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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > movies from dvd's to an ipod

movies from dvd's to an ipod
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Oct 13, 2005, 05:45 PM
 
I have a mac and a pc, on the pc i can move dvd videos to my psp with a program called xcopy9 (http://psptransfer.com/), is there a similar program that can do the same for my new ipod(the new video one)? i dont care what platform its one, as i can use both equaly well. i just dont want to do it the hard way of mulit-stage conversion. (this is all legal as long as you own the dvds and a copy of the dvd codecs)
     
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Oct 13, 2005, 06:06 PM
 
Check this out:

http://diveintomark.org/howto/ipod-dvd-ripping-guide/

It's two stages in the sense that you have to rip the DVD manually first, but that's really no big deal. I'm trying the encoding right now.
     
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Oct 13, 2005, 08:05 PM
 
wow thanks, i did not expect such a quick reply, your awsome!
     
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Oct 14, 2005, 01:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Heiro
wow thanks, i did not expect such a quick reply, your awsome!
I don't quite understand why that page recommends using two packages. Handbrake will do it all: put your DVD in, tell handbrake the format you want, screen resolution, and target file size, and it does it all. (I find even 512MB is plenty for films that I want to watch on my 640x480 Dell x50v handheld ... 1GB, is best though, if you have the storage).

I would really like to hear confirmation from someone that the new ipod can indeed play the files generates by handbrake.
     
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Oct 14, 2005, 04:58 AM
 
Does handbrake actually decode DeCSS? It's possible that it will work from DVDs, but only ones that aren't encoded. Or perhaps it only works directly from the DVD, which can wear out the drive if it takes hours to do the encoding, and probably extends the encoding time as well. Better to do a quick dump to the hard disk first.
     
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Oct 14, 2005, 07:23 PM
 
I'd rather dump it to my hard drive over letting the DVD drive spin throughout the entire encoding process (which takes a looooonng time).
     
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Oct 15, 2005, 01:56 PM
 
I've been doing some experimenting with the method outlined in the link above. The iPod is supposed to play both MPEG4 and h.264 video, so I did some test encodings using both codecs. The h.264 is definitely better and results in a considerably smaller file size. However, it take a long time to convert.

I have a 1.33Ghz Powerbook G4 with 1.25GB of RAM. I used a bitrate of 400kbps, size of 320 x 240. I tried encoding a single Star Trek episode as a test. It took several hours with h.264 set to two-pass encoding. I sort of lost track, but I would guess more than 6 hours. I then tried it with single-pass encoding and it looked basically identical, so I don't think it's worth doubling the encoding time. Strangely, I did a widescreen movie at 320 x 176 and it was a more reasonable encoding time. Again, I didn't get an exact time, but it took less time than the Star Trek episode even though it was twice as long. I guess the reduction in vertical resolution made it a lot easier to encode.

MPEG4 is considerably faster (at least double, I would say) but it results in a file that is about 75% larger than h.264. Also, there were noticeable artifacts in the video when I blew it up to full screen. I don't know if these will be noticeable when played back on the iPod though. Probably not so much. Still, the difference is size is pretty major.

You can queue up files to convert overnight, so I guess even taking several hours isn't terrible.
     
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Oct 15, 2005, 04:08 PM
 
A couple other observations:

Queueing in handbreak doesn't seem to be implemented yet after all.

Going into the Energy Saver preferences and changing the setting from "Automatic" to "Highest" seemed to significantly speed up encoding.
     
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Oct 15, 2005, 06:52 PM
 
thanks for the trial run, Icruise. Pan & Scans always results in a larger file size over the Widescreen versions.

Time to get a faster Mac so I can do some faster encodes....
     
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Oct 19, 2005, 02:02 AM
 
Another update:

From what I have read from people who are now getting their iPods, this encoding method does not work on the iPods (at least the h.264 encoding). And people using Windows programs also seem to be having problems with h.264. I don't yet know of a reliable way to encode into that format, aside from using quicktime pro. I'm sure something will come up soon though, now that the iPods have been released.

(Of course I find this out only after I've converted a couple of dozen files...)
     
