Sunday, July 08, 2007

Free solution for converting videos for ipod - with subtitles

It's kind of hard to find a free and easy solution for converting videos for ipod video... but finally I got it!

What you'll need:

- Windows box
- AviSynth (http://avisynth.org/)
- Videora ipod converter (http://www.videora.com/en-us/Converter/iPod/)

What's all for

- AviSynth: scripting language AND video driver. It's awesome: you create a script with .avs termination and load it with some media player. Windows media player will do the trick, as well as videora (VLC didn't worked out of the box).

A AviSynth script may resize, crop, add borders, subtitles, concatenate two clips, and so on. It's very powerful and not difficult to use.

Some folks out there use it to watch videos in the computer itself, but we want to re-encode them, that leads us to ...

- Videora - will encode the result of avisynth script into h264 format. It's quite fast, and if you don't want subtitles or already have a 4:3 video it'll work perfectly for you.

Cookbook:

After installing the software above:

- put the video and subtitle file in the same directory.
- the video and subtitle file name have to have the same name except for the termination, for example, "The Thing.avi" and "The Thing.srt"
- in this directory, create a avs script (see below) and modify the variables "episodeName", "finalWidth" and "finalHeight" to the desired values (finalWidth and finalHeight must be 640/320 and 480/240 in order to work in the iPod)
- check if it's all right - double click the script or open it in windows media player or some other.
- go burn it: open videora, select "current conversion", click "Convert video", select the avs file, modify the "profile" option to the desired bitrate and resolution (QVGA = 320x240 and VGA = 640x480, good for old TVs), then click "Start"
- wait (it'll depend mostly on the bitrate, resolution and computing power you got)

pronto! it'll add the video automatically to iTunes, by the way it saves the resulting video to My Documents/Converted Videos/iPod

enjoy!

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