Use VLC Media Player To Convert Video For Your IPodUse VLC Media Player To Convert Video For Your IPod

If you're a media file junkie but hate the constant headache of keeping up with container files and codecs, then you should be using VLC Media Player; the open source universal media player that handles just about any file type out there. One of the neat tricks you can do with VLC is convert video files to a format that you can watch on your iPod. It's a little tricky, but worth it. Here's what you do.

First of all, if VLC can play a file, then it can convert it for your iPod. You can, if you really get into it, use VLC in a script to run file conversions automatically. But for now, these are the steps you take to convert a video file so you can watch it on your iPod.

Open VLC, ensuring that you're using the program's default settings. Make sure that you don't have "repeat" set, because this will cause problems. Click on "File," and then on "Open File." This will get you to the "Open" dialog.

Make sure you're on the "File" tab, and click "Browse" and select the file you want to convert. Tick the "Stream/Save" box and click on the "Settings" button to open the Stream Output dialog.

When you first open this menu (assuming you haven't already used Stream/Save since you opened VLC), the Stream Output MRL box is empty. As you make your selections, the box will fill up with options that VLC knows what to do with.

Tick the "File" box and then click the "Browse" button on the right. Choose the name of the file that you'll be creating with your conversion. Make sure that you change the file extension to .mp4. Your next step is to choose the "container" or encapsulation method. Choose MP4.

Next, go to "Transcoding Options" and check "Video Codec." Change the box just to the right to "mp4v" or "h264." The next box is for the bit rate for the video. A good value to use is 768 kb/sec, but if you want higher quality (and a correspondingly larger file size) you can use 1024.

Check the "Audio Codec" box and change the value in the box just to the right to "mp4a." The next box to the right changes your audio bit rate. Use 96 or 128 kb/sec. The higher the number, the better it will sound over good speakers.

Now comes the geeky part. Go to the "Stream Output MRL Target:" box. It should be full of text. Find the part that says "#transcode{ }" and somewhere inside the braces type "width=320,canvas-height=240" and make sure there aren't any extra spaces. This keeps the original aspect ratio of the video.

Click on "OK" to close the dialog box and click "OK" to close the "File Open" dialog box. The movie will start converting, and when it's done, you'll have an iPod compatible file!

Even if you don't want to use the VLC player to do neat tricks like convert videos to watch on your iPod, you'll find it incredibly useful as an all-purpose media player for audio and video.
by Jason Bacot
References and Bibliography
Jason Bacot - Are you looking to save yourself lots of time, headaches and get your hands on the most powerful multi-purpose VLC Media Player? Then I suggest you check out the VLC Player Download at "VLCMediaPlayer.org" immediately.
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