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Oct 19, 2005, 03:51 AM
 
This is similar to converting your music library to AAC/MP3 - it takes a lot of your time. I remembered sittting for nights on end slowly feeding audio CDs to my Mac. It was excrutiating....

Converting to h.264 requires alot of horsepower to encode as well as decode. Supposedly h.264 compresses better at the cost of CPU consumption for both conversion and playing. I guess I'm gonna stick to mp4s for the moment at the cost of a little bigger file sizes.

Well, it's time to pay $1.99 per show and avoid the lengthy encoding process or just buckle up and learn to live with agonizing encodes that takes up half the day....

My sister had the same problem. She bought an Archos Video Jukebox and thought it was simple to get her DVDs and TV shows on the go. Now it just sits in her entertainment center 'cuz she didn't realize all the techie stuff she has to do. Many folks are gonna just want to go to the iTunes store to buy their movies instead of jumping through hoops.

Here's an iLounge article about the Top 10 things Techies wanted to know about the ipod Video
Read #4:

4. 320 Is Better Than 480 - on iPod’s Screen. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, videos in 320-pixel MPEG-4 format are noticeably superior to ones created in 480-pixel MPEG-4 format when viewed on the iPod’s screen. Because the screen doesn’t have the pixels to display all the detail of the 480 version, the iPod scales it down, creating a slightly softer image in the process, and one that is not as smooth in frame rate, either. The 320-pixel versions look crisper because they have been optimized on a per-pixel basis for the iPod, and smoother because the iPod’s processor doesn’t have to waste power and time resizing every frame.
     
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Oct 19, 2005, 07:04 AM
 
I have no doubt that a number of "one click" solutions for encoding DVDs to the iPod will crop up soon, although it will still take a long time to do the actual encoding.
     
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Oct 19, 2005, 09:55 AM
 
yeah, I've always felt like I had to wait a long time while all the good stuff appears on a Windows PC first before finally getting over to the Mac side. Games, in particular, come easily to mind. All the cool games first appear there and then 6 months later, it'll appear on the Mac.

I might just be brave enough to get one of those cheesy Windows boxes that go for $400 and see if something pops up on that side.

You're probably right. I remembered when there was a sudden increase in programs that could extract music from your iPod after things got settled down.
     
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Oct 19, 2005, 10:16 AM
 
Saying that, there's a Windows app out which does the job:

http://www.videora.com/en-us/Converter/iPod/

It's just a mod on the PSP Video 9 app they already had.

I encoded Garden State on my laptop to H264 in less than an hour. That's one thing I've always felt disappointed with on my macs, video encoding speed has always lagged behind Windows.
     
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Oct 19, 2005, 04:36 PM
 
Does the videora app's h.264 encoding actually work on the iPod? I've read reports that it does not.
     
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Oct 20, 2005, 04:06 AM
 
Well, here's a newsflash I found. I bought the 3ivx QuickTime codec ages ago and used that to make QuickTime movies of my DVDs.

When I go out-of-state, I usually bring my 12" PowerBook and load up a portable external firewire 20GB hard drive with a bunch of QuickTime movies and watch them in my hotel room at night.

Recently, I spotted a post on the 3ivx forum about 3ivx Crush - the upcoming version of their encoding mpeg-4 video/audio movie application.

One of the developers talked about their Export to iPod scripts available in the new 3ivx Crush. Read it here:

http://forums.3ivx.com/index.php?showtopic=83905

It's the start of many new programs coming out for the iPod video format....
     
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Oct 20, 2005, 08:55 AM
 
So I'm curious then. Has anyone successfully transferred a DVD to a video iPod? If the Handbrake method described in one of the above links does not work, then is the only option to use Quicktime Pro?

Also, could someone post some file sizes they are getting with various bitrates? How about 400, 600, 800, and 1000 for say a 1 1/2 hour movie with sound at 128kbs.
     
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Oct 20, 2005, 09:43 AM
 
Well, Handbrake should work if you use MPEG4 (from what I understand). It's the h.264 encoding that may be the problem, although I'm still reading conflicting reports about this. I guess I'll find out when my iPod finally arrives.
     
