Taking Home Movies on the Road: Converting Video for an ipod

I've been doing a lot of business travel lately and decided to take some of our home movies along with me on my video ipod. It wasn't as easy I had hoped. iTunes doesn't recognize .avi files, so they first need to be converted into mp4 files. Then once they're in iTunes, they need to be converted again in order to play on the ipod. The steps below explain how to convert a video. As tedious as it is, If you have to sit on a away from your family, there's nothing better than bringing some home movies of the kids along for the ride.

  1. Install Video Lan. Its an Open Source Video tool that does just about everything you could want to do to video.
  2. Put the following all on one line in a .bat file in the same directory as the source AVI. Either Rename the source AVI to SOURCEFILE.AVI or edit that name in the line below.
    "C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc" "./SOURCEFILE.AVI" :sout="#transcode{vcodec=h264, vb=512, acodec=mp4a, ab=128, channel=2, audio-sync}:std{access=file, mux=mp4,url="./OUTPUTFILE.mp4"}" --sout-transcode-width=320 --sout-transcode-height=240 --aspect-ratio=width:height

  3. Run the bat file
  4. Import the resulting OUTPUTFILE.mp4 into iTunes
  5. In iTunes right click on OUTPUTFILE.mp4 and select "Convert Selection for iPod"
  6. Delete the original from itunes (use Right Click ->Get Info to determine which is which. keep the one in the iTunes directory)
  7. If updating your iPod from a playlist be sure to copy the new (converted) video into your playlist.