Converting Video for iPod with iTunes 6 (Mac & PC) | iLounge Article


Converting Video for iPod with iTunes 6 (Mac & PC)

When the video-capable fifth-generation iPod first shipped last year, Apple’s iTunes disappointed many users by lacking built-in tools to convert their existing videos to iPod-ready format. During those months, a handful of third-party solutions were required to encode video content for the iPod. We’ve covered several of them here for the Mac, but they’ve just become largely unnecessary for the casual user.

Why? Well, it’s not often that a small point revision to iTunes brings major new features, but iTunes 6.0.2 is an exception. It now handles video conversion to an iPod-compatible format, giving iPod owners access to the power of a key QuickTime Pro feature without the $29 cost.

As is typical for Apple, the added features are so subtly integrated that they may be difficult for some users to find. iLounge is here to help in this mini-tutorial.

Converting Video Clips with iTunes 6.0.2

iTunes 6.0.2 can make iPod-ready files from most QuickTime-compatible video formats, including MOV, MPEG, and MP4. The files are automatically converted to H.264-format video 320 pixels wide, and this setting cannot be customized within iTunes. To determine whether or not this is a satisfactory format choice for your usage habits, read our video formats tutorial here. Suffice to say that it’s perfectly good for iPod viewing, but on-TV or on-Mac/PC viewing is another story.

If you haven’t already, begin by adding your MOV, MPEG, or MP4 files to your iTunes Library either by using the “File → Add to Library…” menu item or by simply dragging them into your main iTunes Library window.

Then, highlight any videos you would like to convert. Multiple items can be selected at once by holding down “Shift” or “Control” (Mac: “Command”) while clicking on multiple items. Shift will select all files between two clicks, and Control/Command will select discrete individual items.

Then, right-click (Mac: Control-click) on one of the items you’ve selected, and select “Convert Selection for iPod.”

iTunes Right Click to Convert

Instantly, iTunes will begin work on your files. You can monitor its progress in two locations. First, the iTunes header will display the conversion progress through a single file:


iTunes Converting Status in Header

To see how far through your multiple-file selection iTunes has progressed, monitor the list made available under the “Converting Songs…” item that has appeared in your “Source” column:


iTunes Converting Status in Sidebar

When the conversion is complete, you will now have two files identically named, one of which is your original, and one of which is the new iPod-compatible version. How does one determine which file to delete? The new file may be either larger or smaller in size than the original, so don’t use this criteria. However, the “Kind” column for the new file will display “MPEG-4 video file,” and its “Date Added” will be more recent than the original. Remove the older file from your library.

What, technically, differentiates the files we’ve created? The easiest way to tell is to open them with QuickTime and view the video’s specifications:


Quicktime Pre-Conversion Info Window

Quicktime Post-Conversion Info Window

What’s left to do? Simply synchronize your iPod and enjoy your video clips! If you have any problems converting video files, Apple has posted a test file with instructions here. Need help converting files with higher-quality settings? Use our previous tutorial instead. DVD conversion is discussed separately here.

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Hi I tried converting some videos of mine to iPod format via iTunes to .m4v format but when I try to play the converted video in iTunes there is no sound only video.

If I convert my videos to iPod .m4v format in QT 7 Pro via its export feature though I get sound and video on my computer.

Did something go wrong. I’m using iTunes 6.0.2 with QT 7.0.3 on a PowerBook G4 with Mac OS X Panther (10.3.9)  and getting no sound in converted file but original file plays the sound.

If I convert my videos to .m4v though like I said in QT and then play them in iTunes they play perfectly.

Posted by iTunesfan on January 17, 2006 at 1:49 PM (CST)


Will this convert .avi to .m4v format?

Posted by stuttsdc on January 17, 2006 at 2:37 PM (CST)



Try updating your QuickTime to version 7.0.4… it may be required for the iTunes conversion feature. Use either Software Update or this webpage.

Posted by Jerrod H. in TX on January 17, 2006 at 4:33 PM (CST)


i have the same spund problem as itunesfan i dont have nay sound after conversion by quicktime pro version 7.0.4 and with itunes however this problem doesnt appear at the beginin but after i converted by about 15 min… i dont know y can anybody help me!!!

and thanks alot

Posted by Dialo on January 17, 2006 at 5:23 PM (CST)


Thanks for nothing!  I’ve downloaded the new version of iTunes 6.0.2 and now iTunes won’t open!  I’ve been spending the past 4 hours trying to figure it out with no luck yet.

Posted by kalboys on January 17, 2006 at 11:17 PM (CST)


What about WMV? iTunes won’t even import it, let alone convert it to an iPod-ready format.

Posted by Munkey on January 18, 2006 at 11:51 AM (CST)


this isn’t that great until they can offer a quick solution to converting DVDs.