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Oct 20, 2005, 02:32 PM
 
I ripped an episode of Futurama from DVD last night using the ( http://diveintomark.org/howto/ipod-dvd-ripping-guide/ ) instructions and it worked like a charm. Took about 20 minutes on single-pass for one episode, which is about 22 minutes.
     
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Oct 20, 2005, 03:05 PM
 
Yes, he's changed the instructions so that you use MPEG4, which should work as I said.
     
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Oct 20, 2005, 07:27 PM
 
Maybe there's an opening for TV/movie studios to add value to DVDs by offering an iPod-ready version of the movie on their discs.

I remember that Terminator 2: Extreme Edition had a WMV9 edition of the movie on its disc. I don't have a PC so I wasn't able to check it. Supposedly it will authenticate your copy to play on your PC.

If Apple could get TV/movie studios to include an iPod video version, that would entrench the iPod video as the must-have portable video player.
     
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Oct 20, 2005, 07:47 PM
 
That would be very cool, but if I know the movie industry, they're much more likely to try and sell it to you for $20 or something ridiculous (just look at UMDs -- they're more expensive than the DVD versions in many cases!)
     
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Oct 21, 2005, 10:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Icruise
Check this out:

http://diveintomark.org/howto/ipod-dvd-ripping-guide/

It's two stages in the sense that you have to rip the DVD manually first, but that's really no big deal. I'm trying the encoding right now.
Something doesn't look right in that tutorial...

The Handbrake screen say
Average biterate (kbps)

The tutorial says enter a number like 400 but not to exceed 768

But in Apple's iPod specs page at http://www.apple.com/ipod/specs.html
it says up to 768 Kbps.

Now, the last time I checked, kbps is different from Kbps.

anybody with an ipod video care to confirm that this ipod dvd ripping guide actually creates working ipod movies?
     
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Oct 21, 2005, 03:05 PM
 
I use DVD Backup for decryption/ripping to HDD, and Handbrake for encoding. 2 pass takes about 35-40 minutes on my dual 2.3. Luckily I had already ripped most of my collection. I have about four full length movies on my 5g ipod as we speak. (although battery time to watch a full length movie is pushing it...)

After you get your first couple working, it's a cakewalk. I was happy to see the developer update the instructions as i have had much better luck with mp4. Oceans 11 is 442.5MB (and yes Mr. Ashcroft, i own the DVD)

I had one issue with I Heart Huckabees and Handbrake. It fails to recognize the menus in the Video_TS folder and you cannot even begin to encode them. A quick jump over to the handbrake forums will reveal that others have had this issue as well, but there seems to be no reliable consensus as to why... I'll admit, i have yet to invest the time in re-ripping it to try again.

What i wonder is: How long will the MPAA stand for this?

     
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Oct 21, 2005, 03:12 PM
 
"That's one thing I've always felt disappointed with on my macs, video encoding speed has always lagged behind Windows."


Can you provide some kind of real world hardware comparison here? This has not been my experience at all. I mean, are you comparing a 3ghz P4 to a 1.5ghz G4?

That's kind of a vague statement to make. Just curious...

     
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Oct 21, 2005, 03:38 PM
 
Well, encoding movies to H264 is faster on my 2GHz Dothan laptop then it was on my 2GHz iMac G5. Pretty straightformward comparison.
     
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Oct 21, 2005, 03:42 PM
 
"Well, encoding movies to H264 is faster on my 2GHz Dothan laptop then it was on my 2GHz iMac G5. Pretty straightformward comparison."


It certainly is, now that you've specified what you are using... thanks for the clarification.

15" Macbook Pro 2.4Ghz

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Oct 21, 2005, 03:46 PM
 
Not that it's going to stop me buying the new 20" iMac, it's far more than the sum of it's parts. I can't wait to get my hands on it.
     
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Oct 21, 2005, 08:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by wilsonng
Something doesn't look right in that tutorial...

