IPod Videos

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This page contains information on how to transfer video files to your Apple Ipod using Linux and some of it is specifically for a 3rd generation Nano.

Video File Formats


Download and unpack the Handbrake software from the web site http://handbrake.fr/, then run the command line like below to rip your movie.

$ ./HandBrakeCLI -i /dev/dvd -o MovieName.mp4 --preset="iPod" -L --audio 3

After about 40 minutes, you should end up with about a 700Mb .mp4 file.

The -L option is for calculating the Longest title, which will be the actual movie.

The --audio option is for the correct English audio track. It differs for each DVD. Please check by running HandBrake in scan mode...

$ ./HandBrakeCLI -i /dev/dvd -o MovieName.mp4 --preset="iPod" -L --title 0

Test it using mplayer...

$ mplayer MovieName.mp4

HandbrakeCLI Documentation - http://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/CLIGuide


So, you have your MythTV .vob videos and you would like to copy them to your iPod? No problem!

This, and the other file formats mentioned on this page, rely on the wonderful ffmpeg software.

To get this to work, you might need the latest unstripped libraries for ffmpeg.

Here are the commands for Ubuntu / Mint Linux...

$ sudo apt-get purge ffmpeg
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install libavcodec-unstripped-51 libavdevice-unstripped-52 libavformat-unstripped-52 libavutil-unstripped-49 libpostproc-unstripped-51 libswscale-unstripped-0 ffmpeg

Once installed, check you have full MPEG4 support...

$ ffmpeg -formats |grep -i 'mpeg4'
DE m4v   raw MPEG4 video format
D  mov,  mp4,m4a,3gp,3g2,mj2 QuickTime/MPEG4/Motion JPEG 2000 format
DEVSDT   mpeg4
D A      mpeg4aac
DEVSD    msmpeg4
DEVSD    msmpeg4v1
DEVSD    msmpeg4v2

Once you have confirmed you have all the required support, then you convert like this...

$ ffmpeg -i MovieName.vob -acodec libfaac -ab 128kb -vcodec mpeg4 -b 1200kb -mbd 2 -flags +4mv -trellis 2 -aic 2 -cmp 2 -subcmp 2 -s 320x180 -title MovieName MovieName.mp4


$ ffmpeg -i MovieName.avi -acodec libfaac -ab 128kb -vcodec mpeg4 -b 1200kb -mbd 2 -flags +4mv -trellis 2 -aic 2 -cmp 2 -subcmp 2 -s 320x180 -title MovieName MovieName.mp4


$ ffmpeg -i MovieName.mpg -acodec libfaac -ab 128kb -vcodec mpeg4 -b 1200kb -mbd 2 -flags +4mv -trellis 2 -aic 2 -cmp 2 -subcmp 2 -s 320x180 -title MovieName MovieName.mp4

Transferring To iPod

Now you need to get the MP4 movie / video onto the iPod. There are various ways to do this.

Banshee Media Player

Plug your iPod in using the USB cable. After a few seconds, Ubuntu should recognise the device and mount it.

Fire up Banshee and look for your iPod in the bottom left hand corner of the screen.

Add the new video.mp4 file to the Video Library of Banshee.

Drag and drop the newly listed video called 'MovieName' (or whatever you called it, see above) to the black iPod icon.

Wait for it to Synchronise.

Right-click on the iPod icon and choose 'Eject'.

Watch the iPod screen for the spinning arrows and then OK To Disconnect.

Happy days!  :-)


I do not have iTunes, but I guess that it is a very similar procedure for dragging your video.mp4 file to the iPod in Apple's software.