OK, so last night I decided to “take the plunge” and get into movies for my iPhone. The whole Apple TV thing and movies on these little devices as always seemed a bit useless to me, since I almost always have my notebook with me. But my kids are into it so I figured I’d better get my arms around it. And I'll tell you waht - I discovered a whole new world of cool that is amazingly easy and powerful
First I tried purchasing a movie from Apple. I wanted to see how it worked and in their inimitable style, it went easily, quickly and flawlessly. I found what I was looking for (The Italian Job, a family favorite), one-click purchased it ($9.99) and it downloaded to my machine. I plugged in my iPhone, went to “movies” on it’s configuration window and oted to sync The Italian Job. That’s it. It took about 20-30 seconds (ish, I wasn’t really watching) for the movie to move from my machine to the iPhone. It is just about a gig in size, so with 6G taken up already I only have about a gig free, but with how easy it is, it became clear how Apple wants me to keep my library on my machine and move on and off what I want at any given time. Good enough.
Next I wanted to see about ripping my DVD collection onto my iPhone and potentially, an Apple TV since I was becoming more intrigued and started to get an itch in my wallet.
So I googled “Rip DVD to iPhone”
and came across HandBrake
, which is exactly that – a freeware DVD ripper and encoder for OS-X that has all the options to rip how you want to, but presets for things like iPod, iPhone and Apple TV. I was slightly skeptical but, knowing how the Mac community develops I was optimistic.
Result: I don’t know how it could be better. I downloaded the app, ripped Miss Congeniality (another family favorite) and put it into iTunes. It did not automatically get Album Cover Art, which I had to add manually, but that was trivial. I sat for a bit and thought about it and completely got Apple’s intentions to dominate the living room and how they are going to do it. And they are going to do it. I envision now my entire library (I swapped other vices for a nasty Laser Disc and then DVD habit a lot of years ago) on a large hard drive, serving all of our family pictures, music, recorded TV shows and movies to Apple TVs around the house. I imagine all of our media being selectable through the AppleTV portal, and all of our media being downloadable into our iPhones, touchable iPods and even the new, rumored Apple ultra-portable.
Steps to rip your DVDs into iTunes and then your iPhone
First: download HandBrake. The version that I am using can be downloaded from here:/graphics/handbrakediscimage.tar.gz
or your can visit the site and see what the latest version is here: http://handbrake.m0k.org/
HandBrake is available for OS-X, Windows and Linux!
Do the standard download and drag-the-application-to-your-applications folder bit. Then run it.
I love the icon BTW:
Here is the main window. On top of it, at first, you’ll get another window asking you for the “source.” This source is the DVD that you want to rip (as you can see, I am half way through ripping “Star Trek Nemesis.”)
Put the DVD into your computer. DVD Player might start up – quit it. Now, the DVD that you inserted will who up in the “source” list. Select it.
Handbrake will take a moment and scan the DVD. What is happening, is it is looking at all the clips on the disk. For example, if there are deleted scenes, or the intro menu, or other special features these will show up as viable options to rip. But handbrake will (by default) select the largest clip, which will certainly be the movie.
In the main body of the window you can see all the settable options – these are confusing and high-tech looking – stay away from them. Select the preset on the right which is your desired target
. Note that this will not make it so that you can ONLY see it in that format, but by default it will be optimized for that format. I selected iPhone and then clicked Start (in the image above, Start has been replaced by Stop). The ripping took a couple hours, because I selected 2-pass encoding and Turbo First Pass which, the website says, is the best way to get the highest quality rip without adding any file size.
When the rip was completed I had a new icon on my desktop of the MP4 file. I dragged it onto the iTunes icon in my dock
and it copied the file into my iTunes directory and added it to the Movies panel of iTunes. Double clicking on it in iTunes started it playing – I was successful! The next step was to get the cover art, which was not added from the DVD. The two places that I get my artwork for my cinema clients are here:http://www.impawards.com/http://imdb.com
I use IMDb when IMPAwards does not have it – the posters site is much higher quality but does not have the breadth that IMDb does. IBDb artwork is smaller and lower quality but will do in a pinch. When I find the movie at either site, I drag the poster image to my desk top (rip it from the website) – then in iTunes, I right-clicked or option-clicked on the new movie (Miss Congeniality) and selected “Album Artwork” – I simply dragged the image from my desktop into the “Add” dialog and that was it! All done!
Once again, I went to my iPhone configuration. I un-checked Italian Job and checked Miss Congeniality and clicked “Apply.” The movie I ripped seemed to take longer to move to my phone than the one I purchased, but the net-net was the same: I started the movie up on my iPhone and it was gorgeous and sounded great.
That's it! Ingenious and typical, all in one.
And if you think THIS post is Apple fellating, you should go to my blog and see this post entitled, "Apple invented the internet as we know it: http://www.perkiset.org/politics/2007/10/19/apple-invented-the-web-as-we-know-it/
Hehe… bet that’ll get some of you to drop by…