As a newcomer to video on iPods, I've been experimenting with Handbrake. Much of the specifics on MR's guide to "ripping video to iPod" relates to 5G iPods, older versions of Quicktime and Handbrake, and is outdated (although the general procedure is good). The Handbrake forums themselves are too complicated. With some useful advice from others here, I've run a few tests, and have some thoughts & advice to share (EDIT: This is all starting from the "iPhone" preset, and playing with settings from that): -Bitrates: 1000kbps bitrate seems to deliver very good quality on the Touch. In fact, it puts my TV and eMac to shame. Higher bitrates = higher file sizes. I was doing 2000kbps, but cut file sizes almost in half - at little/no quality loss - by going down to 1000kbps. -H.264 vs. Mpeg-4: I'd say use Mpeg-4. The advantage of H.264 is apparently that it's a newer & higher-quality encoder. However, Mpeg-4 (single pass) already looks excellent to me. Worse, H.264 files can take three times as long to encode. Worst, H.264 files, at the same bitrate, are larger than Mpeg-4s, at least in my tests. If Mpeg-4 looks great and takes less time and space, why not stick with it? -1- versus 2-pass: Many say doing a 2-pass encode for Mpeg-4 will make it look even better. Importantly, 2-pass does not make the filesize any bigger. It may take 50% longer or more to encode, but still not as long as H.264. Speaking of H.264, if you are using it, most say it doesn't benefit from a 2nd pass. This is all info based on my experiences. Your mileage may vary; in particular, if you have an Intel Mac, encode times are much shorter than with PPCs, making H.264 more feasible in that regard. Still, I hope all of this is useful - particularly if (like me) you're going to batch-encode lots of TV episodes and want the settings right first.