Converting DVDs and Videos for the Video iPod
I have to admit that it has been harder than I thought to find a free solution for converting DVDs and various other digital movies into the right format for the iPod ... on Windows. Yes, yes ... I know ... if I was using a Mac then it would just be there. But I'm not ... yet. (NOTE: I'm seriously interested in buying a iBook, PowerBook, MacBook at some point soon ... and I will.) For now, my primary laptop is running Windows, with Linux in Virtual PC. My Tablet PC is also running Windows. So I want a Windows solution. There are a number of commercial application that look good ... but I wanted to see what I could find for free.
I bought an iPod Video a while back, and have been doing most of my experimenting and research on the audio side of things. I moved from the music and smart playlists into podcasts. I've learned a lot, and see some very interesting ways that this platform can be leveraged into new businesses and business models. So what about video?
I've had a long experience with video and video editing ... starting with 3/4" tape decks in the late 70's ... and all the way up to my current digital video editing set-up. I wanted to know how to easily take a DVD, or existing digital video content, and get it converted to MPEG4 format and moved into my iPod. Here's what I found that seems to work:
- For doing the conversion of content I'm pleased with Videora and their Videora iPod Converter. Based on the Open Source FFmpeg project, this is a clean - and free! - application. It installed, and was easy to figure out and use. Once you install it, you can do "One Click" conversions, or create a queue of conversions and just allow your machine to run all night. Videora has an insteresting add-on that I might look at which is their automatic downloading tool - Videora. So that is the solution for converting video to the proper format.
- For grabbing video from a DVD, I found the Open Source DVDx project at SourceForge. I'm going to test this tonight, however the claim is that it will rip a DVD to various digital video formats ... which I can then feed into my Videora iPod Converter. It appears to work easy enough, and there are other people using this tool for this same purpose.