How to Convert DVDs to iPod, iPhone with Handbrake
Do you have a collection of DVDs? Want to watch them on your iPad, iPhone or Apple TV? Here's a tutorial that explains how to use an awesome app named Handbrake to convert DVD's into MPEG-4 video files for free.
- 500 MHz processor or better with at least 16MB of video RAM
- QuickTime 7.0.3 or later
- iTunes 6.0.1 or later
- VLC player (Handbrake 0.9.3 and higher)
Download Handbrake here and install it. If you already have Handbrake installed, you'd better check whether your version is out of date or not. Some new improvements have been made recently to the software, specifically for the iPad and iPhone.
Insert your video DVD into your Mac. And the Handbrake is only available to convert standard video DVDs which are normally playable in DVD players. So if you have a DVD-ROM with individual video files (in AVI, MPG, WMV, MOV, etc.), you can't use Handbrake to convert these files.
Open the Handbrake. Select the inserted DVD and Open it on the pop up window like the image below.
Download VLC player
The version 0.9.3 of Handbrake won't natively convert DVDs so you need to install VLC on your Mac first. If there is no VLC installed, you will get this notice:
Then click "Get VLC" or go to the site to get it: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/. The media player enables you to play video in various formats, DVDs and VCDs.And now Handbrake uses some components of the VLC player to read DVDs.
After you download VLC, you need to install it on Mac.
Handbrake will now scan your DVD. This takes up to a minute or two depending on the contents of the DVD and the speed of your optical drive.
Title: Handbrake will select the longest title in the list by default, or you can select the title by yourself:
- Movies: If you are converting movies, the longest title is usually the main feature.
- TV Shows: If you are converting a DVD containing TV shows, you should see a list of several titles all about the same length. The shorter titles on the DVD are usually the video backgrounds used in the DVD menu screens and DVD extras like movie trailers. Unless you are a graphic artist, you probably don't want these tracks.
There are 3 settings in the Destination section you can modify: file format, codec and file destination.
Select A Preset
Handbrake provides some presets for iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, Xbox, Sony PSP and so on. So you only need to select a preset if you happens to plan to convert DVD to an device included for playback.
Wanna play DVD on your iPod, iPad, iPhone or Apple TV, you can set iPod High-Rez and drop the average bitrate to 900 kbps. Because this will give you a nice high quality file and won't take up much hard drive space.
Click on the Picture Settings button to launch a separate window. The only thing here you need to do is to compensate for interlaced or grainy, compressed looking video. The Handbrake would adjust everything based on the preset you selected.
Sometimes video files will have horizontal lines in them, say, interlacing. To avoid interlacing, turn on the Deinterlace option and choose "Fast."
Now, press the Convert button and stand back. The encoding time will depend on several variables including: the speed of your computer, the duration of the video file, how many running programs on your Mac, the codec you selected (H264 or MP4) and if you decided to do a 2-pass encoding or not.
Handbrake will attempt to provide you with an ETA. The time will increase if you Pause the encode or do anything that will hog the processor like start a 3D render in Maya. We suggest you do your DVD converting overnight or at a time when you don't need to use your computer.
When encoding is finished, quit Handbrake.
Import Into iTunes
- Connect your iPod, iPad or iPhone to your Mac and open iTunes.
- Drag and drop the converted video file into the iTunes library, or head to menu bar, select Add to Library... from the File menu.
- Make sure the video file you just added to iTunes is in a Playlist that will get synced to your device.
- Select "Sync"
- The sync may take a few minutes. Once completed, the file should now be on your iPod or iPhone.