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  1. Member
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    Hi there!

    I have just bought a Mac and I am now trying to figure things out. This is my challenge: I haven't been able yet to copy \ convert the video from a DVD and play it on an iPod.

    So far, I haven't been able to succeed. I got VIDEO_TS folders full of 1Gb files, but not 1 file which I can then, transfer to an iPod. It is difficult to watch a movie split in three segments, which you have to manually play one after another.

    Hence, my question: how do I rip \ copy a movie from a DVD and not only rip, but also convert to a single file which can be played on the iPod?

    Thank you very much in advance for your help!

    M
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  2. Explorer Case's Avatar
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    Some conversion tools will process the main feature from the VIDEO_TS folder as a whole, by default. I think HandBrake is one of those.

    Or you can let your ripping app do the joining before converting,
    or you can use many other means to get the main feature into one file.
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  3. Member
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    Would you be able to recommend some of these tools?

    Thank you!

    M
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  4. Member
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    If you have ripped the VIDEO-TS folder to your hard drive successfully (and I'm assuming there is no longer any DRM in that folder) then the app I would use is MPEG Streamclip. It's free but you will need Apple's MPEG2 QuickTime component which may be purchased and downloaded from the Apple Store.

    Drop the first ".VOB" of the title on MPEG Streamclip, let it open it as a the entire movie (when it asks) and, if it complains about timecode breaks, let it repair them all. This just takes a few minutes. Now "Export as "MPEG-4...", set the desired parameters, and "save". Get a sandwich. Take a short nap. You're done.

    If you'd like to know the params I use, let me know.
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  5. Member
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    Hi!

    I would be grateful if you could, please, share the parameters you use. My prerequisites are: a single file which can be played on an iPod Video, but also on a video projector.

    Thank you for taking the time,

    M
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  6. Member
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    Firstly: Set an "in" and "out" range of about a minute so you may test some settings and see how they play in your iPod. Sometimes some tweaking is necessary and this lets you encode and test very quickly. Generally these are the settings I use for the "Export to MPEG-4..." dialog:

    Compression: H.264
    Quality: 100%
    Multipass: NO (not reliable)
    B-Frames: NO
    Limit Data Rate: 1100Kbps (5G iPod will do 1500kbps total including audio so be careful. Sometimes lower bitrates will work well but I don't mind a little extra encoding time to make the video look great on my AppleTV, as well.)
    Sound: MPEG-4 AAC / Stereo / 44.1kHz / 160 kbps (max permitted for iPod). (If your source has a lower audio bitrate - obviously, not a DVD - then go with that lower rate as the quality of the audio will never be better than the source.)
    Frame Rate: Leave blank - will be the same as the source and the iPod can play all rates.
    Frame Size: 720x480 (a "Preview" will reveal if the aspect ratio is wrong; if so, tweak these settings using the "Other:" boxes and fill in what looks right. Remember that the 5G iPod will handle up to 307,200 pixels - 640x480 or some combination that multiplies out to no more than that - 720x400 works*).
    Field Dominance: Don't touch.
    Deinterlace Video: Yes
    Rotation & Zoom: Don't touch.
    Cropping: If your Preview shows letterboxing, set the "Top" and "Bottom" to a positive number (in pixels) to crop. Start with 32 in each box (but not left/right) and Preview; adjust as necessary.
    Adjustments: I often boot the brightness by 10% and the saturation by 20%. I find H264 transcodes to come out slightly dark and this mostly fixes it. I also enable "Automatic Volume Control" which boosts low volume audio. Your audio setup (TV, home theater, etc.) will determine whether you need this. I usually use it.

    * Remember that cropping out the letterboxing will reduce the pixel height. Example: 720x480 is more than 307,200 pixels but if you crop out 50 pixels top and bottom, then you have 720x380 (=273,600 pixels) and that will play on the 5G iPod. Play with this - sometimes an 854x480 film cropped down to 850x360 (306,000 pixels) looks great on the AppleTV and the iPod (plugged into your SDTV) will scale it down automatically. (Oops - forgot about your projector - is it 800x600? 1024x768? Will you connect the projector to your iPod or your Mac? Your answer will determine the max frame size for the encoded file.)

