Best way to rip DVDs to Windows Media Center?

I just added 8TB of storage to my HTPC and want to start ripping all my DVD's (and CD's) to the HDD's. I want to search for them and play them through Windows Media Center. From what I have read ISO files dont work with media center so I am looking for a program the will convert the DVD to a file format that is supported by WMC.

What are the best ripping programs (preferrably free)?

What file formats offer the best picture and sound quality?

Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
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  1. To start, welcome to the HTPC crowd here at Tom's.

    Unfortunately discussion of ripping is not allowed here on Tom's so I am unable to help you there. Read the forum Rules of Conduct here. You can find plenty of other sources for that topic elsewhere.

    For your other questions, ISO's work in media center if you use a virtual drive to mount the image. This can easily be set up automatically using a front end like Media Browser. Personally, I use Media browser to launch, Virtual Clone Drive to mount, and TMT5 to play my ISO's. You may find that it's easier to use folder structure since that eliminates the mounting step from the process.

    The best picture and sound quality will be achieved by leaving your media as-is without any re-encoding. This could mean ISO, or file structure, but you can also pull the untouched video and audio out and place them into an mkv container.
  2. Media player has plug-ins that allow it to play all sorts of media. You can also get a program called My Movies Database that has a setup made especially for Media Player where it extents it's functionality.

    Do a web search for Media Player plug-ins. ISO files are not what you want to use, but since getting DVD media on your PC is shady legally, this is not the forum where you want to get info on it.
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