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HOW TO ENCODE A MOVIE FOR THE iPod IN HIGH-RESOLUTION H.264 (640 PIXELS WIDTH) WITH FFMPEGX FOR MAC OSX
  • This guide provides a step-by-step process to convert a movie into the new high-resolution format supported by the 5G video iPod and to transfer it on the iPod with iTunes. This resolution is the best to playback on a TV and leads to smaller filesizes than using the iPod mpeg-4 format.
  • Encoding speed is extremely fast (much faster than using iTunes or Quicktime).

Opening the source movie
Choosing the preset
Encoding
Copying the movie to your iPod


Opening the source movie

You have an .AVI DivX, a VOB file, or a movie in some other format, and you want to encode it for playback on the iPod and a TV connected to the iPod, with the special high-resolution 640x480 format.

If your source is a DVD in VIDEO_TS format, use first a program to extract it as a single VOB file, then use the VOB file to encode.

  • Open ffmpegX and drop your movie file to ffmpegX icon or "Open" field or "From" area to open it, or click the Open.. button to locate the file from your hard disk.
  • The "Save as..." name and location will be set by ffmpegX. You may modify it if you like.

Choosing the preset:

  • Click the Target Format pulldown menu in the Summary tab and choose "iPod h.264 640w" (note that if you only need to playback the movie on your iPod and not on a TV, the smaller resolution "iPod h.264 320w" is better, as you will obtain smaller files).
  • The new 640x480 resolution is supported by all video iPods provided you update their firmware with iTunes.

  • The maximum image width supported by the iPod is 640x480, however you may use smaller width like 640x352 or 624x272, etc etc.
  • You may adapt the image height with the "Autosize" button to match your movie aspect ratio (e.g. 4:3, 16:9 or 2.35:1).
  • Click the "Best" bitrate button to calculate the best bitrate to use for encoding (h.264 is supported up to 1500 kbps bitrate, though 800kbps is recommended). Framerate may be NTSC or PAL.
  • Subtitles are not supported (unless you create a file beforehand with subtitles burned in the image, and then encode such file).

Encoding:

  • Click the "Encode" button.
  • Encoding takes places in ffmpegX Progress window.
  • You can continue working with other applications while encoding. OSX Unix core reallocates processor ressources in realtime as needed.

Copying the movie to your iPod:

  • Locate the encoded file by clicking the icon.
  • Drop the file on your iTunes library.
  • Connect your iPod, ctrl-click the iPod icon in iTunes and choose "Update" to copy the file in your iPod. The file can also be synced by using iTunes for Windows.
  • Unmount and disconnect the iPod. Go the the Videos menu on the iPod. You should now see the movie name listed and you can select it to play.


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