How-To: Automatically download and convert TV for your iPod

itunes
The good folks at Videora have recently released the Videora iPod Converter. Using this tool you can make almost any video iPod ready. They have a handy how-to for ripping and transcoding your own DVDs. Our goal is to automatically download TV using Bittorrent and convert it to an iPod friendly format saving ourselves $2.

First thing you’ll need is a functional BroadCatching system using Azureus. Follow our BroadCatching How-To to set one up. The BroadCatching system will automatically download the TV programs you set.

There are two important things you need to configure in Azureus. Goto “Tools -> Options“. Check the box next to “Save to default data directory“. Choose a directory where you want the files to be kept while they are being downloaded. Check the box next to “Move completed files“. Choose a directory where you would like your TV shows to be placed after they have been downloaded. Click “Save“. Configuration of Azureus is complete.

Azureus config

To automatically convert the videos you will need to install both Videora and the Videora iPod Converter. We won’t be using Videora, but it needs to be installed for the xCasting option to turn on.

After you get the Videora iPod Converter installed there are only a few more things to set before you’re ready to go. Click on “Setup“. Choose a directory where you would like the iPod ready files to be placed. UPDATE: The H.264 profiles do not work with the iPod. Choose either SP or MPEG4.

Videora config

For xCasting you need to select where you installed Videora before you can configure it. Check the box for “Automatic Queuing” and choose the directory where your completed downloads are stored. Pick a time interval to check the directory. Click “Save“.

xCasting config

Now whenever a new file appears in your “completed” directory Videora will automatically add it to its conversion queue. Once the files have been successfully converted they will be placed in your other folder, ready to be transferred to your iPod. The converter can automatically copy the files to your device, but we were unable to test this feature since Apple is still telling us they’re “Processing Order”. Good Luck!

86 thoughts on “How-To: Automatically download and convert TV for your iPod

  1. Pretty cool, but I’d really like to do just the opposite: Download videos from iTunes and convert them so something I can watch on my PSP or burn to a DVD.

  2. Uh so thats nice and all but i’m not paying 29.99 for a program to run in the background. Is there anyway not to need the videora main program?

    I would not mind a program that did it automaticaly, but if i did not need this program i’d do it manualy to save a few bucks.

    Post a link to the freeware software when someone find it.

  3. That’s great and all, but shouldn’t you be providing us with proper .torrent rss feeds that I can use with Azureus? All of the good TV feeds were shut down in the Spring, and no one has stepped up with replacements.

  4. We need a solution like this on the mac. I’m not very familiar with applescript, but the optimal solution would be to use folder actions, then when a new file is added to the folder it automatically opens up ffmpegx (so much faster than QT7) and converts the file, then automatically imports it into iTunes. Wish I knew more applescript than I do, someone please make this.

  5. Hmmm…a macintosh company (APPLE) who makes the ipod (and just happened to satisfy the windoz people by releasing he pod for them) and we can’t get a MAC hack. Funny!!! I’ll give this a try AS SOON AS someone does it for the MAC as the ipod was intended for.

  6. I was disappointed in another Engadget cross-post until I saw the bit about azureus settings.. There’s a couple new ones I haven’t seen before since it’s been awhile since I’ve looked. I didn’t pay any attention to the Engadget post since I don’t have nor intend on buying a video ipod.. couldn’t this be done with the software in their broadcatching/broadsnatching how-to? (I forget what they called it, the one where they grabbed video from rss feeds and reencoded it on the fly for the creative labs pmp)

    I should go find that how-to again and see if I can’t do the same thing for dvd-r. Media is getting extremely cheap these days and so are the portable players.

  7. Um… i did it and it plays fine in quicktime, and it is in my itunes video list, but it will not sync over… is there a cap on the size? Mine is 498 megs…. but i dont know what the deal is… anyone tried it yet?

  8. The vPod handles H.264 at up to 320×240 and up to 768 kbps. It can also play mp4, but I can’t remember the limits on that. In any case there are limits.

    Now, does anyone have a list of tv torrent rss feeds that work?

  9. Someone should do this for BitComet, I hate using Azereus as it’s a giant ram hog because of java. It wants more than 100mb of ram when BitComet is using up around 20

  10. I wish the people making the posts were truly informed about the software. Yes Videora is the BEST iPod video conversion software out there, but NO the iPod will NOT handle Videora’s h.264 encoding. The Videora’s settings should be as follows:
    SP/320×240/768Kbps Stereo/128Kbps
    …That’s the only encoding that correctly works, and it top it off — Videora even works with Divx, Xvid, and VCD Mpeg/AVI files!

  11. Interesting software – unfortunately, it does not maintain audio/video sync when converting from even plain old DivX and XviD.

    I’m wondering if the H.A.D/Engadget writers actually tried this software first?

