Q: Is there any way I can transfer television shows recorded on my TiVo DVR to my iPod? It seems a bit silly that I’d have to purchase TV shows from iTunes, if I subscribe to both the TiVo service and cable. Help!
A: Absolutely. Windows users have two major options: TiVo’s own “TiVo Desktop Plus” software ($25, iLounge Rating: C) and TV Harmony’s AutoPilot (free). Either option will allow you to setup the automatic transfer of television shows from your TiVo to your PC, the automatic conversion of the files into an iPod-ready file format, and the automatic addition of these files into iTunes. Note that for either of these solutions, you’ll need a TiVo that’s been connected to your home network.
In our review of TiVo Desktop Plus above, we mention our thoughts on both products: TiVo Desktop Plus has the simplest interface of the two, but AutoPilot is quicker to encode iPod-ready videos, and they turn out better, too. Also, AutoPilot has a commercial-removing utility that TiVo Desktop Plus doesn’t. Plus, its price can’t be beat.