Using MediaCoder to produce a video that will playback on a IPOD device (mixer posted on August 14th, 2008 )

Creating a file that will playback on an IPOD device (H.264/MP4 Basic Setup)

Many MediaCoder users want to be able to playback media content with their portable devices. A confusing aspect is that these portable players require specific values for video, audio and picture size before the content can be played back. This article describes how to use MediaCoder to convert just about any playable media file for playing back on an IPOD device.

File Setup and Verification

1. Drag and drop the file you wish to convert into MediaCoder and verify that the file you wish to convert will indeed playback using MediaCoder. Usually, if it plays back fine with both audio and video, then it can be converted. Note: Many files are either encrypted or protected using some sort of method. DRM is one of these and is widely used for portable device audio and video media files. If your file is “protected” against copying, then usually, you will be unable to convert it.

2. Using the top menu,  click on “File” and the select “Revert All Settings”

Video Setup (click on the “Video” tab)

3. Format/Codec: H.264
4. Container/File Type: MP4
5. Bitrate: Set for “Bitrate Based” and enter a value 400 and up to 2500 Kbps. Note: Higher settings will produce higher quality video but also larger files.  In order to convert a original file (for instance a movie) that will fit on on a IPOD, this would be based on how much drive or memory space you have.  Use a bitrate/duration calculator to determine the video bitrate that will give the desired file size.
6. “Enable Video” and both “Auto Selects” should be checked.

Note: These are default when you “Revert All Settings” (File/Revert….)

On the right side pane, if you don’t see the x264 setup, then click on the tab.

7. Profile: Baseline
8. Level: 3.0
9. The rest of the settings in this window should be default….or:
Predictor Frames: 1
Motion Est. Mode: Normal
Motion Est. Range: 16
B-Frames: 3
Supel Refinement: 5

Audio Setup (Click on the “Audio” tab)

1. Encoder: Nero Encoder
2. Resample: 48000 Hz (you can try lower values if you want)
3. Channel: Stereo
4. Audio ID: Selects the audio channel or feed on multi language (Empty is default)
5. Gain: 0db (default)
6. Normalize: Checking this will boost all audio without distortion (default is unchecked)
7. “Auto Select” and “Enable Audio” are checked (default). “Copy Audio” is unchecked (default).

On the right side pane, if you don’t see the Nero Encoder setup, then click on the tab.

8. Profile: LC-AAC
9. Rate Mode: Target Bitrate
10. Bitrate/Quailty: Adjust the slider for a maximum of 160 Kbps
Note: Higher settings will produce better quality audio but make the final file larger.
11. Hint Track: Unchecked (Default)

Picture Size Setup (Click on the “Picture” tab)

1. Resize: This is the setting for the size or resolution of your final video. The maximum setting should be no more than 640 x 480, but you can try lower values which may reduce the final file size. To set the value, click/check the box next to the “Resize” button and then use the pull down arrow to select the size.
2. Crop: Disabled
3. Frame Rate; Frame Rate adjusts the apparent flicker or jitter in video. You can select a value up to 30 fps but lower values may work better on some devices.
4. Aspect Ratio: This is a method to “force” the relationship between the height and width of the final video. Incorrect settings may cause “stretching” or “squashing” of the video images. (Unchecked is the default)
5. Rotation: Unchecked
6. Effects-Display Encoding Frame: Checked (Uncheck for slower computers/processors)

No other settings are necessary. Click “Start” on the top menu to begin the conversion.

Conversion times are based on the following:

1. Original Video file type, complexity and duration
2. Computer system hardware (CPU/Processor, Memory, Paging File, Hard Drive Fragmentation)
3. Settings for video codec quality
4. Settings for audio codec quality
5. Settings for video size/resize/resolution, frame rate and bitrate
6. Other programs currently or background running on the computer

This setup test was verified using:
1. Windows XP Professional (SP2)
2. Intel Processor
3. FireFox 3.0
4. MediaCoder version/build 4166

Converting a AVI (720×404, 23.98 fps with MP3 audio) original duration 2:07 at 33.5 meg………..took about 5 minutes to convert using the above settings.

13 Responses

  1. Simon Harpham says:

    I tried the above using iTunes 8 and the resulting movie won’t import into iTunes (and therefore won’t sync to my iPod).

  2. Christopher says:

    i am having the same problem as simon

  3. Steerpike says:

    I’m having the exact same problem. I gave the source video to a friend who has ‘toast’ and he converted for me; the result imported into iTunes (and played on the iPhone). I followed the instructions to the letter. I also downloaded and tried the version of MediaCoder that is dedicated to the iPhone; no luck. iTunes ‘scans’ the file briefly, but refuses to put it in the list. Note – it seems to want to put it in the TV Shows list, not Movies list.

  4. John says:

    hey does h.264 play on the ipod 6th gen classic?

  5. mC says:

    I converted one video file that plays fine in QuickTime / iTunes.. but itunes just wont allow me to drag and drop it to ipod touch ….
    Is there something that i missed ?

  6. matt says:

    Tried these settings on RC3 and the iPod version to convert a Qtime MOV file and in evry instance the file length is truncated, for example 120sec becomes 110 sec and I loose the end of the audio track. What am I doing wrong?

  7. matt says:

    …forgot to mention that they do upload via iTunes and play okay on my iTouch…

  8. Xno Coder says:

    Somebody help Please i Tryed with the ipod version but it change the resolution…

    Please HELP US

  9. XT380792 says:


  10. MySpace…

    This post was mentioned on MySpace by Richard Hawkesford….

  11. iverbiggen says:

    Thank you- works like a charm on my kids new itouch.