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  • This guide provides a step-by-step process to convert a movie into the format used by the video iPod in high resolution - so you can both watch it on the iPod, or connect the iPod to your TV by means of the AV output and play it in high resolution, with a near-DVD quality.
  • Encoding speed is extremely fast.

Opening the source movie
Choosing the preset
Copying the movie to your iPod
Connect your iPod to TV and watch the movie in high resolution

Opening the source movie

You have an .AVI DivX, a VOB file, or a movie in some other format, and you want to encode it for the iPod in high resolution, for playback on your TV. If your source is a DVD in VIDEO_TS format, use first a program to extract it as a single VOB file, then encode from the VOB file.

  • Open ffmpegX and drop your movie file to ffmpegX icon or "Open" field or "From" area to open it, or click the Open.. button to locate the file from your hard disk.
  • The "Save as..." name and location will be set by ffmpegX. You may modify it if you like.

Choosing the preset:

  • Click the Target Format pulldown menu in the Summary tab and choose "iPod mpeg-4 480w".

iPod preset

  • By default, this preset will set a width of 480 pixels, and will scale the height depending on the aspect ratio set in the autosize popup button (Video tab). Popular aspects are 4:3 (videocamera, VCD), 16:9 (widescreen) and 2.35:1 (feature movie without black bars).
  • To get even more quality (but a larger filesize), you may choose a larger width of 640 (only for 16:9 and 2.35:1 aspect), or 720 pixels (for 2.35:1 aspect only). The iPod is able to play various sizes, provided that the product of (width x height) is lower than 230401 pixels.
  • Click the "Best" bitrate button to calculate the best bitrate to use for encoding (iPod supports up to 2500kbps bitrate). Framerate may be NTSC or PAL.
  • You may go in the Filters tab to add cropping if needed.
  • Subtitles are not supported (unless you create a file beforehand with subtitles burned in the image, and then encode such file).


  • Click the "Encode" button.
  • Encoding takes places in ffmpegX Progress window.
  • You can continue working with other applications while encoding. OSX Unix core reallocates processor ressources in realtime as needed.

Copying the movie to your iPod:

  • Locate the encoded file by clicking the icon.
  • Open iTunes and select apple-O (File > Add to library). Select the encoded file to add it to your iTunes library.
  • Connect your iPod, and let iTunes synchronize it automatically, or select manually by ctrl-clicking the iPod icon in iTunes and choosing "Update":

  • Unmount and disconnect your iPod.

Connect your iPod to TV and watch the movie in high resolution

  • To connect your iPod to your TV or videoprojector, you may use the Apple A/V cable for iPod. You may also follow this method.
  • Select Videos > Video Settings in your iPod. Set the TV OUT options for TV output, and choose the TV signal to match your TV (NTSC or PAL).
  • Play the movie and enjoy. If you're near your computer, it is worth to keep the iPod connected to the USB cable, so as to save battery life.

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