  12. You know, this seems like something of a pointless piece of software. QuickTime 7 does the exact same thing, for exactly the same price, except you’re almost guaranteed that the damn thing will work, since Apple makes all three products involved (iPod, iTunes, and QuickTime).

    As a Mac user, this disapoints me, since there is no Mac version. I was really hoping they would tell me what the strict specifications were for iPod Video, but I guess not. If someone would just release those statsistic, we could see a wave of free software, or existing free software add preset profiles (Like FFmpeg did with PSP video).

  13. soo, could I put theres on an ipod phoho and it work? I’m thinking no, or at least not yet. maybe need some after market firmware or something like that.

  14. Hmm, it refuses to convert asf files, but other stuff, incluing .vob works like a charm.

    Another alternative is Nero Recode2 that comes with the rest of Nero. It outputs mpeg4, for ipod and for psp, and even creates php folder structure and copies to the device (psp). I don’t have an ipod video yet, so I cant test it, but it is a possibility. Its not free, but alot of people allready have it because it is bundled with new burners.

  15. CYRIX: That was apples’s greatest move. Why restrict the Ipod to mac user’s only. They would not be where they are at if not. Progy seems cool. Time to test it out.

  16. i followed the instructions for ripping and transcoding dvd’s to iPod video. all went well but no sound??? anybody know any way to fix that??

  17. is there a way of enabling the iPod 60 GB to play video? i just bought this one last week before finding out about the video iPod.

  18. Thanks for a very nice article. I’ve replicatied your steps, and it works excellent. But it seems as Videora only ‘sees’ some of my files, and it is not a problem with the extension. One .mpg works fine and another one does not even get picked up? I’ve enabled debug, and it does do the ‘check tick’ thing …

    I would expect to see some kind of error from ffmpeg if a bad mpeg caused this…

    Anyone got any ideas?

    Thanks

  19. whenever i start the program up it displays an error message. The first time i started it up i tried converting a video and 1 out of 163 videos actually converted successfully. THe others just had sound. But when i clikc on the thumbnail in itunes it would turn 5 seconds into the video. But now it wont even let me choose the setup menue. Any got any advice??

  20. Mike is right, I too have had Videora to make h264 files that do not port to the ipod but the sp in version .80 or Mpeg4 in .081 (they are the same setting) works fine. I have yet to find a program on windows (other than qt 7) that will make a h264 that truly works on the ipod.

  21. For those of you who keep asking about video on the old iPod 60GB… yes you can, however you need to install iPod Linux. And for the 60GB Photo iPod this is still not fully supported. Basically it takes a lot of work and it’s not really worth the effort. Scores pretty high on the 2 second coolness factor though. Or… if you’re that desperate on getting video to your iPod Photo… dump the thousands of frames in your movie to individual images and rip out the audio track as an MP3. Play the MP3 while scrolling through your dumped images. :) haha I guess you could call this the iPod Video Retro!

    For those who are having audio sync problems… rip your DVD with some other program that converts to DivX or xVid then import that into a video converter called SUPER or hell even use this Videora Converter if you want, to convert it to the iPod format. Other than that I haven’t found a way to fix videos with asyncronous audio using only the converter. :)

  22. follow the steps in the tutorial I linked to in post 35, then import this file into iTunes and update your iPod. It’s very simple.

  23. Am curious if anyone can suggest what I’m doing wrong- I can get some of the mpgs onto the ipod, but not the sound. I’m following the step by step guides from post 35- any other suggestions? Thanks

  24. Morten :
    Since ASF files are container files for WMVs, you can change the file extension to WMV and it should convert it no problem!

    As Kichigai did already mention though, for almos the same price, Quicktime Pro does the same thing, and works every time … after all it was MADE TO DO IT!!

    Seems like a much safer bet to me??

    GG

  25. i have recently downloaded videora ipod converter and after converting avi movies to mpeg-4 the audio is not syncing with the video, what is the problem?

  26. Allright I am having audio/video sync problems with my ipod. I used 1 click dvd copy and xilisoft video converter. No problems on 2 dvds though(both burned earlier on dvd rw’s). Whats up with this???

    Thanks

  27. hey guys i’m having problem putting videos in my ipod.. just like it’s told in most of the forums i downloaded videora ipod coverter and than what kind of video setting should i keep mpeg 4 or h264 ? i tried with most of them they talk about in the google forums and i also have videos in hs. but the problem is that how should i put those converted videos to my ipod? do i have to use itunes or there is any other way..if i have to do it throught itunes let me know how can i import videos in to my itunes… please let me know about all those stuff…thanks in advance….

  28. iSquint is a great video converting program for the 5G video iPod. I have successfully put music videos, movies and more on my iPod no problem. The only issue right now is the current version only can convert .avi and .mpg; however, the creator is working on a new version that accepts more formats plus records in H.264 format. That is my two cents.

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