    Finally, once your short clips are playing well in your iPod, "Cancel" the MPEG-4 Exporter window (it will remember your settings as long as you don't quit the app) and then "Cancel Selection" (from the Edit menu) to remove the "in" and "out" points. Select the "Export to MPEG-4..." menu item again and "Make MP4" to do the entire encode.

    By the way: MPEG Streamclip's way of doing the encode does a simultaneous transcoding of both the video and the audio. This means that if you "stop" the encoding, it will finish what it has done already and make it ready to play in a few moments. This is unlike ffmpegX which tosses everything (or leaves unplayable files) if you interrupt the process.

    Good luck and please let us know how it goes.
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  7. Member
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    Hi there!

    I followed your instructions and things seemed to have worked. I managed to convert a couple of DVD's this way. First of all, I ripped them using Mac the Ripper, and then, MPEG Streamer converted them to a single mp4 file.

    Brilliant!

    Now I am experimenting with the possibility of using MPEG Streamer to convert different file types e.g. *.avi. Not sure it will work, though!

    However, I thank you for your help!

    M

    PS: As a recent switcher from Windows, I find it difficult to rummage through the plethora of little bits of software which a Mac user has at his \ her disposal. Therefore, with your help, I managed to cut down some of that searching time.
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  8. Member Reading Bug's Avatar
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    I should have maybe started a new thread, but I too received a Mac recently and I too am using MPEG Streamclip to convert DVDs (but I'm looking to import them as DV quality files on my computer for editing and burning to DVD-R).

    I'm pretty new to video editing and MPEG Streamclip, and am a bit confused on my final rip. My editing needs are very basic, so I'm using iMovie. When I import, I click on the button that says "Split DV into streams if you're using iMovie." I do that, but there is a slightly noticible jump when I paste the streams together. If I import from different VOBs (as these discs contain program material split across more than one), I get an even bigger jump upon pasting. What can be done about this? Will batch processing fix this issue?
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  9. Member terryj's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Reading Bug
    When I import, I click on the button that says "Split DV into streams if you're using iMovie." I do that, but there is a slightly noticible jump when I paste the streams together. If I import from different VOBs (as these discs contain program material split across more than one), I get an even bigger jump upon pasting. What can be done about this? Will batch processing fix this issue?
    Do not do this. Simply export the movie from within in MpegStreamclip to DV Stream, and
    do not click any buttons for "splitting into iMovie". This button was originally for iMovie 4,
    and with iMovie 6 and later, IIRC, it takes care of necessary "splitting" upon ingestion
    if need be to get the DV manageable when putting into the clips pane.

    when all of the stream is ingested, things should be fine, and lining up the streams in
    the timeline of iMovie should be ok. ( no huge jumps)

    I say IIRC, as I haven't used iMovie since v. 6, and then only sporadically.
    "Everyone has to learn, so that they can one day teach."
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    Yes, terryj is correct; no need to split the DV files any more. This was an issue with files over 4GB (if I remember correctly) that newer versions of iMovie did not (and do not) have so they don't split DV files any more. (Just make sure you don't use a FAT-formatted hard drive for storage.)

    ...and for marcelg: MPEG Streamclip also does a great job with AVI>MP4. Use the same parameters as I mentioned earlier as a starting point.
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  11. I have a much much better and easier solution. Download HandBrake. HandBrake will convert your entire DVD to a single mp4 file which can be played on iPods. You have a lot of options too (resizing, deinterlacing, changing video quality, converting a certain set of chapters of video and much more). You may need VLC Player so that HandBrake can read encrypted DVDs. Otherwise you'll have to rip the DVD using MacTheRipper and then use HandBrake which is quite senseless, so just download VLC and HandBrake and you're good to go. In fact, I have a bunch of movies getting converted from my DVDs to iPod format haha.
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  12. Member
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    The latest version of Handbrake has altered its method of creating iPod-compatible files; the codec it uses is, in fact, not 5G iPod-compatible (in spite of the checkbox it offers to ensure this). This is unfortunate as the quality of Handbrake's transcodes is, otherwise, excellent. The files will play on the AppleTV.

    Older versions of Handbrake do DVD to iPod fairly well but I've found way too much of a quality (and compatibility) variance to rely upon that tool.
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  13. Member terryj's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rumplestiltskin
    The latest version of Handbrake has altered its method of creating iPod-compatible files; the codec it uses is, in fact, not 5G iPod-compatible (in spite of the checkbox it offers to ensure this). This is unfortunate as the quality of Handbrake's transcodes is, otherwise, excellent. The files will play on the AppleTV.

