Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Linux and Ipod Video Conversion

Okay, lets face it, I'm lazy ... really really lazy. When I picked up my new iPod (yes I finally joined the iLemming crowd) it took me only a few minutes to figure out that gtkpod was probably going to be my best bet for my 5G 30 Gig music toy. I promptly spent the following week using all my spare time feeding my computer CD after CD and still coming up with a heck of alot of unused space.

I knew that the wonder toy could do video as well, and that gtkpod could manage the video files as well, just not on the fly conversion to what ever format it wanted to be fed. Thus started my research project and my headache. It can do video, but it is supremely picky about just what it will take as far as bitrate, aspect ratio, and file type.

I started the project thinking to use transcode and command line. After this decision and alot of language that is not ever to be used in the presence of women, children, or fish, I was amazed that I had any hair left. The next step was a little more research and deciding to try it with ffmpeg. 2 days later and some blood, sweat, and more colorful invective, success. I made a (singular) video that my ipod would accept and play, rapidly followed by 2 more that wouldn't.
This was frustrating to say the least. So I attacked google once again and much to my delight I ran across 'convert2videomp4' at A simple little utility that adds an encoding option to the KDE menu. Right click on the file you want to convert ... any video file your computer can play and select the final file output you want. The rest happens automagically.

So now with this handy little collection of scripts in an easy to use menu, I can go back to being as lazy as I want to be. Right click, convert, load to iPod. On a side note I highly recommend that you edit the meta tags on these files either before or after you get them onto the iPod. If nothing else set the Genre of it to Movie. The first one I put on I could not take back off because I could not find it using gtkpod for a half an hour or so. Very frustrating, but lesson learned, always always always edit the meta tags the minute you transfer the file. Also if using gtkpod, add the video's one at a time and save the changes between each one, it doesn't seem to like batch transferring movie files.

This little gem can be found at, the instructions for installing are very straight forward and simple, just a little script to be run as a normal user, as long as you have the prerequisite codecs already installed. They are listed on the main page where I linked to.

p.s. Sorry Steve, this isn't the article I was discussing with you, but it is still in the back of my mind.


Lightfoot said...

nice read! see ya in OKC

(no rush on those thoughts you told me about, but if it ever comes to fruition it will be a great read)

unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
unknown said...

Thanks for this, this article was very useful.
It also contains my favorite quote "Yes I have joined the iLemming crowd".
Very good, made me laugh.

I have linked to it below.

Ps I have also joined too now