1. Initial Set Up

Download Handbrake from one of the sites listed below and install it. To install Handbrake, just copy the program into your OS X Applications folder. Handbrake is free. If you already have Handbrake installed, please check to see if your version is out of date.

You can download Handbrake using any of the links listed below:

  • Handbrake for Mac OS X – VersionTracker
  • Handbrake for Mac OS X – handbrake.m0k.org
  • Handbrake for Mac OS X – MacUpdate
  • Handbrake for Windows – SourceForge

  • Grab a video DVD and put it into your computer. Handbrake can only convert standard video DVD’s that you would normally play in a DVD player. If you have a DVD-ROM with random video files saved on it (AVI, MPG, WMV, MOV, etc), Handbrake will not be able to convert these files. Depending on your computer’s preferences, the DVD Player application might automatically open. If it does, just quit it. Only one application should be accessing the DVD at a time.

    Launch Handbrake. Select Detected volume and press the Open button.

    [Handbrake source selection dialog]

    2. Source Settings

    [Handbrake title selection menu]Handbrake will now scan your DVD. This make take up to a minute or two depending on the contents of the DVD and the speed of your optical drive.
    Title: By default, Handbrake will select the longest title in the list. However, this may not be the content you want.

    • Movies: If you are ripping a movie, the longest title is usually the main feature.
    • TV Shows: If you are ripping a DVD containing TV shows, you should see a list of several titles all about the same length.

    The shorter titles on the DVD, that are only a few seconds long, are usually the video backgrounds used in the DVD menu screens. Unless you are a graphic artist, you probably don’t want these tracks.

    If you only want to rip one title but aren’t sure which one, you can click on the Picture Settings button (bottom right of the Handbrake interface) and manually step through several frames of the title to see what it looks like.

    3. Destination Settings

    The Destination section has 3 settings you can modify: file format, codec and file destination.
    File Format: If you want this video to play on your iPod, then select MP4 file for your file format.

    Codec: You can choose either AVC/H.264 or MPEG-4 for the codec. An H264 file will take twice as long to encode as a MP4, but be smaller in file size. If speed is not an issue for you, select H264. However, if you select H264, you must also choose the Baseline profile as your encoder in the Video section. Personally, I use MPEG-4. It’s fast and looks pretty good.

    4. Video Settings

    Frame Rate: You can just leave the fps set to Same as source or select 29.97.
    [Handbrake video quality box]

    Encoder: If you selected H264 as your codec, you must also choose the Baseline profile for the Encoder. MP4 can also use the Baseline profile and still work on your iPod Touch. In the interest of simplicity, just select x264 (Baseline profile).

    If you selected MPEG-4 as your codec, then you should pick FFmpeg for your Encoder.

    Quality: Set the Quality to Average bitrate and enter anything between 400 and 700. Some people will want higher quality files while others will prefer files that take up less hard drive space. As an experiment, rip one DVD at 400 and another at 700. Compare the two and decide which bitrate is best for you. Please keep in mind that a higher bitrate will result in a higher quality video file but be larger in file size.

    2-pass encoding: If you really want a high quality file, select 2-pass encoding. With a “2-pass encoding”, the encoder will go over your video twice to make it as good as possible. As a result, your DVD will take twice as long to encode, but look and sound better with a smaller file size.

    5. Audio Settings
    [Handbrake video quality box]
    Languages: Your DVD might have several audio tracks. Language 1 should be the default audio track for the region you live in. For example, Language 1 is usually English in America. Feel free to select your preferred language. Language 2 is usually secondary commentary voiced by the Director or actors from the project. If you just want the movie, select None for Language 2.

    Sample Rate: The iPod Touch will pretty much take any sample rate you pick, but we recommend leaving it set to 44100.

    Bitrate: We suggest bumping up the audio to 160 but you can keep it at 128 if hard drive space is an issue. Higher bitrates will produce larger files.

    6. Picture Settings

    Click on the Picture Settings button to launch a separate window.
    Size: Your iPod Touch wants video files that are 640 pixels wide by 480 wide. Turn on the “Keep aspect ratio button” and decrease the Width until it says 640. Handbrake will auto-adjust the height to match the width.

    If you plan on watching this video on your TV with an Apple TV you should keep the video size between 720 to 640 pixels wide.

    Misc: Does your video look like horizontal lines are running all through it? Select Deinterlace picture to get rid of this problem.

    7. Rip

    Finally! Click on the Rip button and stand back. The encoding time will depend on several variables including: the duration of the video file, the speed of your computer, what other activity your computer is currently doing, the codec you selected (H264 or MP4) and if you decided to do a 2-pass encoding or not .

    Handbrake will attempt to provide you with an ETA. The time will increase if you Pause the encode or do anything that will further use the processor.

    When encoding is finished, quit Handbrake.


    8. Import Into iTunes

    • Connect your iPod Touch to your computer using the cable it came with and open iTunes.
    • Drag and drop the video file into your iTunes library, or select Add to Library… from the File menu.
    • Make sure the video file you just added to iTunes is in a Playlist that will get synced to your iPod.
    • Select “Update iPod” from the File menu.
    • The sync may take a few minutes. Once completed, the file should now be on your iPod.


    Source: http://www.methodshop.com

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