Here’s How to Convert Your Blu-ray or DVD Movies to iTunes the Right Way

2 minute read
| Quick Tip

If you have a collection of Blu-ray or DVD movies that you’d love to export to your Apple TV or iTunes on the cheap, keep reading. Thanks to the new MoviesAnywhere service and its partnership with Vudu, there’s a quick and easy way to get those physical discs converted to a digital format you can download to your Mac, iOS device, or Apple TV.

blu-ray or dvd movies

Converting these Blu-ray discs to digital could take hours, but there’s an easier way

Leveraging Vudu’s Disc to Digital Service

Vudu, a leading provider of digital copies of movies, is at the heart of this method. While you can purchase DVD and Blu-ray movies that include a free download from Vudu or UltraViolet, you can also scan your existing library of movies to get digital copies.

This isn’t available for all titles, of course – if your Blu-ray or DVD came with an UltraVIolet or Vudu download code, it won’t work. However, there are plenty of titles that do work just fine, and the price is right. If you want a digital, HD version of a Blu-ray disc, it will only cost you US $2. For some reason, converting a DVD movie to digital costs a bit more, $5.

How to Scan Your Physical Blu-ray or DVD Movies

First, download Vudu from the App Store. Once installed, either sign into your existing Vudu account or create a new one. Once you’ve made sure all of your billing information is correct, you’ll be ready to start scanning.

Break out that stack of Blu-ray or DVD movies, tap the three lines in the top left corner. Scroll down in the menu until you find “Disc to Digital,” and tap on it. From there, tap on “Scan Barcode,” and begin pointing your iPhone camera at UPCs. If a digital download is available, you’ll be given the option to add it to your cart.

When you’re done, the app will send you an email with a link to confirm your checkout details. Within moments, you should get an email that your titles are ready for download.

Oh, Man, I Just Ditched My DVD/Blu-ray Cases

The key to this lies in scanning the UPC on the back of the DVD or Blu-ray cover. If you’ve already lost it, thrown that away, or it’s become too damaged to scan, there is still hope. A database of Blu-ray and DVD UPCs exists, and scanning the barcode from that webpage works just fine.

When you visit that database’s website, you can search for your movies to scan them. I recommend typing the movie title along with either “Blu-ray” or “DVD,” depending on which one you have. Otherwise, you’ll also get a link to the same title on Amazon Video, which won’t work (unless you really want to pay full price to buy the digital copy.)

If you want to scan barcodes from your monitor, make sure your display resolution is set to 2560 by 1440 pixels or less. Higher resolutions don’t seem to work for scanning, at least with my iPhone 7 Plus.

Okay, It’s in Vudu, Now What?

If you haven’t already linked your MoviesAnywhere and Vudu accounts, you need to do so. You should also make sure your iTunes account is linked. Once you’ve done that, you’ll see the movies you convert to digital magically appear in your iTunes library for download. Before you ask, yes, I’ve even found some Disney content available for conversion. The key is to make sure the disc didn’t originally come with a download code for Vudu or UltraViolet.

Tip o’ the hat to AppleInsider for pointing this out.

12 Comments Add a comment

    • Jeff Butts

      It appears that option merely directs you to download the app. Vudu has to have you scan your Blu-ray or DVD UPC, or they cannot provide you with the digital copy.

  1. txaggie90

    Seems like I must be missing something. What’s to prevent you from scanning UPC codes for movies that you don’t own? Other than personal ethics?

    • ziploc

      My thoughts exactly. I see that “GPS” is a requirement, maybe they are tracking you to roll out the death squad if you are deceiving them somehow? Weird.

      “*GPS required, other terms and limitations apply.”

  2. Kodac

    Actually Hagen is correct. You can do disc to digital on your Mac if you have access to an optical drive ( DVDs only on Mac but BluRay also on certain Windows machines). Scroll down and click on ” Get Vudu To Go”. This installs an Adobe Air app on your Mac and this allows you to get past the ” *GPS required, other terms and limitations apply. Convert up to 100 discs a year. ” limitation of the app.

