Widescreen Aspect Issue with iPod Touch

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by sorking, May 7, 2008.

  1. sorking macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2008
    I really hope this hasn't been covered. I've spent an unhappy hour looking around - but apologies if I've missed something!

    I'm a Mac user and I've just got an iPod Touch and have begun adding some sitcom episodes to it. These are ripped from (legally purchased) DVDs, ripped with Mac the Ripper and converted to mp4 ("for ipod") using DVDxDV. Then dropped into iTunes.

    Now, for the old 4:3 TV shows this was fine. For the 16:9 ones I made a mistake at first, and the videos were all squashed horizontally (i.e. ended up crushed to be too tall). So I pulled the usual trick, learnt the hard way many moons ago, of bringing the vids into Quicktime Pro, going to Movie Properties and changing the Visual Settings of the Video Track. Going from 600x480 to 853x480, then dragging to iTunes as before.

    So, now when I play the vids in iTunes, or in Quicktime, they're fine. Just the right shape. Marvelous.

    Only, not when I use the iPod Touch.

    On the Touch, the picture was still squashed to a 4:3 shape, with black bars at the sides and everyone taller than you'd really like them.

    Changing the 'widescreen' setting achieved nothing whatsoever. And I thought all was lost...

    ...until I selected 'Convert selection for iPod/iPhone' from the advanced iTunes menu.

    This takes a while, on top of the aeons of time ripping and converting in the first place - and then I had to delete the original files from iTunes before the Touch would accept the new versions - but it DID solve the problem. Even as I typed this post!

    Still, I guess what I'm asking is - why?

    I'm slightly above dense, but a layman's version would be appreciated. As would any help in making this a smoother process! What was wrong with what I was putting in, and what did that iTunes option do that nothing else seemed to achieve?

    Thank you in advance, Mass Brain Of The Internet.
  2. richardhunt macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2007
    The touch/Iphone's screen is not a "true" widescreen per se. These devices have a 1.5:1 ratio on their screens, the 16:9 programs are 1.77:1 thus if you try and squeeze that into the Touch/Iphone you get the skinny tall effect. So when you convert to iphone/touch, the program just basically converts it to the correct ratio. I find that whenever I encode for iphone/touch I try to find 4:3 material first (1.25:1), then if only widescreen, I try to use the "letterbox" version, which natively has the black bars on top and bottom.
  3. cazlar macrumors 6502

    Oct 2, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    I'm not sure of the details, but as far as I can tell, there are various types of anamorphic flags that can be in a QT movie. Perhaps whatever setting is in your file was handled by the Mac QuickTime, but not recognized by the one on the touch. And re-encoding in iTunes added the right type of flag. I know it can handle some anamorphic flagged videos though, as Handbrake allows you to use this setting and it plays fine on my iPhone.

    Summary of the story: If you want a simpler process, use Handbrake to encode (no need to even bother with the anamorphic flags there though, the iPhone preset works great). You can continue to rip with MTR, or use Handbrake for that part too.

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