Getting a music video that you have saved on your computer's hard drive on to your new iPod is not as simple as you might think. Apple has done an excellent job of making it difficult to put non-iTunes products onto their devices. The goal, of course, is to force you to buy your videos from iTunes and increase their bottom line, but there are, of course, ways around this problem. You just need some specific software and a little bit of patience.
The first step towards getting that music video onto your iPod is making sure it is in the right specs. The iPod supports MOV, M4V, and MP4 formats, and the video must be no more than 768 Kbps, 30 fps, and 320-by-240 pixels. If your video has an audio track, it must be AAC-LC and must be 160 Kbps or smaller. If you downloaded the video off of the Internet, it is probably in the correct format, although some downloads are WMV format. However, if the video came from a video sharing site, you may have a video that is in MPG or AVI format. You are going to have to encode the video to use on your iPod.
Encoding the Video
You will need to use QuickTime 7.0.3 (or a later version) as the codec to code your video. This is available to download for free from the Apple website. It may take quite a while to encode the video, so if it is a large file, you may want to let it work overnight, or your computer will be out of commission for a while.
The File Transfer Using QuickTime Pro
One of the easiest ways to get the video to your iPod is to use QuickTime Pro. It combines the codec you need with a simple uploading interface that makes it easy to get the file into iTunes and onto your iPod. This program works with Windows or Mac. It is not free, however, but it is the easiest to use. You will pay $30 for it, and you will have to pay $30 again when Apple upgrades the program.
With QuickTime Pro, all you need to do to upload the video is open the movie, select "file" and then "export," and choose the option for "Movie to iPod." The program will then automatically create a 320-by-240 M4V file with the correctly coded audio tract and place it on your desktop. The default settings in the program work well for most music videos, but you can fine-tune them if you want to change the way the video displays.
There are other third-party programs you can use to convert the video to the correct file format, but this one works the best. If you are going to try a free program, be sure to practice with a small video first to make sure there are no bugs in the program.
Getting the Video onto the iPod
Once the video is converted to the correct file format, you will need to import it to iTunes. To do this, open iTunes, choose "Movies" and choose "File" and then "Import." Select the movie, click on it once, and select "Advanced, Convert Selection for iPod." This will create a new file in your iTunes library. Once the new file is there, simply sync your iPod with iTunes the video will download to the device.
If you do all of these steps and find that the file has no sound, there is a problem with the original music video file. This is called having a muxed sound file. If the format on the original video is MPEG1 Muxed or MPEG2 Muxed, it will not play sound on your iPod. The only fix is to find a third party application that can convert this file to an AAC-LC file.
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