Posted by cellphonejunkie on January 18, 2006 at 12:36 PM (CST)


Hi Jerrod, another great article. Just to add that I find the easiest way to differentiate between my original and my converted files is to command-click, “get-info” and check the “Date modified”. The latest one is invariably the conversion.

Posted by alfa1996 in UK on January 18, 2006 at 2:57 PM (CST)


is there a way yet to import dvds into itunes and then use this method to get them on to your ipod????  if so, please tell me, i have a lot of dvds i want on my ipod.

Posted by [email protected] on January 18, 2006 at 5:09 PM (CST)


Why does iTunes Music Store only have limited cd’s for some very popular groups like Dave Matthews or The Beatles?  Where can I find sites that let me legally download music not found in the iTunes Music Store?

Posted by surfdog on January 18, 2006 at 6:51 PM (CST)


I still can’t open open iTunes now after getting the new version.  In addition, I’m only getting answers from iTunes customer support that have nothing to do with the question I email to them.  I know this isn’t exactly the place but I’m desparate ... can anyone help me, please!?!?!?!?

Posted by kalboys on January 18, 2006 at 10:33 PM (CST)


OK, for those of you asking why audio does not play when converting them to .m4v, here’s the answer:

Posted by bubuyog on January 19, 2006 at 1:49 AM (CST)


Any suggestions for solving my problem the exact other way round: the result of the conversion contains only audio, but no video?? The video files I try to convert are already *.mp4 files created with Nero Recode. They only need to be converted because the resolution and bitrate is too high - despite of that, they already match the iPod requirements. When I choose “Convert selection for iPod”, some of the results only contain audio, others are converted correctly (although all of them were encoded with the exact same settings in Nero). I am waiting since the release of the new iTunes version that somebody in the forums out there has the same problem, but it seems as if I am the only one ... If you know any help, please let me know. Thanks a million.

Posted by zivilars on January 19, 2006 at 5:55 PM (CST)


pity that since there is no longer an easy way to convert / extract audio from video, which had been present at this very place before.

Posted by rudolfraith on January 21, 2006 at 6:03 PM (CST)


If you’re using a Mac and want to rip DVDs, look no further than Handbrake <> (an experimental Windows version is available). This application will read a DVD and find the discrete titles and chapters. You can resize and crop and export to H.264 and MPEG4. It’s the easiest way to select titles and chapters to rip.

I tried this new iTunes video feature and noticed that the bit rate for the audio was 384kbps. I had expected it to be 128kbps, which is the bit rate used in a video I bought from the ITMS. More testing required.

Posted by Japester on January 22, 2006 at 9:56 PM (CST)


Apparently there is one solution to the no audio problem due to muxed audio formats.
This program is pretty cheap at $10.

Posted by Piecemakr on January 23, 2006 at 2:03 AM (CST)


Just to let people know, podner is at version 1.3 at the moment. i bought it while ago, and it’s excelent, definitely worth the money.

Posted by axman6 on January 23, 2006 at 6:14 AM (CST)


Is there a fix for the no audio with video problem for pc’s?  Podner seems to be for macs only.

Posted by 7800 on January 23, 2006 at 7:53 PM (CST)


My movies were working fine, and then I had to reset my ipod by holding the Menu/Play buttons, now no video will play at all. What has happened?

Posted by Ipod4fun on January 24, 2006 at 9:42 PM (CST)


The funny thing is, they added software to convert videos, but the new 1.1 firmware for some reason has serious problems playing anything but videos bought off of iTunes.

See below for how to roll back to 1.0 Firmware:

Posted by polaris019 on January 25, 2006 at 7:35 PM (CST)


All those who have problems opening iTunes after updating to 6.0.2, I’ve had the same problem here. Solution was quick once I found out: I just hit Alt-Escape (this switches all the open window) until I hit the hidden “iTunes 6.0.2 Licence Agreement” window and click “Agree”. After this, all worded find.

Posted by cwis on January 26, 2006 at 10:59 AM (CST)


how do i even get the videos on my itunes. ive tryed a frequent amount of ways to get the movies on my computer on my itunes and itunes refuses to put them on there or show them.
how do i get them to show on my itunes?

Posted by Fall_FromGrace on January 26, 2006 at 10:07 PM (CST)


I have heard of people fixing their audio problems, when viewing movies, by turning the TV out off.  Maybe that’ll work. Hopefully.

