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Recently a friend of mine asked for my help to find a video of a good presentation to be shown to one of his classes. He also requested for it to be iPod friendly as he would also distribute the video to his students. Three things came to my mind: Steve Jobs, Quicktime and Handbrake.

Mr. Jobs is well known for his great presentations which are often used as references. I have several Apple Keynotes videos. For my friend, I decided to choose the one that introduced MacBook Air – the one that never fails to deliver the wow effect to the non-techie audience. It’s a part of January 2008 Macworld Keynote.

First step: The Cutting

To get only a specific part of the Keynote, I clipped the 1+ hour video into about 20 minutes using Quicktime X (which comes with Snow Leopard).

I opened the movie using Quicktime X and chose Trim from the Edit menu (Command + T).

convert video files


Then I chose the start and end of my clip by moving both edges of the trimming bar to the desired position.

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convert video files

To increase the precision, I moved the edges little by little using the left and right arrow buttons.

Then I clicked “Save As” from the File menu (Command + Shift + S)

To know more about Quicktime X, also check out our article on using it to do quick screencasting Use Quicktime X in Mac Snow Leopard for Easy Screencasting Use Quicktime X in Mac Snow Leopard for Easy Screencasting Read More .

Second Step: The Conversion

In the computer world, the name Handbrake is identical with video converting. This open source application is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac. In late November 2009, Handbrake just released its latest version: 0.94 with several new features and changes.

To me, the most notable change is the speed. This is because the latest Handbrake is already supporting 64-bit while the old ones are still in 32-bit. This allows the 64-bit build to utilize the real power of Intel Core 2 Duo, even if your Mac is still under Leopard.

Please note that this speed-up applies only to the Mac and Linux versions. Windows users are still stuck with the old 32-bit for some more time.

To convert the video file, I selected the clipped presentation video file by clicking “Source” and browsed to the location. To speed up the process, you could use the search feature.

convert video files

I, and I’m sure many other users also, don’t know (and don’t want to know) the exact settings of video files which will play along well with the iPod. Handbrake understands this and give its users several pre-configured presets available from the side window.

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Just choose iPod from the options and everything will be adjusted accordingly.

If you know what you are doing, you can add more presets to the list by clicking the Plus (+) button on the lower part of the side window.

You could also do several conversions one after another by putting the configured video file to the queue and clicking “Source” to add others.

convert video freeware

And after everything is set, click the start button and make yourself a cup of coffee.

convert video freeware

In my 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook, Handbrake needed a little more than 8 minutes (probably faster because Handbrake’s seconds ticked faster than the menubar’s clock) to convert 140.3MB of .mov file to 113.3MB of iPod compatible mp4.

convert powerpoint to video

After the conversion was done, I opened the file using iTunes. It will be synchronized with my iPod the next time I plug it in. I also passed a copy to my friend.

convert powerpoint to video

A Little Experiment

I was curious. I felt that the 64-bit build is faster. But is it really faster? I wanted to compare both the 32-bit and 64-bit builds head to head. Fortunately, I still keep an older version of Handbrake. For the sake of comparison, I reinstalled version 0.93 (the 32-bit build) and did the exact same conversion of the same movie file on the same machine.

On a smaller size movie file, the difference is not really notable. But with larger files, the 64-bit build is clearly faster.

These are the comparisons I did using one and a half hours of .avi movie:

32-bit – about 20 minutes (because the ETA counter moved up and down)

convert powerpoint to video

64-bit – about 15 minutes or less (because the ETA counter moved down faster than the real clock)

04 b HandBrake conversion 64.jpg

Aside from the speed, there are more features hidden underneath this new version. You can refer to the official site for more information and if you haven’t upgraded your version of Handbrake, now is the perfect time to do it.

Don’t forget to check out our older article about using Handbrake to convert a DVD for the iPod How To Rip & Convert A DVD Movie For Your iPod (Mac Only) How To Rip & Convert A DVD Movie For Your iPod (Mac Only) Read More .

  1. quicktime converter for mac
    February 5, 2010 at 4:49 am

    You can also make use of the quicktime converter for mac to convert your video file. It converts the video with fast speed and you won't have any problem in using it because it supports graphical user interface.

  2. slbarry10
    December 18, 2009 at 7:42 am

    I don't know if anyone else is having this difficulty - but when I downloaded the Handbrake 64bit and tried to use it, it said it required VLC 64 bit ... which according to the VLC download link, there is no 64 bit VLC yet due to a lack of developers. Is anyone else having this problem?

  3. Sharninder
    December 16, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Handbrake absolutely rocks for this video conversion and I'm so glad they made the change to being a general purpose converter rather than the DVD to iPod tool it was earlier.

    Oh and I AM LOVING the new design of the site.

    • Aibek
      December 19, 2009 at 6:53 am

      thanks! :-)

  4. Doc
    December 15, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Used the previous version of HandBrake for Windows; the new version doesn't support DivX/Xvid, so it's useless to me (I have a DivX-compatible DVD player, but it doesn't support x264; aside from Blu-Ray players and PCs, not much does).

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