Homemade mousecinema

Playing videos on the ipod

The latest mp3 player from apple – as well as some devices of lesser known brands – can now also provide a picture to go with the sound. How useful this is for watching feature films remains to be seen – the opticians’ guild was allowed to rejoice. For short music videos or funny little movies from the net, which you want to show your friends without having to carry a computer, it’s enough. Only: how to get the movies into the ipod’s own video format??

Actually, it would be practical if the video ipod could play all common pc video formats – avi, quicktime, mpg, real video, flash, whether 160 x 100 or 640 x 480 pixels. But it does not. It must already mpeg4.264 in resolution 320 x 240 pixels with mpeg4 aac sound 48 khz and about 160 kbit.

Download video clips from tv to ipod? Once you know how to do this, it’s not that difficult..

At least this prevents the player from being filled with files that it doesn’t know what to do with and that take up too much space. Similar devices like the hama vsv media safes (the digital movie safe for on the go), which are supposed to be able to play back everything, have so far mostly failed miserably, so that a defined format is quite sensible. Only: where to get such files? For money from apple, from the itunes music store, of course. That is why apple’s player will not support any other format. And if you were going to buy a music video anyway…

Other movies are now also available for purchase in ipod format (instant (self) gratification always and everywhere?). But if you already have a film that you liked to have with you on the road and that hopefully was not made by force (the brutal spab happening for the cell phone camera, in the sights of the camera phones) and thus contributes to the discussion of the camera and ipod ban in schools, then you first stand there stupidly. There is the possibility, with a product from the house of apple itself, namely quicktime 7.0 in the paid version quicktime pro for 30 euros ipod-compatible movies to create.

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Mpeg streamclip has an impressive range of output formats..

However, the otherwise quite useful quicktime works horribly slow here: one minute of film takes a full hour to convert. And the mpeg2 plugin for converting dvds or satellite tv recordings, which can be purchased for an additional 20 euros, crashed continuously in the practical test – the reason could not be determined and the apple-typical answer "you have the wrong operating system" did not help either.

But the money for apple’s mini video editor and converter program is not spent in vain. You can use it not only to trim the mini video films or serial photos of digital cameras and convert them to videos of web-suitable coarseness; the paid apple codec can also be used by free freeware programs.

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To adjust everything for the ipod suitably, one click is enough

One such program is mpeg streamclip, which conveniently can also play back the non-standard mpeg transport streams from dvb-s (mp3 and movies for download via satellite) or dvb-t and convert them directly into common video and audio formats, including mpeg4. The settings available for mpeg4 conversion are rather confusing, but an "ipod button" sets the parameters appropriately with a single click.

Not only can tv recordings be played directly from the satellite receiver as a "video podcast" on the ipod without any further processing, so that they can be viewed later on the go; mpeg streamclip is also much faster than apple quicktime: one minute of film now only requires one minute of conversion time on a current pc with pentium ht. Die resultierenden dateigroben liegen unter 400 mb fur eine stunde film, was zwar deutlich uber den groben reiner audiodateien liegt, aber durchaus zu handhaben ist, solange man mab halt und nicht auf die schnapsidee kommt, die ganze dvd-sammlung auf den ipod zu pfriemeln…

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