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How To Encode DVDs to Watch on the iPhone

by admin - February 23rd, 2008.
Filed under: apple, iphone, media, movies, tech.

handbrake grab…assuming you have a Mac computer with a recent version of iTunes and a DVD/combo drive or better, running OS 10.4.10 or higher:
Download HandBrake. Unless you’re a command-line freak, use the GUI link.
Install Handbrake from the downloaded / expanded .dmg file. Open the application.
Insert a chosen DVD into your Mac. You can encode the entire DVD for viewing on your iPhone, but depending on the quality, the resulting file can be over 4 gigabytes– make sure you have room on your iPhone before you load it up with video files.
If Apple’s DVD Player auto-opens, close it (or, at this point, if you don’t want to encode the entire DVD, you can skim through it and note the chapter(s) you want to encode for your iPhone. If the latter’s the case, close DVD Player when done. DVD Player and HandBrake do not play well together; avoid playing a DVD while HandBrake is indexing it).
Click “Source” at the top left of the HandBrake menubar.
When the Finder box comes up, locate the DVD on the Sidebar and/or Volumes popup, or in the Desktop folder on your Sidebar. Highlight the DVD icon a click Open.
HandBrake will pause while it scans/indexes your DVD.
A “Presets” drawer should have slid (slided?) out the right side of the HandBrake window (if it doesn’t, click the “Toggle Presets” icon on the top right of the menubar). Select “iPhone/iPod Touch” from that Presets screen.
Now you’ve got to decide/remember which chapter(s) you want to encode. Under the Source: menu (not the same as the Source menubar icon) there’s a Title popup where you can browse selections on the DVD. Often there will only be one. But you can also use the Chapters: popups to the right to select a specific range of chapters. Or encode the whole, huge thing.
Check again that the Presets drawer has “iPhone/iPod Touch” selection highlighted.
You can tweak the name of the file, the Framerate (FPS), Quality, etc. I tend to leave things at the default setting.
Click “Start” on the top menubar. A progress bar along the bottom of the HandBrake box will tell you how long encoding will take.
Default location for the encoded file should be your desktop. Locate the file. Open iTunes. Click on your Movies folder in the left sidebar. Drag and drop the encoded file to the Movies screen. Wait for it to copy to iTunes.
Tether your iPhone to your Mac via USB as you would for a sync. Click on your iPhone on the Devices menu on the left sidebar of iTunes.
On the tabbed “iPhone/Version/Options” screen in iTunes, click the Video tab at the top of the screen.
In the Movies section, click the checkbox for the file you just encoded.
On the bottom right of the screen, click Sync.
When syncing finishes, go to the iPod application of your iPhone. Tap “Videos” at the bottom of the screen. Your newly encoded file should display in the menu.

2 Responses to How To Encode DVDs to Watch on the iPhone

  1. too many words, not enough pictures.

  2. Buy me dinner at Zuni and I’ll give you an in-person tutorial.

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