Sunday, June 15, 2014

Converting Video for Use on iPod Nano

I wanted to leave my kids some video messages on their iPods for camp (7th generation Nano devices). I did this last year using the Photobooth app on the Mac and just loaded them into iTunes and there was no problem. Naturally this did not work again. Linux to the rescue, however.

I took the videos straight off the Mac and put them into a iTunes (on a Windows PC that is used to sync the devices with iTunes) and there were no errors, but when I tried to view them for testing on the iPod it simply hung up and I had to reset it. I guessed that the encoding was probably incorrect, but no amount of Googling would find me a solution using the current version of iTunes.

So I pulled all the files into Linux and loaded up Transmageddon, which is a fancy front-end for various ffmpeg operations to convert video files. I selected the filename, selected the preset built-in for the Apple iPod Nano, clicked the Transcode button and it was all done. The new files worked like magic.

I'm sure there is something native on Mac or Windows that could have handled this, but there always seems to be an easy way to solve these kinds of compatibility problems in Linux.

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