How to Put Video on Your Video iPod

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The new 5th Generation iPods have Video capability. You can create video playlists, sync and watch movies in both letterbox (16:9) and regular format. You can even watch those movies on a television set directly from your iPod with an extra cable, available from Apple. The question remains, how do you get a video into an iPod to begin with? For many videos this is an easy task, assuming you have iTunes, but if your video is not supported the process becomes far harder.


Understand the formats

  1. Learn both the video and and audio formats compatible with iPod and iTunes. These programs are compatible with only two codecs:
    • H.264
    • Filename extensions: .m4v, .mp4, and .mov
    • Video: Up to 768 kbits/sec, 320 x 240, 30 frames per second (fps), Baseline Profile up to Level 1.3.
    • Audio: AAC-LC up to 160 kbits/sec, 48 Khz, and stereo audio.
    • MPEG-4
    • Filename extensions: .m4v, .mp4, and .mov
    • Video: Up to 2.5 Mbits/sec, 480 x 480, 30 fps, Simple Profile.
    • Audio: AAC-LC up to 160 kbits/sec, 48 Khz, stereo audio.
    • Note that these are the maximums, you can always create a lower quality video for your iPod.
    • You need a .mov file.

Understand muxed

  1. If your video plays on the iPod but you have no sound this means you may have muxed sound or an incompatible sound format. When files are muxed, they contain interleaved audio and video tracks (theyre mixed together instead of stored in separate tracks). To find out if your file is muxed:
    1. Open the original movie file in QuickTime Player.
    1. From the Window menu, chose Show Movie Info.
    2. Click the More Info disclosure triangle in the Movie Info window (if its closed).
    3. Note the entry next to "Format."
    4. If the format is "MPEG1 Muxed" or "MPEG2 Muxed," the audio portion of your video file is incompatible with your iPod and iTunes applications, and with anything else based on QuickTime. There is not fix for this other than to use a third party application to convert all of the file.
    5. Use ffmpegx or iSquint on Macintosh to do this.

Convert video to iPod format with iTunes

  1. There are many ways to convert video files into the correct format for your iPod. All of the methods use third party applications, which vary by platform and your video source. For example, to get video from a DVD you will need different software that converting a video from YouTube.
  2. Convert with QuickTime Player Pro
    1. Download and install QuickTime Player Pro 7.0.3
    2. Select or import your video file.
    3. Select File->Export
    4. From the Export drop-down list choose Movie to iPod.
    5. A new file will be created on your Desktop. Import this file into iTunes and sync your iPod.
  3. Convert with other QuickTime supported Apple software. With QuickTime Pro other Apple software which uses the QuickTime Export Panel will also be able to export to iPod format.
      1. Install and upgrade to QuickTime 7.0.3 Pro.
      2. Use Final Cut Pro or iMovie to export iPod compatible video.
      3. Use iTunes to sync new movies to the iPod.

Convert your video file to the correct format

  1. Many third party software applications will convert video and accompanying audio to these formats.
    1. Choose software for Windows:
      • Videora is a popular choice.
      • PQDVD also works but is considered complicated.
      • 3GP Converter is another popular choice.
      • Leawo Free iPod Converter is another choice.
    2. Choose software for Macintosh:
      • Handbrake, originally a BeOS application has the simplest user interface. A Windows version may also be coming soon.
      • iSquint is another popular application.

Import correctly formatted video

  1. Once you have videos from other sources in the correct format, import the correctly formatted video and audio into your iPod following these steps:
    1. Open iTunes.
    2. Select Movies.
    3. Select File->Import. The movie imports into iTunes.
    4. Select the movie with a single click.
    5. Select Advanced->Convert Selection for iPod
      • You can also right-click on the movie file icon and select this option.
    6. Select the new file created to sync.
    7. Sync your iPod with iTunes.

Buy videos

  1. Know that any video you buy from the Apple store is going to play in your iPod:
    1. Download and pay for the video.
    2. Connect the iPod.
    3. Select the video for your iPod.
    4. Sync your iPod.


  • If iTunes produces an error message when converting your video to iPod format it means you did not use the correct format to import into iTunes.
  • CSS is an anti-piracy scheme for DVDs that uses encryption to protect the discs contents. In some countries, like the United States, you could be in violation of the US Criminal Code (Chapter 17, Section 1201) by taking video from your DVDs.


  • Always use the latest software version you can, especially install the latest version of QuickTime.
  • If your video is muxed video, it will lost sound when you convert it with iTunes. For Mac user, iSquint can deal with muxed video, the download link is in the "Sources and Citations" section.

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