[UPDATE: RealDVD is already the subject of legal wrangling--Real announced today that it's suing the Hollywood studios to protect the product against charges that it's illegal. Press release here.]
RealNetworks is announcing that its RealDVD software is available for download and purchase today. It is, for the moment at least, unique: It’s the first software for DVD copying that goes about it in a way designed to sidestep problems with U.S. copyright law, and it’s also the easiest application I’ve seen for PC-based DVD copying and playback.
I review the application here, and do so reasonably favorably–it’s fast and simple, and you wind up with a library of saved DVDs that’s a snap to browse through. (Limitations: You can’t move copies to portable devices, and options for sharing them among PCs are limited to external drives.) Folks who are already hardcore users of DVD rippers such as Handbrake probably won’t be drawn to RealDVD, but I think it stands a good chance of becoming popular with the larger group of PC users who have never dealt with the complexities–both technical and legal–of using existing DVD copiers.
You can download a thirty-day trial version of RealDVD before you plunk down your $29.99. But how’d you like to get it for free, period? Real has supplied Technologizer with ten license codes, and we’ll give ‘em away to members of the community. Here’s how to get a chance at snagging one:
1) Make sure you’re a registered member of the Technologizer Community. If you already are, great; if not, it just takes a moment to sign up, which you can do here.
2) Make sure you’re signed into the community, then visit my profile page.
3) Use the “Send a message” link on the left-hand side of the page (under my smiling face) to send me a message saying you’d like a chance at a license code. “Please enter me for a RealDVD code” is all I need to know.
That’s it. Ping me by 12pm noon PT on Thursday, October 2nd–later that day, we’ll choose ten winners at random, and alert them by e-mail with the codes by midnight on Friday. And we’ll report back in a post on who won the free copies, just so the world knows we did indeed give them away.
Good luck! And if you try RealDVD, let us know what you think of it.