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Convert DVDs for the iPod for Free

There are many ways to convert DVDs for use on your iPod.  I will illustrate one of them here.  Download and install two software programs, DVD43 and Handbrake.  DVD43 runs in the background and decrypts, or removes copy protection, from the movie.  It works with Windows 2000, XP and Vista.

ScreenShot058 ScreenShot061

In the taskbar pictured above you can see the green smiling face on the left.  When a DVD is in your drive, the smiley face signifies that DVD43 is ready to work.  A yellow unhappy face (on the right) means there is no DVD in the drive.  You don’t have to do anything with this program after it’s installed.  It runs automatically.  

Handbrake can’t convert movies unless they are decrypted.  Once you put a DVD in your drive and the green smiley face pops up, start Handbrake. 


Handbrake will read your DVD, which takes a minute or less.  See photo below.


Once the “source is read”, the first thing you do is press Browse to select a source.  Find your DVD drive.  Double click on your drive and you’ll see two folders.  Select the folder that says Video as opposed to audio, then press OK.  (Yes, I am a huge Hamtaro fan!)



The movie is now selected.  Next, select the destination.  I chose my Videos folder (see above).  You must name the file.  I name these files the same name as the movie.  At the far right of the software you’ll see choices for various devices.  I chose iPod Low Rez for my iPod Classic.  Note that PS3, PSP and many other devices are supported. 

When you are ready, press Start (see below) near the top left. 


You’ll see a Dos screen pop up.  It will show you the progress of the encoding.  It is not fast. 


The software is quite slow, actually, but is very easy to use and does a fine job.  I would estimate encoding takes about half the length of your movie, so for a 2 hour movie allow about one hour of time. 

Previously I used DVD Decrypter to decrypt movies, and Videora to convert the movies.  That combo worked well until recently, when DVD Decrypter stopped working suddenly.  Perhaps there is a conflict in my system?

When the encoding is finished the Dos screen goes away and Handbrake shows the text, “Encoding Finished” at the top right.

Now you must open iTunes and select “Add File to Library.”  You are ready to watch your movie.

How do you convert DVDs for the iPod?  If you have a better or alternative way, let us know by commenting.


November 9, 2008 - Posted by | iPod, Software, Tutorial

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