"Wouldn't it be great if you could just take a CD and throw it on your iPod? You could put your music straight onto this device." Phillip Torrone presents a Make Magazine presentation on how to convert video for the iPod.
"We're used to being able to do that. But people ask me, 'When I drag my DVD to my iPod, it doesn't work.'" We want it to be super-easy, but what can we do in the meantime? Torrone recommends Handbrake Lite, which makes PSP-playable files as well.
Pop in a DVD, open Handbrake Lite, and pick the DVD track that's as long as your movie (you might need to check if there are features as long as the film). Handbrake Lite will autoencode your video to an mp4 file at about 500 MB. Torrone also recommends iSquint, which converts the formats .mov, .mp4, .avi, .mpg, .vob, .3gp, .asf, .wmv, and others. Both programs are freeware. Torrone excluded Windows programs, being at Macworld and all, but we found Favo Video Converter, $29.95 shareware with a free download.
Torrone sees many users frustrated that they can't simply copy DVDs as easily as they can with CDs. But Apple seems afraid to draw the MPAA's ire. When Torrone mentioned this session to Apple staffers, they grimaced. "Oh...DVDs to the iPod. Hm." He wishes Sony would step in and bridge the gap with a simple converter as they did with the Betamax VCR in 1984. Granted, we'd want to sweep the program for evil rootkit-burrowing DRM, but after that, on with the revolution!