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Everything posted by babeam

  1. babeam

    Handrbake Lite

    That hasn't been my experience. I've ripped several DVDs at a bitrate of 400 (with two passes) and they all look good. Very little blockiness. And the file sizes are quite reasonable.
  2. babeam

    Handrbake Lite

    Does anyone know what settings Handbrake Lite uses? As a test, I ripped Return of the King using some recommended settings for Handbrake <http://howto.diveintomark.org/ipod-dvd-ripping-guide/> and then with Handbrake Lite. Handbrake settings I used are: Avg. Bitrate: 400 (default is 1000), Format: MP4, 2-pass encoding. 320 x whatever (kept wide screen aspect ratio). With these settings, Handbrake encoded a file that was 763mb and the Handbrake Lite version was 1.13gb. I compared the two and found very little difference. The Lite version was slightly darker, no doubt from a higher bitrate setting. But quality was nearly equal, especially on the iPod's screen. So, for a 50% file size savings, I'll stick with Handbrake Regular.
  3. babeam

    Invisible Shield

    Here's another tip for "invisible" iPod shields. They're from Contour design <www.countourdesign.com> and they're called Protective Jackets for the 20GB iPod. (They also make a version for the 40gb.) The product name is awfully klunky; they ought to call them iCondoms. They're clear plastic sheaths that you slide your iPod into and they work great. I learned about them when I got a clear Countour case for my wife's 20gb 4G iPod. They included one with the case because apparently the way the iPod slid into the case, it could scratch the iPod. The sheath covers almost the entire iPod -- screen, scrollwheel and all. Only the top edge (earphones/hold switch) and bottom (dock) are exposed. They sell the sheaths separately on their website for $5 per 5-pack (free shipping). They're officially only for the 20gb and 40gb iPod (non-photo), but I can attest that the 20gb version fits the 60gb 5G iPod perfectly. And the 40gb fits the 40gb Photo really well too. Not sure about other models, but for only $5, it's worth a shot. No adhesive, no bubbles to press out. If it gets snagged or scratched up, or whatever, just toss it and put on a new one. They're not super-easy to find on their website; they list them along with their various clear cases.
  4. babeam

    Problem Exporting VCD Video Files for iPod

    As a followup, here's what I've learned... I tried MacVCD X <http://www.mireth.com/pub/mxme.html> but it does not do iPod conversion. However, I emailed the developer (Mireth Technology) who responeded quickly and sent me a prerelease version of a new unreleased VCD conversion utility. The interface on this program (they admit) needs refinement, because I have to perform multiple (but easy) steps to get the VCD files exported properly. However, once they're exported into their mpeg and wav components, I can then use QuickTime Pro to do the iPod conversion. The developer says that the final product will have a better interface and will provide a one-step iPod conversion. (I had some difficulty converting to iPod format with their utility, which is why I resorted to doing the final step with QTPro. But that may have been my own doing.) In the meantime, I also discovered Podner <http://www.splasm.com/products/productpodner.html>, which will also convert these VCD files. The interface is definitely slicker, and it seems to do the conversion more quickly, plus it doesn't require that you own QuickTime Pro (which is the bottleneck in my current system). However, I was not as pleased with the results in comparison to the combination of Mireth's pre-release utility and QuickTime Pro. No matter what settings I selected, Podner introduced some occasional noise and produced more pixelization than Mireth's utility + QTPro. So the latter is what I'm using to convert my VCD files. I should also mention that I did find a Windows program that seemed to do a good job of the conversion. It's called Crazi Video for iPod from RiverPast <http://www.riverpast.com/en/prod/crazivideo/index.php>. It's similar to Podner, except that it converts only to iPod format. It seemed to do a good job, plus you can batch up your jobs and just let it run. I have a Windows machine that I could have used for this, but I still opted for Mireth+QTPro, as that solution didn't cost me any more money (just some extra time) and the CraziVideo software would have cost me an extra $30.
  5. I have quite a few videos on Video CD (.dat files) and I'm trying to convert them to use on my iPod video. I purchased QuickTime Pro and opened a file (QuickTime opens and plays it just fine), selected File/Export and selected the iPod converter. However, when the conversion finished, the video would play, but none of the audio came through. As a test, I tried again, this time selecting a different format (.mov) which provides optional parameters. The dialog box for .mov converter indicated that the file had no audio track. (Other converters said the same thing.) Obviously, there's audio encoded somewhere in the file. I would appreciate whatever help anyone can provide. I'd really love to get these videos on my iPod. Thanks, Brian