Play video on your iPod
Convert movies for iPod playback
Unfortunately, you can't just dump any old movie on your iPod as-is and expect it to play it back. You'll need to convert the videos you want to play with Mplayer, which you installed on your PC in the second step of this project.
The good news is that Mplayer can handle almost any kind of digital video file and convert it to something your iPod can handle. The bad news is that you won't have the benefit of a graphical user interface to make that conversion happen.
Yes, to convert your videos, we're going to use Cygwin's command-line interface to communicate with Mplayer and have it reformat the videos for the iPod. And this is where the "foreign language" portion of this tutorial begins.
Let's get ready for some command-line excitement!
- First, place the video file you want to convert in the Mplayer folder.
- Launch Cygwin. Type the following command to navigate to the Mplayer folder:
- Now you'll enter the video conversion parameters for your movie. The commands you'll enter depend upon the iPod you have, so these steps apply only for a 1G, 2G, or 3G iPod with a grayscale screen. If you're using any other kind of iPod, stop right now and consult the iPodLinux site.
For grayscale (noncolor) iPods, enter the following command into Cygwin. After entering this string of text, press Enter. Replace YourVideoNameHere with the name of the video file you want to convert, including the file extension (.mov, .avi, .wmv, and so on).
./mencoder.exe -ovc raw -ofps 15 -nosound -vf After pressing Enter, you should see some code scroll down your screen in the Cygwin window. Once it stops, enter the following command in Cygwin (replace FinalMovieName with whatever title you want your iPod-friendly video to be, but be sure to include the .avi file extension after it):
scale=160:-2,expand=160:128,format=bgr24 YourVideoNameHere -o ipodmovie.avi
./2bppconv movie.avi FinalMovieName.avi
Now you have a video that's ready to play on your iPod; you just need to put that clip on your player.
- Open your Mplayer folder and find the FinalMovieName.avi file. Drag and drop the file onto your desktop.
- Boot your iPod into Disk Mode by holding down the Menu and Play buttons. Hold down the rewind button when it restarts to launch the Apple firmware.
- Connect the iPod to your computer.
- Open My Computer, locate your iPod, and create a new folder in the top directory named Movies.
- Drag and drop the movie from your desktop to the Movies folder on your iPod.
- Disconnect your iPod. It should automatically reboot into iPodLinux.
- On your iPod, scroll down to File Browser and click the center button. You'll see a list of folders on your iPod.
- Scroll down to the folder named hp and click the center button. You should find your Movies folder in that directory.
- Find your movie and select it. It should start playing on your iPod.
Congratulations! You have an unofficial video iPod. Sure, it's gimmicky: the videos are really small and don't have any sound. But you'll be sure to turn heads in public places with your iPod movies, and your new arsenal of games will come in handy when you're killing time at the bus stop.
Play video on your iPod