Thursday, February 2, 2012

Encode AVI for iPad (for Free)

I wanted to convert an old movie of mine to m4v so that I could watch it on my iPad. I was unable to import it into my iTunes since the format didn't match, so I had to convert it to a format that makes iTunes happy -- namely mpeg4.

Since I didn't want to pay for Handbrake (and they don't have a default iPad format), I decided to just do it myself using ffmpeg.

I am on a mac, so I needed to install ffmpeg. The easiest way to do that was to use homebrew. My first attempt to install failed because home brew had some issues.  As it ended up, I had to uninstall home brew and uninstall mac ports (don't forget sudo rm /usr/local/bin/{brew,port})! I went through some drama with my Ruby installation (1.8.7), since home brew wasn't loading, which involved using rvm to install 1.9.3, then 1.9.2, and then back to my system install, which suddenly started working again with the brew install script.

Next: brew install ffmpeg. This got me *all* the required dependencies for ffmpeg in one go! Awesome.

Next, the encoding line:

ffmpeg -i myMovieFile.avi -acodec libfaac -ac 2 -ab 160k -s 1024x768 -vcodec libx264 -vpre iPod640 -b 1200k -f mp4 -threads 0 myMovieFile.ipad.aac

which I adapted from, https://develop.participatoryculture.org/index.php/ConversionMatrix

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