Ok, let me clarify the title by providing you with the specs for the machine I'm using to rip DVDs:
- Mac Mini
- 1.42 GHZ PowerPC
- 1 GB RAM
- Handbrake using the MPEG4 codec
I remember 12 years ago when I first ripped a CD into MP3 format -- it basically ripped the CD in the time that it would have taken for the CD to play. When I burned the CD on what, at the time was a first generation burner, it took the entire time that it would have taken to play the CD to write it to blank media.
In ripping all of my DVDs to have them available for AppleTV, I find myself at what seems like the beginning of the same sort of process: it seems to take about the amount of time to rip the DVD and encode it as it would to watch it.
Would the process be faster with a faster machine? Probably. But we're not yet at the level of design, speed, and sophistication that iTunes is currently at from the music side: insert a CD, click "import", and the CD music is put into your library at 16x-24x normal listening speed.
I should probably try the process on my Core2Duo machine just to see what the speed difference is like, but the nice part about using the Mini is that it leaves the Macbook free for me to do everything else.