The Handbrake screen say
Average biterate (kbps)

The tutorial says enter a number like 400 but not to exceed 768

But in Apple's iPod specs page at http://www.apple.com/ipod/specs.html
it says up to 768 Kbps.

Now, the last time I checked, kbps is different from Kbps.

anybody with an ipod video care to confirm that this ipod dvd ripping guide actually creates working ipod movies?
Their guide works fine. I've done it twice so far (going on an overnight business trip, so I've got Team America - World Police and Sin City on my iPod for viewing on the plane).

I encoded at 450 Kbps and the picture quality (on the iPod at least) is fine. I encoded at a lower bit rate with the hopes that it might save a bit of battery power when playing. Not really worried about the file size (there's plenty of room on the 60GB'er).

Oh, and kbps and Kbps are the same thing. KBps and Kbps is different (Bytes vs. bits).
     
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Oct 21, 2005, 08:15 PM
 
My iPod still hasn't arrived, but a little more experimenting has led me to believe that using handbrake with two-pass MPEG4 encoding will give you quality that is pretty comparable to h.264 when viewed on the iPod. When you blow it up (and presumably when you view it on a TV from the iPod) you can see the imperfections in the MPEG4.

The nice thing is that MPEG4 encoding is so much faster than h.264 that you can do a two-pass MPEG4 encode in a similar amount of time as a one-pass h.264 encode. Of course, two-pass h.264 would be best, but it takes so long that it's probably not practical.
     
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Oct 21, 2005, 09:22 PM
 
While browsing the Handbrake forum, it appears that Handbrake uses h.264 Main profile but the iPod's decoder prefers h.265 baseline profile.

At the same time, mp4s seem to work. I re-read the iPod specs and it said mpeg-4 at up to 2.5 mbps while h.264 only goes up to 768 kbps.

Well, I'd expect the imperfections in any case. I'm still a DVD junkie. If I wanted to watch it in crystal clear clarity, I pop in the DVD. If I don't mind watching it in less-than-DVD-quality, I can always pop in my mp4s.

Pretty much, all of my movies have been compressed in mp4 format and saved in a Quicktime container.

One of the forum posters reported that he successfully played an mp4 at 832x320 resolution, 30 fps, no stuttering on his brand new ipod video. That would be interesting to verify.....

Here's the URL for the Handbrake forum post:
http://handbrake.m0k.org/forum/viewt...er=asc&start=0

It's currently got 3 pages so don't forget to keep reading the rest of the posts. I've bookmarked this page to see further discussions...
     
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Oct 22, 2005, 01:11 AM
 
yeah no luck here either, sigh, i used handbrake, and used the h.264 method, wont even transfer to my ipod video, but will play fine in iTunes... any ideas? i hope they make a fix for this.
     
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Oct 22, 2005, 01:35 AM
 
i think i'm gonna stick with mp4 because

1. It doesn't take as long to encode as h.264
2. I'd like to have the ability to watch it on my laptop screen and iPod as well. I don't want to have to make 2 versions of the same movie. Yeah, mp4s will be a little bigger but if you have a 60GB iPod video, I don't think size will matter.
     
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Oct 22, 2005, 01:42 AM
 
Why couldn't you watch h.264 on your laptop screen? It should look better than MPEG4. Unless you mean you will be encoding at a larger resolution?
     
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Oct 22, 2005, 02:02 AM
 
ok i found a way to get it working, after you encode the movie as h.264 with handbrake it will result in an .mv4 file, open the file up in qt7.0.3 pro, and export to ipod video... and it will work, takes a damnnnn long time tho... geez...
     
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Oct 22, 2005, 02:16 AM
 
I don't think there's much point in that, since you're basically encoding h.264 twice.
( Last edited by icruise; Oct 22, 2005 at 02:39 AM. )
     
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Oct 22, 2005, 02:49 AM
 
I will be encoding at a larger resolution than the 320 x 240 for the iPod. I didn't want to make a copy for my iPod and another one for my PB 12"

My PB 12" 867Mhz is mostly relegated to simple tasks such as e-mail, word processing, and playing movies while my iMac G5 is for real work.

