Best Video Transcoding App (OS X)

So I’m hoping to get an iPod Touch for Christmas, and have begun looking into applications to transcode existing videos I’ve downloaded (anime / tv episodes) into Touch-compatible formats (h.264 mpeg or something like that). I looked into Handbrake, but it will only transcode from DVD-rips or videos that haven’t been encoded in another format already. Does anyone have any recommendations? The two requirements I have are that the app must be available for OS X, and (preferably) free or as low-cost as possible. If worse comes to worse I could probably just buy Quicktime Pro, but I’d rather not have to spend $37.99+tax.

EDIT: Wasn’t sure if this belonged in Tech Talk or not, seems a bit too software-oriented for that forum IMHO, but I could be wrong.

the newest version of handbrake will do conversions as well as dvd rips. they say its still in beta but i use the linux version frequently and have no problems. if you want to rip dvds using this version you will need an up to date install of vlc.
get hand brake 0.9.3 here

Quicktime pro is only $29.99 but if you aren’t converting from DVD rips and just transcoding other mov files you might as well just buy QTPro, its cheap and does a good job (most of the time). Or if you are a law breaker you could track down QTPro online for free.

edit: didn’t see you were from CA, which is probably why it costs more, either way its not a bad deal, most video software runs much higher than $100

If I’m using Perian or FlipforMac to view other types of movies (avi, mkv, wmv, etc) in QT, will QTPro still be able to transcode those files?


Avi should be no problem and I am pretty sure I have converted a wmv to ipod format once, can’t remember though. I use flip4mac and I have QTpro and haven’t had any problems, but I haven’t done anything with Perian so I am not sure what it does or what problems would arise.

What version of QT are you using right now?

Using QT 7.5.5. I wish Apple had a trial version of QT pro so I could test out transcoding from formats and containers that QT can’t natively handle. Perian is basically like a codec pack for QuickTime - it’s a group of plugins which allow the QT play to play mkv files, files with AC3 audio, h.264 video in an avi container, etc. Doesn’t quite replace VLC, but means you can pretty much use the QT player for most video files you come across.

I generally rip DVDs with Mactheripper, and then compress them to a 650mb Mp4 using Handbrake. If I don’t have access to my Mac, and I’m using my Windows laptop, I’ll rip the DVD with DVDDecoder and transcode it to a 650mb AVI using AutoGK. That method doesn’t offer a lot of opportunities to tweak your settings, but it’s VERY easy and gives a pretty good result.

However, I’ve often found that Handbrake cannot read the source file if I want to transcode, say, from an AVI to another format like Mp4. Handbrake is not a “swiss-army-knife” transcoder. Neither is AutoGK if you’re using Windows.

Usually for that kind of transcoding I use a Windows PC and MediaCoder. It’ll transcode virtually any source format into virtually any target format.

If you really need an OSX transcoder, another option is ffmpegX ( I’ve had some success with it when I don’t have access to a PC with MediaCoder.

Another application I’ll use as a stop-gap is VLC Media Player. You can use it for transcoding, but you need to know your settings. Especially if you want to do a two-pass transcode. That gets complicated with something like VLC. (It’s super easy with MediaCoder).

On Windows, another application I sometimes use for transcoding is VirtualDub. It’s not at all automatic however (unlike MediaCoder), but in those rare occasions where MediaCoder gives me zero output (occasionally it fails completely), I’ve found that VirtualDub gets the job done.

And, even though I use Linux for my home server and one of my laptops, I have no idea what software I’d use on Linux for transcoding video.