playing dvd movies on video ipod

The short story: Handbrake rocks, just get it (mac, windows, linux or source).

The long story…

We bought a great dvd to learn some more about open tuning guitar at Stefan Grossman’s Thing is, after watching a couple times, we might want to practice without having to get out the dvd and turn on the computer. Not to mention that it’s not the most comfy place to play guitar, sitting in front of the computer.

Among the lucky ones, we have an ipod that plays video. Logical, right, we should be able to play the dvd on the ipod? That would be so much more convenient to listen to or watch than using the computer to play the dvd. Wouldn’t even need to have the visual, really, even just the audio would do.

Well, first things first. The dvd needs to be converted to the proper format for the ipod, mp4 video (the gory details of formats are beyond me). A little googling later, and I downloaded a free, open source application called Handbrake.

It doesn’t get any easier than this. Absolutely user friendly, worked-the-first-time-around satisfaction. Yes! With one page of instructions and screenshots you’re on your way. Handbrake spares you the details of formats and bit rates and all that with many preconfigured output format options, tucked away in a nice drawer of presets. All we had to do was point Handbrake to the dvd in the drive, pick the ipod video preset, go for a nice jog in the woods, and bingo! When we got home we had a freshly converted video ready for play on the ipod (it took about an hour on a Macbook Pro 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo).

Initially we thought we’d aim for audio only, but after seeing the video we thought, mmmm ok, we’ll keep that! It looks fine, quality is quite good for our needs, and there happens to be enough space on the ipod for the video. Today anyway. 😉 (File size was about 500 MB for an hour and a half of video.)

The chapter structure was preserved, so skipping through on the ipod works great. Happy happy happy.

Just for the heck of it, I’ve continued the experiment and am trying to pull out the audio so I can play that on my don’t-need-no-stinking-video nano ipod. But that’s a different story, maybe later…

So why is it called Handbrake anyway? Something about parking on a hill? Switching gears on a slope?

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3 Responses to playing dvd movies on video ipod

  1. Pingback: extracting audio out of an mp4 movie « noah little

  2. POWERSHAKER says:

    I have to say, kudos to Handbrake programmers! It’s not every day – not even very often – that you download such a useful, well-made program that is absolutely free! It is bar none the best application for ripping DVD movies and movie files into the most useful video file formats. I ripped two movies: one into Quicktime format and the other I put on my iPod just for fun. This works great if I want to get a picture off of a movie. What if I see a cool snapshot in a movie I want to make into desktop wallpaper or use in some creative way ONLY for my personal use? Well, needless to say, Handbrake does all of it, and it’s FREE! No shareware fee! No cost! Absolutely free! The icing on the cake? After your new file is encoded – placed neatly on your desktop – the Handbrake Application gives you a message. “Put down that cocktail! Your encode is finished!” or some such stylish non-sense. I don’t drink. I quit. However, it’s a nice little flare of humor to top it all off. Now I know why the dock icon has this color, cool looking pineapple and cocktail glass. Nicely done! Bravo! I will say this final thing about Handbrake. There is only one program that has ever impressed me up until Hanbrake. That program is WINAMP by Nullsoft. Initially, when WINAMP first came out, I was astonished at the freshness of ingenuity and creativity. They were the first! They were the best! It can always be said that Nullsoft was the MP3 pioneer, and one guy started it all in that company. Handbrake is only the second program in all of my computing experiences – since the 80s Atari days until Macbook Pro 2.4GHZ – to create a useful, colorful and brilliantly constructed application. I must solute the Handbrake programmers like I did the Nullsoft programmers for Winamp in the late 90s. Thank you for your kind service to our needs! 🙂

  3. Charly says:

    I personally use the Cucusoft product to make IPod and PSP movies and it works brilliantly.

    Great post, thanks for sharing the information.

    my blog

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