Monthly Archives: October 2005

Reclaiming my Name

I have almost reclaimed my name! For a while, all the news about Brock Lesnar and Mike Tice usurped my google rankings. There is now only one hit about them left on the first results page when you type “brock tice” into google, and it’s the last one. Soon, the whole page shall be mine once more!

Encoding Movies for the iPod Video using Linux

If you want to encode video that you have on DVD for your iPod Video, a nice utility called HandBrake will do it for you. It works pretty well on Mac OS X, but my laptop’s a little slow in the I/O department, and I prefer to use my Linux desktop for encoding.

Caveat: it’s illegal to rip commercial, encrypted DVDs to your computer. Non-encrypted DVDs for which you have copyright permission, for example your home videos, are legal to rip. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s a little script I wrote to rip DVDs using HandBrake for linux:

# Filename is dvd2ipod
# $1 - output filename
# $2 - title number
handbrake -f mp4 -i /dev/dvdrw \
-o $1 -t $2 -e ffmpeg -E faac -w 320

It assumes that you’ve installed HandBrake, and renamed HBTest to ‘handbrake’ and put it somewhere in your path. It also assumes that your DVD drive is /dev/dvdrw. This outputs video in a format that iTunes will let you import, and subsequently play on your iPod Video. I didn’t set anything for audio tracks, subtitles, etc. It uses the defaults. You can easily modify this script for that. The important things are the dimensions ( -w 320 ) and the codecs ( -e ffmpeg, -f mp4, -E faac ). The first argument is the output filename you want, and the second is the title number that you want from the DVD. Say you have a DVD from your wedding with two titles — the wedding, and the reception. If the wedding is title 1, and the reception is title 2, to rip the reception, you’d do this:

dvd2ipod OurWeddingReception.mp4 2

Wait a bit, ignore the error messages as long as it keeps encoding, and enjoy showing your friends/family/coworkers your reception (or whatever)!

ADDENDUM 2007-02-07: You can now use larger movie sizes, up to 640×480, so you may want to change that if you plan on playing to an external display device. Otherwise, stick with what’s written above, as the 5G video ipod only has a QVGA screen.

Planning my trip to Houston

I’m going to Houston on Friday to see Amanda. I’ll be returning on the first of November. I was worried before about finding a ride to the airport, or paying to park, but it turns out that there’s a light rail system that picks up about a 10 minute walk from my apartment and goes straight to the airport. And I think it’s less than $2 each way.

In the mean time, I have to finish prepping a brief presentation and continue working on my paper. That’s all for now.