How to combine two DVDs into a single movie


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Macworld commenter Lisban Osorio has a multimedia problem that faces a few of us. He writes:

My copy of the Godfather II comes on two DVD discs. I’d like to play it on my Apple TV as one continues file. How can I do that?

First, you’ll have to rip each disc, a process we’ve described many times. The free HandBrake continues to be my tool of choice for such chores. I’d suggest that you rip them using HandBrake’s Apple TV 3 preset to get the best looking video.

Once you have the ripped versions of your two movies you must find a way to join them. Although you can do this in iMovie and QuickTime 7 Pro, the operation can take hours. To speed up the process I use MKVToolNix an open-source utility that converts video files into the MKV format. Among its talents is MKVMerge, which will combine multiple movie files and export them as a single MKV file.

Launch MKVToolNix and in the window that appears, drag your first movie file into the Input Files area (or click the Add button, navigate to the file, and then add it). Then click the Append button and navigate to the second movie. Click the Start Muxing button at the bottom of the window and the app will set about combining them into a single MKV file. This should take less than two minutes on a reasonably fast Mac.


Import your MPEG-4 movies to combine them as a single MKV file.

Now that you have your MKV file, you’ll need to convert it back to an MPEG-4 movie that’s compatible with your Apple TV. Fortunately, you’ve already used the tool you need to do the job—HandBrake.

Choose this MKV file as the source and then select the appropriate output preset (again I’d use Apple TV 3). Start the job and HandBrake should present you with a finished movie in something under 90 minutes.

handbrake convert mkv

HandBrake both begins and ends the job.

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