To convert or not to convert?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Bedawyn, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. Bedawyn macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Not sure if this should be on the video forum instead, but it looked like that was mainly for people making videos rather than just watching them...

    Could someone please go over the practical/for-consumers differences between MPEG/other-unconverted videos and the H.264 ones? I remember reading somewhere that the original versions would be better for watching on larger screens, but I can't really afford the space to store two different versions of each vid, just so I can watch them at home and on the move. So far, I haven't noticed any actual quality difference between the converted and unconverted versions -- but so far I've only done older vids that weren't high resolution anyway. I have noticed that one converted vid is about half the size and bit rate of the original, while another is over twice the size and bit rate of the original, which doesn't make any sense at all to me -- where's it getting the extra data? And I'm really not looking forward to having to weigh for every single vid whether it's really worth doubling the size to have it with me.

    If it makes a difference, I'm not talking about movie-movies or tv shows at all, just music vids, mostly fanvids.
  2. rWally macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I'm confused as to what you're asking. H.264 is a more advanced version of MPEG-4 encoding. It's more efficient and looks better at the same bitrate as an older MPEG encoding would be. What do you mean by "MPEG/other-unconverted videos"?
  3. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I'm not really sure what you're talking about either. Unless I'm mistaken, h.264 is a codec. MPEG-4 is a format. I'm pretty sure that iTunes videos are .m4v videos with the h.264 codec.

    The basic space-grabbers are resolution and bitrate. I personally encode my videos at DVD resolution (720x480 or 640x480) and 1,500 video bitrate and 160k audio bitrate. That made Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 1.51GB for a 2:02 movie. It takes up a decent amount of space, but I very often watch these videos on my 20" monitor. I could tell the difference when I just used about 750 video bitrate, even more in the old iTunes video resolution (320x240). I have some early videos that I bought that are just crap on that monitor.

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