Lily: What exactly did Damian say to you?
Luke: He said that if you love somebody, the ends justify the means. Mom, what are you thinking?
Lily: I’m thinking I need to speak to your father.

— Lily and Luke

Transferring Videos to an iPod (including from DVD)

This tutorial covers transferring videos from DVD or your hard drive (including videos downloaded from YouTube) onto your iPod. If you use a different brand of MP3 player, the method is probably similar, but I don’t own one, so I can’t help you there.  Sorry.

Click here for information on downloading videos from YouTube onto your hard drive.

Copying MP4s to your iPod

Once you have MP4 videos on your hard drive, you can simply drag them into iTunes, or within iTunes, from the File menu choose Add Files to Library.  Then add the videos to a Playlist and then sync your iPod.

Ripping Videos from DVD

If you have videos on DVD (or on your hard drive in a format other than MP4) you will need to “rip” them from the DVD and/or convert them to MP4 in order to view them on your iPod. There are dozens of products on the market that will do the job, but one which I adore is called MagicDVDRipper.  This product will rip from DVD into a variety of different formats including MP4 and WMV, and will also allow you to designate the desired resolution and sound quality so you can go for a smaller file if preferred.  Another favorite feature of mine is the ability to either rip DVDs by scene or all in one.

I am an American living overseas, so I travel. A lot.  As in logged over 100,000 miles in the last 4 years. With my two young children. Without my husband.

MagicDVDRipper has been a lifesaver.  I use the rip-by-movie option to carry low-res versions of feature films for my daughter on my laptop.  This keeps me from lugging DVDs around, and also prolongs battery life – key on those transatlantic flights where my daughter can’t sleep. I usually travel with a library of about 20-30 movies on my laptop. This has come in very handy on flights where the entertainment system is malfunctioning, or the movie is very much NOT PG/PG-13.

Using the rip-by-scene option, I carry about 6 hours worth of toddler videos on my iPod (Thomas the Tank Engine, Sesame Street, the Wiggles). I also travel with a portable speaker (another one of the best inventions since sliced bread) and my toddler can help himself to videos on demand.

Best of all, it’s free to install and try for five times. During this evaluation period, the software will be fully functional. To continue using the software after the evaluation period, you need pay a registration fee.  For more information, please visit http://www.magicdvdripper.com/download.htm.

The Icing on the Cake: Cyanics Portable Swing Speakers

The Cyanics speaker is one of the best products I’ve seen. I use it with my iPod Nano 4G.  It basically adds a small amount of thickness to the ultra-slim iPod, and no additional width or length. Still tiny enough to fit in all but the skinniest of skinny jean pockets without leaving a lump. The iPod slides into the clear plastic housing which acts as a protective case, and the speaker seems to get some charge from the iPod itself (I can only imagine it does because we use ours a lot – we have two – and I have only charged them 3 or 4 times in the last year).

The default mode of operation is to twist the speaker portion 90 degrees to activate it.  Alternatively, you can keep it turned to match the iPod and there is a manual on-off switch as well.  It’s durable (I can’t tell you how many times ours have been dropped), and the sound is remarkably loud and decent for this teeny tiny speaker.  I cannot say enough good things about this product. It retails for about $20 at Amazon.com.

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