on the sound editor application, which varies widely, how much RAM would you need to open that file, to mark, edit & save and not having to twiddle the fingers at the progress bar? Or would this be processor dependant as well? What would be a workable combination of RAM and Processor speed?
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      <i>"General Question. The ripped AIFF file was 2.4GB. Depending on the sound editor application, which varies widely, how much RAM would you need to open that file, to mark, edit & save and not having to twiddle the fingers at the progress bar? Or would this be processor dependent as well? What would be a workable combination of RAM and Processor speed?"</i><br />
      <br />
      The amount of RAM doesn't have to be incredibly huge. I think 2 GB is a minimum but the more the better. I also think any dual core processor or better will work fine. As long as you aren't editing video this is the hardest task for a computer. <br />
      <br />
      The time it takes to do this all varies. The Dave Matthews Disc was about 40 GB and probably took a couple hours to decrypt and copy to the hard drive (one step though). Then about 30 minutes to demux the audio from the huge m2ts file.
    1. Vince Falks's Avatar
      Vince Falks -
      Thanks very much for this useful article and for the hard work gone in the process!<br />
      Vince
    1. JustinGN's Avatar
      JustinGN -
      Very nice guide! I've been slowly moving my physical discs (DVDs, CDs, and HD/BDs alike) onto a portable Hard Disk I have until I've got a suitable server built. While trying to rip HD DVDs into lossless formats for playback, I did find that you can use eac3to to convert the demuxed output into files or formats of your choice; personally, I've converted the lossless audio tracks on my movies into FLAC format rather than WAV, just to cut down on space used. It's something worth looking into, and eac3to is remarkably fast I've found: it auto-detects the input bit-depth and sampling rate, and will convert it into whatever you name the file as (Including DD and DTS with proper encoding libraries, in case you need to downsample the audio for whatever reason). It'll even work on Dolby TrueHD and (possibly) DTS-HD MA/HR.<br />
      <br />
      Worth looking into! Now if only my extenders would play nice with Matroska Containers and FLAC files...
    1. ggking7's Avatar
      ggking7 -
      This can be done on Linux too using dumphd instead of AnyDVD.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi ggking7 - I tried dumpHD during this project, but had many problems with it. I love the fact it is a Java app and can run on any OS that supports Java, but the difficulty of using it was a downer for me. Hopefully it was just my experience!
    1. ggking7's Avatar
      ggking7 -
      I have to admit I had major problems setting it up, but I eventually got it working. What kind of problems are you having?
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      When I put the Mac OS X encryption table / file (AAC?) in the directory of the dumphd the program quits as soon as it's launched.
    1. sshd's Avatar
      sshd -
      There are three kinds of lossless blu-ray audio tracks: LPCM, TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. LPCM is not a problem to demux, but I am pretty sure the others will demux core only with tsMuxer. The core is usually a 640/1536 kbps DD/DTS track.<br />
      <br />
      Additionally there are three high bitrate lossy codes: DTS-HD, DTS-HD High Resolution and Dolby Digital+. DTS-HD is usually full bitrate normal DTS and should not be a problem. DTS-HD High Resolution will probably demux core only and Dolby Digital+ is probably not supported.<br />
      <br />
      Another program exist that can demux it all. It is called eac3to.exe.<br />
      It requires the presence of Sonic HD DVD Decoder or Arcsoft TotalMedia Extreme to demux DTS-HD Master Audio/High Resoltion. <br />
      It requires Nero 7 with blu-ray support for Dolby Digital+.<br />
      <br />
      eac3to.exe is command line only, but I am sure someone has made a gui.<br />
      <br />
      eac3to.exe has it's home on the doom9.net forums.
    1. eoms's Avatar
      eoms -
      Thanks Chris for the info<br />
      <br />
      FYI I bought the NY box and also picked up the new OPPO BR player because I needed a decent player and the OPPO seemingly is a universal player. I also have a computer with a Lynx card and a Berekey Alpha Dac. Interesting enough I bought the Oppo to bypass the hassles of ripping BR audio and to simply have a stand alone player to output to the BAD.<br />
      <br />
      All this seems simple enough but I have run into some hiccups. The Oppo puts out perfect data for all my other DVD-A discs and DVD-V discs yet the data output from the BR audio is only 48K. Tried all the configurations for the Oppo to no avail.<br />
      <br />
      Any thoughts?<br />
      <br />
      Thanks<br />
      <br />
      <br />
      Tom
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi Tom - I think you can thank Sony and it's Blu-ray hardware requirements for the 48k limit.<br />
      <br />
      Let me know if you're interested in sending one of the NY disks to me. I'd love to give ripping one a shot before I purchase the whole box :~)
    1. eoms's Avatar
      eoms -
      Chris<br />
      <br />
      So what good is Blu Ray Audio?<br />
      <br />
      I'll be glad to, let me know where to send it<br />
      <br />
      Tom
    1. bottlerocket's Avatar
      bottlerocket -
      Neil Young's appreciation of hi-res music is well documented. Based on that, it would have been nice if he just stuck 24/192 tracks on an HDAD DVD audio and made it a lot easier for all of us (himself included). I guess he thought we needed to see his films too so he went with blue-ray.<br />
      <br />
      I've run into the same limitation on my Sony blue-ray player. I can't output more than 24/48. For example John Mayer's blue ray says it has 24/96 PCM but it outputs 24/48 from the Sony.<br />
      <br />
      I like the CODE project approach. Give you everything: MP3, redbook CD and 24/96 WAV files all easily ripped for the price of a CD. That's user friendly. <br />
      <br />
      Thanks for the info Chris. It looks promising if your PC has the horse-power<br />
      <br />
    1. JustinGN's Avatar
      JustinGN -
      More than likely, it's something wrong with the settings on the player side if you're getting 24/48 instead of 24/96 or higher. HDMI can be confusing once you get into the nitty gritty settings of the spec, though assuming your player can output bitstream (it should be able to) and your receiver is HDMI 1.3a+ with the ability to decode the audio codecs at proper resolution, you should go that route. If, however, you have a player that can decode TrueHD and DTS-HD MA, it may be worth it to decode on the player and pass 7.1 channel 24/192 audio as LPCM. Only HDMI 1.3 or newer receivers/processors can decode the lossless codecs, though many players are dropping lossless decoding support on-board when they can to cut costs, relying instead on bitstream support since most consumer receivers support it or can decode the lossy cores of the soundtracks.<br />
      <br />
      For everyone having 24/96 or 24/192 mixes sampled down to 24/48, check your settings -very- carefully. HDMI is a powerful, if "dumb" spec.<br />
      <br />
      EDIT: This assumes you're using HDMI. Analog and SPDIF outputs on BD decks are subject to DRM and/or connection restrictions, including a no-analog-video support starting in 2013 (So all you CRT Projector owners without HDMI or HDCP, get your decks now!)
    1. bottlerocket's Avatar
      bottlerocket -
      The blue ray is going to my 2 channel only DAC so I use SPDIF not HDMI and I think that's what Sony limits on the player (not limited in the Blue ray spec).
    1. eoms's Avatar
      eoms -
      thus there is no way to utilize 192/24 from Blu Ray via coax to a listener's preferred dac<br />
      <br />
      Which explains why Blu Ray audio needs to be ripped<br />
      <br />
      Tom