    I’m curious to see how much different Movies Anywhere is from it’s predecessor Disney Movies Anywhere as these partnerships were started there. (Disney originally gave away a Free HD copy of “The Incredibles” as incentive to link your accounts when it was Vudu only)

  3. paikinho

    I got the Incredibles movie offer back in the day when I linked my Disney with iTunes. I remember that. But I also remember converting a bunch of my movies with Vudu a long time ago. I then reversed it all and Vudu gave me my money back because, although I could upgrade to HDX, I couldn’t play the HDX movies on anything I owned. Ended up cancelling service to my Chagrin.

    Now that Vudu is back with this 4 linked accounts business, it finally is a boon for me. Fantastic for me.

    i can finally convert all of my old DVD’s to HD for $5 and for me it is worth it since I can finally have them in iTunes and play them on my Apple TV. I already made digital copies of my 300 DVD’s and full .MKV versions for backup. I won’t ditch those copies just yet because I can play them all over the place on older devices, but this is really intriguing since I will be getting a new 4K TV to go with my ATV 4K. All of my movies in 4K!!!! fairly sweet.

  4. paikinho

    Hmmm something went wonky.
    Went app on my phone, scanned a bunch of my DVD’s and Blurays. 90% weren’t accepted. Finally got to 20 and it booted me from scanning more. I went through the purchase process…. got an email for me to confirm my purchase. Then nothing.

    No movies on anything.

    Arrgh. Waste of my time.

  5. paikinho

    ok had to redo my purchase and it went through this time.

    Interesting thing. Only 12 of my 20 converted movies are showing up in iTunes.

    Perhaps they don’t all show up because Apple doesn’t have licensing for some of them whereas other services do.? Not sure what is happening exactly.

  6. paikinho

    I think I figured it out.

    The 8 movies I don’t have access to were available on Vudu for conversion.

    They are also available on iTunes.

    However, They are not available on Movies Anywhere so they do not register for me so I don’t currently get an iTunes copy for my use even though I own the movies and have digitally converted them.

    Bummer.

  7. paikinho

    Yep…
    So Converted 6 more movies. 4 are available on Movies Anywhere. 2 are not.
    These 2 movies I don’t have access to within iTunes.

    So Far I think this goes both ways.

    Movies I have on iTunes that are not on Movies Anywhere don’t show up on my Vudu account.

    If a movie is not on Movies Anywhere, then it won’t transfer to the other services is my guess.
    I hope they fluff up the movies in their library.

    No Disney, MGM, Mirimax, or Acorn discs will convert using vudu. Bummer because I really want to convert my copy of Nightmare Before Xmas to HD.

  8. ziploc

    Paikinho – If you have access to Amazon Fire TV/Stick? If not read through the below article and see if anything fits best for you.

    https://www.macobserver.com/tips/how-to/movies-anywhere-apps/

    Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
    The easiest way to watch your movies—whether they come from Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play, or Vudu—on your Fire TV device (like a Fire TV Stick or Fire TV 4K)is through the built-in Amazon Video app. Select the Library tab and you’ll see everything, including the movies that may not appear on your iOS devices.

  9. paikinho

    Unfortunately I don’t have an Amazon Fire TV/Stick.

    However, I am curious how movies that are purchased on Vudu that are not in Movies Anywhere will be registered on Amazon.
    It seems to me that Movies Anywhere is the linchpin through which all purchases from any service are diffused.

    If you have a specific title that is on Vudu and on Amazon, but not on Movies Anywhere, does this still work? Not for me yet.

    It does not on Apple services either.

    e.g. I own a copy of Monty Python Holy Grail on DVD, I upgraded to HDX on Vudu’s “Disk to Digital” service. Theoretically I should have that title available on my iTunes since both Apple and Vudu have the title in their arsenal. However, since Monty Python’s Holy Grail is not available on Movies Anywhere that particular title fails to populate in the rest of my services…. including Amazon.

    So my hypothesis is only movies available in the Library of Movies Anywhere will populate every service people signed up have. So far, I have at least 12 titles that are not in the Movies Anywhere catalogue…. Therefore I can’t get All of my movies to be available in All my accounts just yet. Hopefully soon though as Movies Anywhere adds all the missing titles.

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