New Video iPod: Need more information/reviews on video playback capabilities.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by AndrewMT, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. AndrewMT macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    NOVA, or Northern Virginia to the lay person.
    #1
    I'm interested in buying a 60GB iPod video, but I would like more specifics on its video capabilities. For instance, the new iPod can play H.264 and MPEG4. Just what types of mpeg4 are we talking about? Everyone has their own brand of MPEG4, like Sony's PSP MPEG4. Also, isn't DIVX and XVID a type of MPEG4?

    There are three more things I'd like to know:
    1. Fastforwarding capabilities? Engadget says no.
    2. 4:3 Playback? Will it be playable? Will it be stretched?
    3. Will we be able to import MPEG4 (sorry, I said it again) into iTunes like we can import MP3 files and play them on our iPod.

    Thanks MacRumors readers!
     
  2. hotwire132002 macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

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    Cadillac, MI
    #2
    I can't answer all of these for you, but I'll do my best to help.

    1. I don't know--I would think there would be fast-forward/rewind, but on the other hand, Engadget said no, so I wouldn't count on it. (BTW--I did read the Engadget article that said that.)

    2. 4:3 Playback: Yes. The iPod's screen is 4:3. As to 16:9 widescreen, it would probably have to be letterboxed.

    3. Apple's site advertises playing home movies on the new iPod, so I'm sure there's some form of export integration with iMovie at the very least. It's probably an option in QuickTime's video export--"Export for iPod" or something to that extent. In any case, looks like it will work, though I'm not exactly sure of the details.
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #3
    DIVX and XVID are not MPEG-4 and will not play. They are deviant offspring of a beta of MPEG-4.

    There are basically 2 types of MPEG-4 in common use. "normal" MPGE-4 and H.264 (which is MPEG-4). Sony PSPs play back standard MPEG-4 and H.264 in the current firmware, just like the new iPod.
     
  4. 2A Batterie macrumors 6502a

    2A Batterie

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    #4
    Does anyone know if you can put your own video material on the new iPod?
     
  5. twentyeight7 macrumors member

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    Aug 2, 2003
    #5
    in quicktime pro you can encode your videos and you can import the encoded videos by clicking and dragging the file into the itunes library
     
  6. Damek macrumors regular

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    Oct 9, 2003
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    New York City, USA
    #6
    That's wrong, from what I understand.

    The old DivX 3.11 was a deviant offspring of a beta of MS MPEG-4, and is not MPEG-4 compliant.

    However, DivX 4 and later, and XviD, are both MPEG-4 compliant.

    The problem is that the most common way of distributing these videos is with MP3 in the AVI media wrapper, which is non-standard and not even an acceptable way to do AVI.

    However, you can extract the video from a DivX/Xvid AVI file, extract the audio, convert the audio to AAC and wrap both up again in an MP4 wrapper, and voila, MPEG-4 compliance.

    I know because I've done it, and it imports into the new iTunes 6 video section, and iTunes will play them happily. Unfortunately I don't have one of the new iPods so I can't guarantee that they'll play on one, but I'd expect they would since they're 480x360 and definitely lower than 2.5 Mbps.

    BTW, tools used for conversion (done on Windows, but it'd probably be easier with ffmpegX on a Mac):

    mplayer (to extract the MP3)
    iTunes (to convert the MP3 to AAC)
    mp4box and YAMB (to extract the video and mux the AAC and video into an MP4 wrapper)
     
  7. AndrewMT thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Thanks Damek. That's just what I wanted to know.
     
  8. hotwire132002 macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

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    Cadillac, MI
    #8
    As I mentioned in my previous post (#2 in this thread)--yes, you can.

    I just upgraded to QT 7 (since it's required for the new iPod I'll be ordering later today :D) -- and there is, indeed, an "Export for iPod" option in QT7 Pro. (I should note that the Pro version is required to export videos to iPod.)
     
  9. cbiffle macrumors member

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    Jun 19, 2005
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #9
    ...from a UI.

    QuickTime has all the codecs needed to do the export; someone just needs to write a nice piece of software to orchestrate. (If I pick up a video iPod, I'll go ahead and do this.)

    That said, the previous poster's 480x360 videos may not play. Here are the most specific specs I can find for video playback:

    http://www.apple.com/quicktime/tutorials/creatingvideo.html

    Scroll all the way to the bottom; it gives pretty specific info.

    Apple is pushing QTPro as a way to get custom video on your iPod. As a QT programmer who believes the entire idea of QTPro is silly, I say let's figure out as many ways to do this as possible. Preferably free ones.
     
  10. mrzeve macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 25, 2005
    #10
    As far as Fast Forwarding goes,

    It is exactly the same way that the iPods song forward works. You use the jog wheel and the video continues to play where it is, and once your down moving the wheel it jumps to the place you selected.

    So its kind of like you have a media player open playing the begining of a video, and you then push the tracking bar to go to the middle of the video. You werent viewing what you were fast forwarding to.

    However Im not sure about the option of holding down the forward button on the iPods click wheel.
     
  11. AndrewMT thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 22, 2002
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    NOVA, or Northern Virginia to the lay person.
    #11
    Oh, well, that's better than fast forwarding. Engadget needs to be a little more specific.
     
  12. macbaseball macrumors 6502a

    macbaseball

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Northern California
    #12
    Does anyone know for sure if you can play videos at 320x180, which is the compressed widescreen format. That's the format the majority of my videos will compress down into. I would assume you could be is there conformation.
     
  13. Village Idiot macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #13
    Another option you may want to consider is doing a 4x3 centre cut of your footage. I realise that you lose picture but many TV shows and movies are shot 4x3 safe and will maximise your screen real estate on your iPod and it will also not appear "squished" if you are ripping from dvd. I used the program called "handbrake" to rip a TV episode that was 16x9 anamorphic on the dvd, but handbrake allows you to crop sides and vary the x and y of the frame independently of each other. This essentially allows for aspect ratio conversion. The resulting footage was 320 x 240 and compressed using the h.264 codec and looks great in iTunes and quicktime. haven't got my hands on an iPod to test yet.
     
  14. Damek macrumors regular

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    New York City, USA
    #14
    I've done some more research and encoding trials (again, no video iPod, just testing with QT7 and iTunes 6). One very important thing is that QuickTime 7's MPEG-4 decoder can only play MPEG-4 Simple Profile (SP) - that has to do with how the MPEG-4 video stream was encoded, and means that the video cannot use b-frames, GMC (global motion compensation), or qpel (quarter pixel).

    A lot of DivX/XviD encoded video uses these features, which are covered under the MPEG-4 "Advanced Simple Profile" (ASP) that QuickTime cannot play.

    So you can take the video and wrap it in an MP4 container as described above, but QuickTime won't be able to play it.

    HandBrake works fine for encoding MPEG-4 video that QuickTime can play, because it doesn't stray from the Simple Profile. But if you're going to encode with, say, ffmpegX, or something on Windows, make sure you're not using b-frames, qpel or GMC if you want your video to play on a video iPod. And if you have DivX/XviD that you've downloaded from the Internet, check it with something like GSpot for Windows or ... well, I don't know if there's anything equivalent for the Mac, I do my video stuff on my work PC since my iBook is pretty slow. But GSpot will tell you if your DivX/XviD AVI uses qpel, b-frames (it says bvop) or gmc. If so, you'll have to transcode for playback in QuickTime.

    Of course, if you have any quicktime components like DivX or 3ivX, they'll be able to play the MPEG-4 ASP video, but you still probably won't be able to play it on a video iPod, since the video iPod specs say "Simple Profile" is what it can play.
     

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