Posted by mbrown9 on January 27, 2006 at 1:59 AM (CST)


I used iTunes to convert several videos and the sound was cut out of all the files, pretty useless for music videos.  Then I DL’d and tried the free Videora Ipod Converter.  It worked perfectly, the sound was included and this program is qquite a bit faster than iTunes.
Greg Scha 5G60GB

Posted by Greg on January 27, 2006 at 3:19 PM (CST)


the videora program does wonders for larger movie files or non itunes compatible video files, but unfortunately when i used it to convert my shorter music videos, many of them came out with the video and the audio out of sync. itunes may take a while longer to convert its compatible files to m4v format, but once they were finished, all my files were in PERFECT sync (obviously apart from the muxed video files). also rudolfraith, i know exactly what you are saying, a lot of the time i prefer the “video version” of a song over the actual radio edit, and since the new itunes has done away with the ability to convert video to audio i have found this very frustrating! the only way i am able to get round this is to use my other computer which has an older version of itunes! anyone have any ideas for a FREE alternative to convert video to mp3?

Posted by jdt3000 on January 28, 2006 at 2:05 AM (CST)


will this convert VOB or BUP files? Because I tried adding a DVD into the library and it won’t even get into the library. Can you help????

Posted by xgames4eva1990 on January 30, 2006 at 3:32 PM (CST)


hey basically i’m computer illiterate all i want is a straight and preferablly easy answer for how to get audio to play with my videos on my ipod

Posted by cstange on February 1, 2006 at 1:18 AM (CST)


Hi I tried converting some videos of mine to iPod format via iTunes to .m4v format but when I try to play the converted video in iTunes there is no sound only video.

I found the problem to that. Its an MPEG-1 file, but the question is how do I convert the MPEG-1 file into something that will process and I can use on my ipod.

Posted by Fall_FromGrace on February 4, 2006 at 8:02 PM (CST)


If you’re a Mac user, you can use iSquint

to convert muxed/problematic mpeg files to iPod-compatible mp4. See the iLounge tutorial “The Complete Guide to Converting Video to iPod Format (Mac)” for more info.

Posted by Sanjin in Baton Rouge, LA, USA on February 5, 2006 at 2:56 PM (CST)


I am unable to play videos on my ipod.  I was successful in previewing and purshasing from ITunes, but after downloading in to my ITunes Library the music plays and a still picture comes up, the same thing happens when trying to play off the ipod.  I authorized the videos after I purchased them.

Please Help!!,
Thanks in advance,

Posted by Kathymac on February 6, 2006 at 1:51 PM (CST)


hi, i read this page and i did what you said (dragging the video in and then converting it) but itunes wont even let me drag it in…
it shows the “not pssible sign”

thanks if you can help,

PS->im trying to drag in the video from windows media player if that would help in any way

Posted by ladidadida on February 11, 2006 at 5:53 PM (CST)


I have Itunes 6 and have recently purchased Quick TimePro to convert video files to my ipod and I also have no audio.  I am using a Windows computer, not a Mac.  Can anybody help?

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by dbroker on February 13, 2006 at 4:26 PM (CST)


I ran into the no audio problem today after using the iTunes internal converter.  Researched the heck out of it and found nothing that definitively said it would convert files in Windows with audio.

The problem is most often multiplexing (muxed or muxing in shorthand) and that means the type of files without audio after conversion were created where the audio and video were all part of the same data stream.

Apple’s topic on this says try third-party software.  I searched and searched ... found Videora for iPod.  It’s free.  Couldn’t find any documentation that said it would fix the muxing problem—but after getting desperate—I downloaded and tried.  It WORKED!

I’m delighted.  I didn’t mess with any settings and it converted just fine.

One word of warning—there was one site offering a free conversion service where you point the site to the file on your computer and it magically converts for you and puts on your computer.  This is fishy as heck.  Beware.  Sounds like a phishing or spearphishing attempt to get to your files & computer.  Maybe that’s just the skeptic in me.

Rock on. Thanks for the tutorials Jerrod. Contact me when you graduate and need a job.  I may be able to help.

Posted by LDiablo on March 10, 2006 at 9:00 PM (CST)


I have been having the same problem, and trying to solve it for 2 weeks!  It seems to be in the coding of the audio… the output needs to be ACC, it looks like the video bit rate can be as high as 512K, screen size 320x240.  I had some success with intervideo platinum addition but only with h264, sony psp setting, profile 2.  I took a failed conversion back through QT, will see if that works but double conversions!!!!  I have one more thing to try…

Posted by PBrusso on March 11, 2006 at 1:20 AM (CST)


Update…the super DVD software studders at precisely 31 seconds into the conversion (2 trys from different DVDs).  The sound is bad too.  It puts an “unreg… version” on the coversion, which is ok for a free trial. I emailed them and will let everyone know the outcome…

Posted by PBrusso on March 11, 2006 at 11:09 AM (CST)


Final update: Intervideo DVD copy Platinum did it!  Settings are copy as h.264 iPod, profile 1.  Good sound, ok video… not the greatest but usable… cool feature for menu driven DVDs is that you can select all or part of the DVD.  Good converting…

Posted by PBrusso on March 11, 2006 at 7:15 PM (CST)


Hi, I have the same problem as Fall_FromGrace from January 26 posting.  I definitely have v6 of Itunes, the proper Ipod (I bought the 60G in january) and I have followed the converting my home movies, which happens successfully, and also downloaded tv videos from the Itunes music store, which play successfully on my windows-based desktop, but when I go to sync up (after manually selecting each through the Ipod Options menu), nothing actually syncs for Videos.  I can sync all music, playlists, pictures, and music podcasts- just not videos.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I was going to call Apple for help tonight?

