Friday, June 27, 2008

Ipod Converters

Do you have a video iPod (i.e. classic, touch, nano)? Ever wondered how to put videos on it without having to buy them from iTunes? What you need is a DVD to iPod converter. This software will enable you to turn your DVD's into a compatible format for your iPod (i.e. mpeg4). You see, the problem with the whole iTunes - iPod idea is that it is bad for consumers. I say bad for consumers because the whole idea is designed to limit your use of the iPod to only things bought on iTunes. Fortunately, iTunes allows you to import CD's to your music library, but not DVD's. The reason for that might be because it would make iTunes a much more complex application, however, it is extemely convenient for Apple as they please producers by putting limits on what can be done with their movies AND Apple makes a grip off it. (Note: this is very similar to the reason that the company uses DRM soooo extensively - to please music producers [a critical supplier] and to make a grip of money [from critical consumers]).

First thing to know is: don't EVER pay for a converter. There are countless ways to do it for free. Here are a couple of really good converters that will do everything you want without much hassle. Each has its own benefits. I use Videora and Handbrake primarily and so I will highlight only these apps (click on the links to go to their site). I'm sure that there are other very useful applications and won't you please tell me about them (only if they are free, I won't pay for one, ever)!

Videora - I should begin by saying that DVD to iPod conversion is a two-phase process. First, a DVD must be decrypted, then the decrypted file must be formatted propererly (re-encrypted if you will) to mpeg4. Videora ONLY accomplishes the latter of those two phases. It will format relatively any file already on your hard drive (i.e. VOB, AVI, Divx, etc) but will not decrypt DVD's. For that, you must use a simple decrypter that the application will point you to. The reason I still use this application given this limitation, is because it is by far the most user friendly DVD to iPod application I have encountered (10 out of 10 easy). It is simple to set up a conversion that will convert a TV quality video. The whole process is step-by-step and quite easy to walkthrough. In total, the process takes about 1 1/2 hours per DVD (both phases considered).

Handbrake - This application is probably the most hassle-free to use as it does both phases of the process: DVD decryption and formatting to mpeg4. I have found the quality to be equivalent to Videora. As far as user-friendliness, I give it a 6 out of 10. Its easy to use but it does use a lot of "jargon" that I only learned through trial and error. In total, the process takes around 1 to 1 1/2 hours to complete a conversion. I have had more errors using this software than Videora. I think it is becuase the program does the entire process which means more can go wrong in a single conversion.

The skinny: If you are new to the whole DVD to iPod thing, I would use Videora. It has step-by-step instructions for both DVD decryption and conversion to mpeg4. You would only need to follow those instructions once, then its clear sailing as you will be more comfortable with the process. Handbrake is better for a more seasoned warrior as it uses some technical jargon that I find inconvenient. You can "circumrent" (watch Arrested Development to know what thats funny) these problem by trial and error, however.

Remember that you can convert any DVD you own so have fun with it and good luck. Questions or concerns, post a comment on this post and I will respond.


Ty & Masha said...

I saw your Ty comment in About the Author section!

Natalie said...

This is very helpful hon. I am just glad I have you to do it for me. Love you!

Derek and Tara said...

I've tried both and prefer Videora. By the way, I didn't see any credit for having introduced you to Handbrake. Good idea for a post though, I've used this a ton and love it on my iPod. I've enjoyed hours of Arrested Development on there, gracias to Videora.

rblaz said...

Sorry d-rok... I got the idea for Handbrake from my brother. There you go buddy!

rblaz said...

Ty hasn't seen it yet, which means he isn't reading the blog enough.