Mac transcoding video

If you’ve got videos say in MPEG2/DVD format and want to convert into smaller H.264 format, then the Mac choices are pretty different from PC. Essentially, you need four tools:

# “Handbrake”:http://trac.handbrake.fr to take it from a DVD and convert it into a computer quality (e.g,. high quality .AVI or .MP4).
# “MacTheRipper”:http://mactheripper.com. This is a general tool that takes a DVD and decrypts it and puts it onto your hard drive. Then you can use any of the tools below. Or you can make a backup of your DVD. Version 2.66 works with most DVDs, although some of the new DVDs (Hannah Montana!) have advanced protections that this old program can’t deal with.
# “isquint.org”:http://isquint.org is the freeware that takes essentially any format that is a computer format (like Divx or Xvid) and converts it into a iPhone or iPod video. Personally I upgraded to VisualHub which adds PSP. Use it to take all things generated for computer viewing and convert it into ipod, iphone and psp formats.
# “ffmpegX”:http://fmpegx.com. This takes any video format essentially and transcodes it. Finally, if you have an iPhone, iTouch or iPod Nano 3G or iPod Video, then you can also use Handbrake to take a DVD and turn it into the right .mp4 format.

“DV Review”:http://www.dv.com/reviews/reviews_item.php?articleId=196602910 has a good overview for the Mac coders who are pro’s and ready to pay $1,000s of dollars for software. Personally I use “Visualhub”:http://visualhub.com if you are willing to pay or iSquint which is the free version to do most iPod encoding.

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