One of the questions we're most regularly asked is where to find decent videos to watch on the iPod and PSP. Which is why we’ve decided to issue this two-part guide.
In this first instalment, we’re looking at using a Mac to put video onto an iPod and PSP; next week, we’ll use Windows XP.
Sourcing your video
First thing is to find video. The easiest one-stop way to get content onto your portable device is to record files from a television tuner for your Mac. Elgato’s Eye TV range is the best place it look – its new Version 2.0 software exports in the right formats for iPod and PSP.
Also easy to use are the increasing number of video podcasts and paid-for music video downloads available through iTunes. We balk at paying for promos, though, preferring to download them for free from sites such as Video-C and Quicktime. You will, however, need to invest $30 in a Quicktime Pro license in order to access the ‘save as source option’ as pictured.
Be warned, however – online videos are increasingly presented in Flash or streamed in Windows Media, which means you can’t copy them. Many full-length movie download services – such as Sky By Broadbrand and the new venture between lovefilm.com and Universal – are also useless to PSP/iPod owners because they use Windows Media Video format.
The alternative is to flirt with illegality. Hollywood is starting to take the music industry’s lead and sue downloaders who use file-sharing services like Limewire or Bittorrent. The services aren’t particularly reliable, either.
More frustratingly, you’re also breaking the law – in the UK at least – if you make copies of movies you already own on DVD. If you wish to disregard copyright law, there is a freeware program that will allow Mac users to make copies of their DVDs. It’s called MacTheRipper, and it’s easily found with Google search. Ripping a movie DVD takes around an hour, which leaves you with a folder called ‘VIDEO_TS’, full of seemingly useless files that need to be converted before they’re used.