Posted by Lori48 on March 22, 2006 at 8:24 AM (CST)


For $35 you can buy one of several different products out there to convert DVDs to Ipod.  I compared several and chose PQ DVD because it is the easiest, most intuitive and works like a DVD player.  Click on Play, Click on Record….and off it goes.

Posted by janisg1 on April 5, 2006 at 3:41 PM (CDT)


I have just bought my ipod. I downlowded a music video from Limewire. I can’t convert. Instead of “Convert Selection for iPod”, it says “Convert selection for AECC” ??? I click on this and an unknown error occurs. File type is mpeg. HELP ! PLEASE!

Posted by kcode on April 11, 2006 at 10:37 PM (CDT)


Ok Ok I had the wrong version of Itunes. Hehehehe. I also now have Videora. IT IS SUPER !!! Cheers….............

Posted by kcode on April 17, 2006 at 8:47 PM (CDT)


I have downloaded some dvds, and they are in the right format, according to itunes, but for some reason, they do not get onto my ipod when it updates.  I am not terribly technical, but if you had some kind of way to address this, it would be great.

Posted by Cesco on April 22, 2006 at 4:22 AM (CDT)


I wanted to transfer dvd movies onto my ipod.I was told to buy the quicktime pro.I did so.It will have all the info.I found nothing.Today I was told to get into your webside and all the info will be in it.I found nothing to help me out.What do I do.

Posted by bul786 on May 5, 2006 at 2:21 PM (CDT)


free versions -

Use DVD Shrink to copy the files onto your harddrive

Use handbrake to convert to MP4

Posted by studstud on June 20, 2006 at 2:56 PM (CDT)


I just got a new ipod video and spent the day getting all the software needed to convert dvds to ipod playable files on pc. Your guide was great but unfortunatly although my movies work in itunes and have transfered to ipod they don’t play. When i try to play them all i get is a black screen for about 12 seconds then it returns to main menu, and yes i have set “tv out” to “off” Any help you could give would be great.

Posted by Aj18 on August 4, 2006 at 8:21 AM (CDT)


Hi there folks.

I would guess that most people have Nero on their PC’s. I use Nero recode to convert .avi and .iso files. You have to set it up a bit first eg. reset screen size to 320x288, also click quicktime compatibility. It recodes in quicktime mpeg-4 file format. After that, it’s just a matter of importing the new file into iTunes. Works a treat for me. I can rip DVD’s and convert or even convert downloaded avi files. I am currently adding the first couple of episodes of Lost season 3 to my iPod.

Try it out folks, it works a treat.

Posted by Vibe4philo on October 14, 2006 at 7:19 PM (CDT)


Hi, I’m having the same problem as “itunesfan”. I converted my video, but there’s no sound! What do i do?

Posted by KameLuv on December 28, 2006 at 9:45 PM (CST)


I have iTunes on my PC running Win-XP SP2 and Office 2003. Whenver i try to eject my iPods(60 & 80 GB video)after connecting them, there’s an error message saying that it can’t be ejected as it contains files that are in use by another application.I have taken every precaution to close all running applications,confirmed this from windows task manager,and still can’t eject them. Ultimately I am forced to unplug as such, which I’m afraid, will cause my iPods to malfunctin. Please suggest remedies.

Posted by Arunabh on January 15, 2007 at 9:39 PM (CST)


Like others out there I have not been able to import my converted files to ITunes (v7.02).  I have followed the key instructions and am confident the files have been ripped and converted correctly.  ITunes just does not seem to accept the file when I ‘click and drag’, ‘add to library’ or ‘import’.  Any ideas?  Could this have anything to do with Quicktime over-riding Itunes when the files are selected for playing?

Posted by MRMG on March 6, 2007 at 3:34 AM (CST)


I’‘m converting a movie for my IPOD using the ITunes converter on my PC.  It’s been running for 15 hours and is only 3/4 done.  Is this normal?

Posted by Fishless on September 28, 2009 at 2:50 PM (CDT)


I tried doing this but when i played my movie there was no video. You could hear everything but the screem would stay white?

Posted by Katelyn on December 29, 2009 at 10:10 PM (CST)

51 cousin uploaded songs onto my ipod from her computer and i took some videos and wanted to upload them to my computer but now every time i connect my ipod to the computer it says synchronizing but its really not how do i put the videos on my computer without deleting all my songs?

Posted by aly on March 13, 2010 at 1:00 AM (CST)

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