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j26
Jan 27, 2007, 05:17 AM
There are a lot of posts here on ripping dvd's for iPod, so I'm thinking of updating the guide on ripping dvd's for iPod. It's hoplessly out of date now, with the new iPod software.
Would this do? I can build any other tips you might have into it.


Steps to convert video to iPod format
The software update to version 1.2 changed significantly the steps necessary to encode video for iPods, and significantly, it broke the ability of Hnadbrake to produce h.264 files directly. The upside is that is now allows higher resolution video (640 x 480, as opposed to the previous 320 x 240).

Sources
Getting files from Youtube (Firefox users)

If you're using Firefox installl the VideoDownloader add-on.
Find your video clip on Youtube (or equivalent site), and click the icon to download
Download your file. It will be in .flv format with some highly descriptive name (d99f0g3.flv or something of the sort)
Proceed on to the Encoding Files for iPod section

Ripping DVD's
Several dvd's in a batch

If you have several dvd's that you want to batch process and have available space, download and install MacTheRipper. It's not necessary if you only have one or two dvd's, but it is worthwhile downloading anyway, as it can sometimes rip files that Handbrake can't.
Insert the dvd. Force quit Dvd Player if it opens. Ensure that the dvd has mounted (an icon appears on the desktop)
Click on Mode and choose between Full Disk Extraction and Main Title Extraction. Full Disk makes a copy of the entire dvd, whereas Main Title only rips a copy of the movie (without special features). If it's a tv series, choose full disk or you will only get one episode.
Click on Go! and in about 20-30 minutes the dvd will be ripped, and a folder put in your movies folder. IMPORTANT Wait until the screen says Done before attempting to use the folder. If you quit before that you will not have a usable file and Handbrake will spend hours trying in vain to encode it (a baby seal also dies).

Single dvd's and files created with MacTheRipper

Download and install Handbrake
Open it and it will ask what to use - a dvd in the drive, or a dvd folder/image(the folder created by MacTheRipper). Select what you want to encode.
Encode with the following settings
If you intend deleting this file when you're done (this is not the file going on your iPod), ignore the settings except the Average bitrate and set it high (2000+)
If you intend keeping the resulting file;

File Format - MP4 file
Codecs H.264
Encoder - Baseline
Average bitrate - select depending on your preferences, anything over 1000 is fine, but for a better quality result you should be going 1500 or higher
2-pass encoding - this encodes twice, so takes twice as long. The resulting file is either smaller/better quality depending on who you talk to. If you have a slower computer, don't bother - it will drive you nuts (takes about 12 hours on a 1.33 G4 PowerBook using the above settings)

If you have several files to do, click enable queue and then add it to queue. Cmd+O will then allow you to repeat the process with more folders. Obviously unless you have several dvd drives you cannot do this if you are going directly from dvd.

Start it off and wait - a 2.0 CD MacBook will encode in approximately real time, so with 2 pass encoding it will take about twice as long as the movie.


Encoding files for iPod

Download and install iSquint
iSquint can queue several files to process at once, so if you have several files to convert, it's best to rip them and leave the encoding that iSquint does for an overnight job.
Run the file through iSquint with the following settings
Optimise - Optimise for TV is the preferred choice, but you can use Optimise for iPod if your original file is low resolution (e.g downloaded from YouTube), and/or you will only ever be watching it on the iPods screen.
H.264 encoding
Set the quality to whatever you want. Go Nuts makes for a larger file, but is best if you intend playing back on tv. If you only play back on iPod, the standard setting will suffice
If you want it to automatically add a copy to iTunes, click Add to iTunes
Run iSquint and it will produce a .mp4 file in the same location as the file you are converting. If you are ripping from .mp4 (e.g. Handbrake, change the location that the new files are saved to. The benefit of this is that if you ripped from dvd, you can keep the higher resolution ripped file for computer use and you also have a version that works in your iPod


Hey presto you have a movie you can add to iTunes. It will have 640 x 480 resolution, and will play back fine on a tv if you selected a high enough setting.