I installed QT703 on my PB 12" and it stutters while playing back h.264 and mp4s. I'm gonna have to restore it back to 6.5 to restore functionality. VLC is marginally better but still stutters enough to ruin the viewing experience.

I figured that I may as well keep using the PB 12" since it still functions. It makes a nice enough player to output to my TV.
     
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Oct 22, 2005, 06:59 AM
 
I have been playing around with MactheRipper and Handbrake for a few days now. My 60 Gig iPod Video arrived on Wednesday so I was looking to get a few of my DVD's loaded up.

A few observations...

(1) I can confirm that the video does work on the video iPod if you encode an .mp4 but not if you encode using the .264 codec. They play in iTunes but not on the iPod.

(2) Handbrake (at least on my machine) can take a long time to finish up the encoding. It will run through to 99.99 percent very quickly but can take almost 30 minutes to completely finish. The first few times, I thought the app had hung but it just seems to take a long time to complete.

(2) I also ripped a DVD with some TV shows. This may be obvious to others but it took me a few minutes to figure it out... In handbrake, I realized that each episode was a different chapter on the DVD so I just encoded one chapter at a time to get individual episodes.

Good luch everyone...

BTW - Screen quality/brightness is much better that I was expecting. I brought the iPod into work on Friday and heard similar comments from 4 people including 2 people with 4G iPods who never thought they would want to watch video on an iPod until they saw mine. Apple has another HUGE winner on their hands...
     
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Oct 22, 2005, 08:05 AM
 
Oooh....... I thought it was just me and that handbrake was hung up forever. Now I know to wait longer for Handbrake to finish. I've also had Handbrake just sit still at 99.99% or even 100% and it'll take forever to finish up.

Sometimes I'll use OpenShiiva or the combination of DiVA (for video) and mAC3dec for audio to do my encoding.

For the moment, I can forget about h.264 since mp4s still work.
     
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Oct 22, 2005, 05:04 PM
 
Also check to see, if you have the newest version of Handbrake. The newest version on Version Tracker is outdated. The Handbrake site has the newest version. I like the new one better.
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Oct 22, 2005, 07:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by wilsonng
Something doesn't look right in that tutorial...

The Handbrake screen say
Average biterate (kbps)

The tutorial says enter a number like 400 but not to exceed 768

But in Apple's iPod specs page at http://www.apple.com/ipod/specs.html
it says up to 768 Kbps.

Now, the last time I checked, kbps is different from Kbps.

anybody with an ipod video care to confirm that this ipod dvd ripping guide actually creates working ipod movies?
Actually it's kBps that's different from kbps. The capitalization of the k doesn't matter, but the b does matter.
     
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Oct 23, 2005, 12:20 AM
 
Handbrake works fine for MPEG4- but that's been said. I have encoded and played a movie, and am in the process of encoding Monty Python's Flying Circus (10 DVD's).

Here's what I think.

Encoding is slow. Really, really slow. So slow, that I don't see it happening very often once the novelty wears off. Granted, I'm on a PB (1.67, 1.5GB RAM) so we all know it's not a screamer. Encoding in h.264 is substantially slower than MPEG4. As video content is not the kind of thing you watch over and over, I don't see it being a big deal that the files are bigger. I don't see stuff staying on my iPod long.

Battery life just sucks watching video. I have the 30GB version, but I don't think I got 2 full hours out of a full charge. If I'm going to use this to watch video, I'll need an external battery. I can't find any that say they are compatible with the new iPod's yet- I hope they are coming.

FInally- thanks for the tip about handbrake taking forever to finish- I also abandoned a rip as I thought it had locked up. I'll let it run over night.
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Oct 23, 2005, 12:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Paco500
Handbrake works fine for MPEG4- but that's been said. I have encoded and played a movie, and am in the process of encoding Monty Python's Flying Circus (10 DVD's).
Heheh. Nice. I'm doing every episode of Star Trek.

Here's what I think.

