Ipod Movies and iTunes

A client rang, he was struggling to get his videos into iTunes and from there onto his iPod. While trying to help I gained an understanding of how fiddly this process can be. It's something we do all the time so its a firm reality check when a client shows us how the process can go wrong.

First, the basic building blocks. You need one or more video files in the right format. These need to be MPEG files, and they need to have been created in sympathy with the iPod's screen aspect ratio. You will need specialist software to do the conversion. Dig around on the internet and you can find this at a modest price or even free.

Second, you need the right type of iPod. Videos don't play on all iPods, not surprisingly you need to have Video iPod. Sure the screen on the nano is very good and yes I'd be happy to watch old films in B&W, but NO, only the iPod Videos play movies.

The quick way to get the movie into iTunes is to drag it from its current location into the iTunes source pane. This is the area on the left of the main screen, headed Music, Video and so on. Here's the odd thing - as you drag your movie file across the space of your desktop or the main iTunes screen, the file icon (in Windows) will appear to have a 'no entry' road sign on it. Off-putting, isn't it. Just keep dragging across the screen until you get to the source panel and the icon will have a '+' sign. When you let go, it will be added to your library.

This got my client fooled, he was expecting it to take time - not unreasonably, we'd given him a large 90 minute movie to watch. Remember, if you haven't checked the box in Preferences (under Advanced) to copy to iTunes music folder when adding to library, then all that gets added in iTunes is a pointer to the source destination. Done in the blink of an eye.

Is the movie there? Click on Movies in the source pane and your film should be listed there. Use the normal play / pause button and away it goes. Can't see anything? Control+G will pop a small white preview screen in the bottom left, and your moving image will preview there. Alternatively use one of the buttons between the Apple icon and the search function at the top of the screen to let you see your film in full screen.

If you've added movies before ticking add to msuic folder etc don't lose heart. If you go to Advanced and select Consolidate iTunes will hunt down all files located outside your main music folder and copy them there at a click.

When done, you're ready to synchronise music and movement onto your iPod.
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Ripping Movies in iTunes?

So you can rip CDs, you can play CDs. You can download tracks from iTunes Music Store.

You can download movies from iTunes Music Store. You can play them in iTunes. So what's missing? Ripping DVDs.

We could be a step closer to the missing link in the entertainment puzzle, thanks to a recent ruling in America. Given Apple's great position with Apple TV, iTunes and video iPods surely ripping movies in iTunes is the logical next step.

This facility would unleash additional iPod, iMac and Apple TV sales. At podServe we have strong interest in this facility.

Watch this space. My money is on this happening in the next three months.
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