Can you recommend a good video converter for iPod?
November 3, 2010 8:12 PM   Subscribe

What is the best and easiest app for converting video files on my PC (.avi) to something iPod compatible?

Mrs. Zooropa and I are going on vacation. We have a long plane ride ahead of us, so both of us are looking to put some movies and TV episodes on to our iPods (Nano for her, Classic for me).

I'm looking for a software utility that will convert the videos for me. I'm not a video jockey by any means. I just want something that works, but all Google seems to turn up is malware-ridden knockoffs that look like they were "written" by a script kiddie in Bulgaria or Shanghai.

Here are a few more details:
  • The video files are .avi's.
  • The PC runs Vista
  • Like I said, I'm no video jockey. I don't want to have to fiddle with every possible configuration. Preferably, this is just drag and drop.
  • No malware, please
  • Stable software is a plus. :)

    Any ideas?
  • posted by zooropa to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
     
    Super does this very well for the iPhone. I think those presets should work for the other iPods. Though the official website is very hard to navigate and seems kind of shady.
    posted by Gary at 8:30 PM on November 3, 2010


    Hamster Free Video Converter can do this and is very user friendly.
    posted by Ask Ives at 8:34 PM on November 3, 2010




    I just want something that works, but all Google seems to turn up is malware-ridden knockoffs that look like they were "written" by a script kiddie in Bulgaria or Shanghai.


    You're right to be concerned. Hamstersoft is crapware as described here. SUPER does mysterious things in your System32 folder and is just as shady as Gary suspects.

    Handbrake is a well-designed, well-coded , no-fine-tuning-needed front-end to x264 (currently the world's most efficient video encoder) and is set up specifically to provide video that is compatible with Apple devices. If I owned any Apple hardware, I would use it exclusively.
    posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:47 PM on November 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


    You're right to be concerned. Hamstersoft is crapware as described here.

    I couldn't find any mention of Hamster Soft on that page you linked. I've been using their software with no issue for weeks now since Lifehacker posted about it. It has overwhelmingly positive reviews on cnet.
    posted by Ask Ives at 9:04 PM on November 3, 2010


    Ask Ives: See this.
    posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:09 PM on November 3, 2010


    Ask Ives > why the reco for Hamster when Inspector.Gadget is saying it's crapware?

    Inspector.Gadget > Thanks for sending the link over to the Macworld article. As Uncle Jerry once sang, it's even worse than it appears. I had no idea that there was a whole shady underworld. I thought it was just a bunch of script kiddies, but it appears that this is as "sophisticated" as e-mail spam.

    Two votes for Handbrake seem to tip the balance in its favor. I'm a tad worried about it being a bit overcomplicated, but I guess I'll have to try it out?

    Any other recos for software that that DOESN'T do funny things to my system, masquerade as spam, or help provide dollars for some software boiler room somewhere?
    posted by zooropa at 9:10 PM on November 3, 2010


    I'm a tad worried about it being a bit overcomplicated, but I guess I'll have to try it out?


    Yes, give it a shot. Handbrake exposes some advanced configuration options but you don't actually need to use them. All the relevant options are well-documented on the Handbrake wiki.
    posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:13 PM on November 3, 2010


    on my Mac, I've been using something from iSkysoft. it does fine, but sheesh, the website was annoying! If you go halfway through the purchase process, you'll mysteriously get a discount offer via email.
    ANyways, I've got it and no hassles. The same company makes PC software.
    posted by flowerofhighrank at 9:45 PM on November 3, 2010


    Handbrake. Choose the file to convert, select where you want the video saved on your computer. On the right hand side of the program, select "Apple -> iPhone / iPod Touch". Start the process, give it a little time, and you are done. No need to mess with any other settings.
    posted by shinynewnick at 9:46 PM on November 3, 2010


    Ask Ives > why the reco for Hamster when Inspector.Gadget is saying it's crapware?

    I don't want to derail your question into a discussion of whether Hamster Soft's application is 'crapware' or not but you ask me directly why I recommended it. Well I've been using it with no issue myself after Lifehacker (a very reputable blog) featured it recently and a glance over the reviews for it on cnet's page made me confident it wasn't anything dodgy. I am vigilant when it comes to installing software on my PC so also did a check on VirusTotal and 40 out of 41 of the leading software that check for viruses, worms, trojans, and all kinds of malware found no issue with it. I'd uninstall it in a heartbeat if provided with evidence to the contrary which is why I wanted clarification from Inspector.Gadget as the Macworld article he linked to made no mention of Hamster Soft.
    posted by Ask Ives at 9:53 PM on November 3, 2010


    Now that I'm home and see that Handbrake also has iPod presets, I'll join the crowd and change my recommendation to them. It's easy to use, and popular enough that google (or Ask Metafilter) could answer any questions you have about it.
    posted by Gary at 11:15 PM on November 3, 2010


    I've used Red Kawa for conversion to PSP and Ipod with great results. I've found it to be easy to use -- specify device type, source file, target file name, use sliders to change picture / audio quality (and thus resultant file size).
    posted by indigo4963 at 8:38 AM on November 4, 2010


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