Encoding is slow. Really, really slow. So slow, that I don't see it happening very often once the novelty wears off. Granted, I'm on a PB (1.67, 1.5GB RAM) so we all know it's not a screamer. Encoding in h.264 is substantially slower than MPEG4. As video content is not the kind of thing you watch over and over, I don't see it being a big deal that the files are bigger. I don't see stuff staying on my iPod long.
My PB is slower and has less RAM than yours, but MPEG4 encoding doesn't seem *that* slow, especially given that you can just start it and do something else. I just really wish that queueing was enabled! What kind of times are you getting?

I did notice that some things can really slow down Handbrake, though. For example, I downloaded some songs from the iTMS and while I was doing that Handbrake slowed to a crawl (around 2fps when I had been getting over 20).
     
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Oct 23, 2005, 01:00 AM
 
Every episode of Star Trek???? Hope somebody creates a wormholes where time is distorted and your encodes finish faster.....

Yeah, I quit just about every program that is running so I can get faster encodes.

Safari, iTunes, and MS Entourage are some of the major CPU hogs on my PB....
( Last edited by wilsonng; Oct 23, 2005 at 08:58 AM. )
     
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Oct 23, 2005, 01:26 AM
 
Just the original series, at the moment, so 79 episodes. I work at home and am at the computer most of the time, so it's not a big deal to have it running in the background.
     
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Oct 23, 2005, 06:06 AM
 
can anybody verify if you can make an mpeg-4 with dimensions greater than 480x480 and still play on the iPod. As noted in my post above referencing the HandBrake forum post, someone allegedly was able to play an mpeg-4 that was encoded at 832x320 resolution.

I was just wondering if someone could encode a 30 second mpeg-4 just to test it out.....

Most of my QuickTime movies are 640 x whatever........ Thanks.
     
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Oct 23, 2005, 07:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by wilsonng
can anybody verify if you can make an mpeg-4 with dimensions greater than 480x480 and still play on the iPod. As noted in my post above referencing the HandBrake forum post, someone allegedly was able to play an mpeg-4 that was encoded at 832x320 resolution.

I was just wondering if someone could encode a 30 second mpeg-4 just to test it out.....

Most of my QuickTime movies are 640 x whatever........ Thanks.
You can, give this a try, quite a few people have tested it and said it works.

640*360 Sample

It's a clip of Fight Club I encoded, the 480*480 MPEG4 limit is a 230400 pixel limit, not a horizontal and vertical resolution limit. As long as your overall pixels are under the limit you can use different resolutions. That 832*320 clip wouldn't work.

I like the idea of having 640px wide DVD rips sat on my Mac (and potentially in Front Row) and using the very same movies on the iPod.
     
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Oct 23, 2005, 08:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Icruise
My PB is slower and has less RAM than yours, but MPEG4 encoding doesn't seem *that* slow, especially given that you can just start it and do something else. I just really wish that queueing was enabled! What kind of times are you getting?

I may just be less patient than you. I'm averaging ~30fps, so a little better than 1:1, but I'm doing 2 pass- perhaps I should just make do with single pass.

On an unrelated note, I bought a episode of Night Stalker from iTMS (hadn't see the show, wanted to support the concept, pretty disappointed- with the show, not the concept). Anyway, the purchased stuff, I can stop watching and when I come back to it, it picks up where I left off. Not so with stuff I encode. This is true of stuff done with handbrake on it's own as well as stuff I used QT Pro to convert to iPod format. Any thoughts on this?
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Oct 23, 2005, 08:55 AM
 
Paco500:
Do a 'Get Info' on the video clip in iTunes. I believe if you switch the tab to Options, there is a checkbox to remember playback position. See if that works....


dazzla: thanks for confirming that little tidbit. The 832x320 did seem insane. Maybe that Handbrake poster meant it played in ITunes and not necessarily the iPod.

I was worried that I might have to re-rip all of my QuickTime movies to fit the constraints of 480x480. I also prefer having 640px wide movies for my PB as well as my future iPod.
     
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Oct 23, 2005, 10:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by wilsonng
Paco500:
Do a 'Get Info' on the video clip in iTunes. I believe if you switch the tab to Options, there is a checkbox to remember playback position. See if that works....
Thanks- I give it a go. Great tip.
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