IpodMe: Ipod video converter that is reliable, portable, and lightweight


IPodMe is a free, open source program that can convert video into MP4 format suitable for iPod or iPhone playback. It is a portable, single executable which contains all the filters and codecs needed for it to do its job.

Want to convert your videos so you could play them on your Ipod or Iphone? iPodMe is a handy little program that can do this for you.

iPodME is built around a handful of pre-determined conversion “profiles” designed to make it easy for users to decide on what kind of conversion they want based on 3 parameters: the desired speed of conversion (slow/fast/turbo), and whether to optimize for video quality or for optimal video size.

It also offers a “custom” profile for user who, like me, prefer to have more control over what the conversion parameters are.

Note: if you want a simple, short guide for how to make quick, good conversions with iPodMe see my “Recommended conversions” section below.

Here are seven eight reasons why this program is cool:

  1. The way it deals with video resolution: when making your decision as to the resolution you prefer (640×480, 480×320, or 320×240), iPodMe will automatically resize to the closest resolution to the one you request while maintaining the original aspect ratio, without stretching or distorting or surrounding your video with black lines on top and bottom. If you actually want to stretch and resize your video you can check a box and the program can do that as well.
  2. Encoders: you can choose from either x264 or Xvid. Both are built in; no need to worry about getting these installed on your system separately.
  3. Three quality modes: you can either choose to (a) set average bitrate, (b) set a constant quality quantizer, or (c) set Output size, and let the program determine the bitrate. This third one is the most useful in my opinion and makes the program much more practical to use than other similar programs that do not have this option.
  4. Batch conversions: are possible. Will use the same settings for all selected files, which can be useful if, say, you are converting a bunch of episodes from a TV series and want the same output parameters.
  5. Portable: a single, self contained file, approx 4 megs. Unzip and run. Note that it requires MS .NET to run.
  6. The user interface: simple, uncomplicated, straightforward. Doesn’t drown you in options and does not throw unexpected curveballs.
  7. Can burn subtitles: use an .srt subtitle file with the exact same name as the video you are converting.
  8. Open source: yes, you can download the source freely

Recommended conversions: here’s what I do to get excellent video conversions for my iPhone every time.

  1. Resolution: set at 640×480. This is suitable for most recent Ipods/Iphones (5th gen+). If you have an older Ipod you may need to use 320×240. I like this resolution because it plays well on both the Ipod and the PC screens.
  2. Profile: custom
  3. Click the “More options” button and set the output folder where you want your converted files.
  4. Encoder: x264
  5. Profile: Best Quality. Might take slightly longer than the others, but usually I’m not concerned about that.
  6. Mode: Output size. Tell it the size of your output file in megs. I usually set it somewhere close to the original or 700 megs to fit a single CD, if that is a concern.
  7. Check “resample audio track”, set Frequency at 48000
  8. Set bitrate at 160 kbps (which is the max that can be used on an Ipod video).
  9. Voila. You’re done.

The verdict: a terrific program that does the job brilliantly. What I like about this program is that I can recommend it to people who want to convert videos for their iPods/iPhones knowing that it supports 640×480 resolutions (some Ipod video converters don’t), not worrying about whether they will have the correct encoders installed on their machines, and knowing that they have the option to just set the output video size, instead of messing with bitrates and such.

Also, I have tested this with about a dozen or so conversions and found it to be very reliable. I highly recommend it!

Version Tested: 2.0Freewaregenius 5-Star Pick
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista. Requires Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or newer. (This is already pre-installed in Vista).

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 3.9 megs).