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How to Get Videos on Your iPod
Your collection of Mac DVDs, home movies, and recorded TV shows is also perfect fodder. With the right software, you can quickly convert those movies to iPod-compatible files and take them with you on your morning commute or your next vacation.
Although music continues to be the primary focus of the iTunes Music Store, it’s not the only thing you’ll find there. Along with offering audiobooks and podcasts (both audio and video), iTunes also gives you access to animated shorts, music videos, and more. If you have a video-enabled iPod, you can even take your video on the road to catch up on the latest episode of your favorite TV show while you’re at the gym or learn new photo editing tricks on the bus to get to work.
But the addition of video brings new challenges. For example, you can’t just drag home movies onto your video iPod and expect them to play. First you need to convert them to the correct format. And the videos you download from the iTunes Music Store have their own limitations. Here’s what you need to know to download, organize, convert and play video files in iTunes and on your iPod.
To find what’s available on iTunes, go to the Music Store and select “Music Video”, “Movie Trailers”, or “Pixar” from the Inside The Music Store column. Video downloads will set you back £1.89 GBP, although when TV shows become available you can purchase a Multi Pass which will allow you to purchase entire seasons at a reduced price.
You can also find free videos on the iTunes Music Store, in the form of video podcasts. To access it, click the “Podcasts” item on the Music Store homepage, then click the “Video Podcasts” button in the center of the Podcasts page.
As with audio podcasts, you can add video podcasts to your library simply by clicking the “Subscribe” button. If you want to download a single episode of a podcast, click on the podcast title, then click on the “Get Episode” button next to the item you want.
Video purchase management
Downloaded videos will appear next to your music tracks and podcasts in the iTunes library. You can tell them apart from other files by the little gray video icon that appears after the title. To see all your videos in one place, click on the ‘Videos’ item in the ‘Source’ list.
The downside of video
Download times for videos aren’t particularly fast, and you’ll need a broadband connection to get the content. Then you can expect to spend around three minutes downloading a four-minute video clip. Downloading a one-hour TV show (about 44 minutes without ads) can take up to 40 minutes, depending on your hardware.
Video files also take up a lot of disk space than music files. If your Mac hard drive is running out of space, you may consider moving your iTunes library to an external hard drive.
Rip your DVDs
Due to the way they are encoded and encrypted, DVDs take a bit of work to rip, but the right software makes it a painless process. Before you begin, decide whether you will primarily view the converted files on your iPod or whether you will occasionally connect the iPod to a TV and watch them on a larger screen. Your decision will determine which software and settings you should use for the conversion process.
If your goal is simply to rip DVD content so you can watch it on your iPod, the easiest way is to use Tyler Loch’s free HandBrake Lite 1.1 (http://handbrake.m0k.org /).
1. To rip a DVD, insert the disc into your DVD drive and launch HandBrake Lite. Click the “Open” button and HandBrake will scan the disc for the necessary video data. If you see the message “no valid title found”, HandBrake cannot read the disc; this sometimes happens with newer DVDs that have special copy protection. In that case, you’ll need to download and run MacTheRipper, which is more adept at bypassing DVD copy protection (its website tends to crawl, so check Version Tracker if you need to). Once you have used Mac DVD Folder/Image, then navigate to the ‘VIDEO_TS’ folder of the disc you ripped.
2. Once it has scanned the disc, HandBrake Lite presents you with a list of ‘Titles’: discrete items like a movie, TV show episode, bonus interview, making-of documentary etc. Choose the title you want to convert. If it’s a movie, it will be the title with the longest running time. If you rip a DVD of a TV show, you will notice several titles of similar length. To determine which episode is which, check the DVD case for the order.
3. With the file selected, go to the right side of the HandBrake Lite window, specify where you want to save the file, then give the file a name. Click ‘Rip’, then take a walk. The process may take some time, depending on the length of the video and the speed of your Mac.
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