    Older versions of Handbrake do DVD to iPod fairly well but I've found way too much of a quality (and compatibility) variance to rely upon that tool.
    aaah, another reason why VisualHub trumps HandBrake, and a sure reason why to keep
    your copy of VisualHub around.
    "Everyone has to learn, so that they can one day teach."
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  14. Member
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    I need to update/correct an earlier post I made concerning Handbrake. If you want 5G iPod compatibility, you need to use the Legacy iPod setting. Using the newer settings but clicking the "5G iPod Compatible" checkbox doesn't work but the Legacy iPod setting does. The quality of the Legacy setting is excellent.
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    Originally Posted by rumplestiltskin
    I need to update/correct an earlier post I made concerning Handbrake. If you want 5G iPod compatibility, you need to use the Legacy iPod setting. Using the newer settings but clicking the "5G iPod Compatible" checkbox doesn't work but the Legacy iPod setting does. The quality of the Legacy setting is excellent.
    Can you share some instructions for this process? Do I just open the DVD with VLC and then process with handbrake? I am using an iMac with an intel processor, and I have the latest versions of VLC and HandBrake. Thanks.
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    Open the DVD with Handbrake. Handbrake uses VLC's libraries to decrypt the DVD (usually).

    Set Handbrake to use the Legacy iPod setting. I usually check the "Picture" button settings to verify 640xsomething and set Anamorphic to "None". Remember that the iPod requires no more than 640 x 480 pixels in order to play the video.

    Keep your bitrate below 1500 (movie DVD source usually works fine at 750kbps but YMMV). Set audio at no more that 160kbps; set the DRC to 1.50 (that's normalization).

    Start the transcoding and get a large cup of coffee.

    Please let me know if this helps.
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  17. Member
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    This is very helpful; thanks. When I select iPod Legacy, the box for iPod G5 Support in the main window is checked automatically. Should I keep this or deselect?
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    I'm not sure whether this turns off the iPod compatibility or not. I always leave it selected.
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    Sorry, one more question. I'm extracting files from my daughter's DVDs for her iPod. I used MTR (Main Feature) for the first one and followed the tips listed earlier in the thread; it took about 45 minutes. If I use HandBrake for the full process, HandBrake says it will take 55 hours. That seems way too long. Is there something I might have missed to get a timeframe that is this long or am I better served sticking with MTR and then using HandBrake for the conversion? darkshadowofmordor seemed to suggest earlier in the thread that this use of MTR was an unnecessary step.
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    I no longer do anything with DVDs so I can't comment on whether it's Handbrake not being efficient or you selecting an improper setting.

    However, the process of MTR followed by Handbrake is sound and, essentially, does what Handbrake, alone, tries to do (but without leaving the intermediate "rip" on your drive). In short: You're doing fine.
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  21. Member
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    Originally Posted by danielmak
    Sorry, one more question. I'm extracting files from my daughter's DVDs for her iPod. I used MTR (Main Feature) for the first one and followed the tips listed earlier in the thread; it took about 45 minutes. If I use HandBrake for the full process, HandBrake says it will take 55 hours. That seems way too long. Is there something I might have missed to get a timeframe that is this long or am I better served sticking with MTR and then using HandBrake for the conversion? darkshadowofmordor seemed to suggest earlier in the thread that this use of MTR was an unnecessary step.
    My first guess would be hardware but you appear to have a newer system that should complete the task in a reasonable amount of time. Do you have a laptop by chance? Slower 5400 rpm hard drives will impact performance. Also if you have any Antivirus software running that may (although unlikely) influence your numbers. Are there any other background processes running.

    I myself am working out the quirks for iPod Video 5G version. iPod Legacy 640x bitrate 1500 single pass M4V file format is pretty good. Relatively small pixalation issues during fast action (playback is on 800x480 portable dvd player screen), but I think I will be unable to improve due to the limitations of the 5G iPod. Still trying to tweak things though, otherwise Handbrake does a great job. I may end up using a netbook as a playback source (pretty extreme I know but I want to rip once and play anywhere portability wise).

    Special thanks for the 5G compatibility settings mentioned earlier in the post (saved me loads of time figuring that out).
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