Can I keep 2 audio tracks when ripping Blu-ray to MP4? This is a frequently asked question from Apple fans- mostly those who have Mac desktop, Apple TV and iPad. For some time I was wondering why should people want 2 audio tracks of the same language? Later one day I suddenly realized what the point is when I was trying to fix the audio system. MP4 rip with both AAC and AC3 audio sounds fine on both stereo and surround audio systems and will play in pretty much anything- iPad, Mac, ATV, and iPhone! When travel with iPad tablet one watches movies with stereo out; when back home he plays movies with Mac/ATV with multi-channel surround sounds out- what a great idea!
The thing is, how to achieve that? Here’ what I conclude after doing some research:
So things become clear. A Blu-ray Ripper plus Handbrake will do the job.
- Not a Blu-ray Ripper/DVD Ripper on market rips DVD/Blu-ray to MP4 with 2 audio tracks;
- Freeware Handbrake is capable of combining Pro Logic II and AC3 when converting unprotected DVD/Blu-ray MP4 video for Apple devices, but it does not handle the BD/DVD copy-protections.
In the first place, I get DVD and BD cracked and copied to Mac hard drive. This can be done with Pavtube Blu-ray Ripper, which features a “Full Disc Copy” option that copy Blu-ray to BDMV and DVD to VIDEO_TS folder.
Rip DVD to VIDEO_TS
Rip Blu-ray to BDMV
Then I load the Blu-ray or DVD folder (unprotected) to Handbrake, and use Handbrake to combine AAC stereo and AC3 5.1 audio when exporting MP4 video, although I have to end the file name in .m4v instead of .mp4 for QuickTime and the AppleTV.
Surround sound options with Handbrake
But there could be a problem here- what Handbrake does is “passing-through” AC3 audio- you get AC3 5.1 audio only when there is AC3 5.1 stream in source video. This is not a problem with DVD, as Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is a part of DVD standard. It is a problem, however, to Blu-ray Disc, because the White Paper Blu-ray Disc Format indicates that a Blu-ray Disc can contains “LPCM as well as Dolby® Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Lossless, DTS digital surround® and DTS-HD® audio formats.”
If a Blu-ray movie use TrueHD, DTS-HD, LPCM as the audio codec, you don’t get AC3 5.1 audio with Handbrake. Any workaround for that? I’m not sure. Maybe I could first rip Blu-ray to MKV with audio converted to AC3 5.1 using ByteCopy and then load it to HandBrake?