Month: March 2006

From DivX to iPod in Two Easy Steps

It took me a while to figure this one out, so I thought I’d share. Note, this is a Windows-only solution. I haven’t looked for converters for other OSes, but I know there are some nice ones out there:

I was looking for a way to take the divx videos in my collection and somehow treansfer them to my (shiny new) iPod video. You’d think it’d be an easy enough task, right? Well, I took a path that had many wrong turns and some ventures into bad places, but I finally came out okay. The main idea here was to take the video, convert it to a mp4 file that the iPod could play and retag it so that it shows up under the “TV Shows” list in the menu.

It’s not a one-click process, but it’s pretty close and it only involves two different pieces of software that are both free to use however:

  • Videora iPod Converter – This handy little piece of software can take a divx file and push it back out to you as an mp4 with a ton of different encoding settings. The interface is nice and friendly, and there’s even a “One-click Transcode” button once you have your settings down. It supports various languages for the interface, and you can even set up your own profiles to tweak your video output settings even more. It’s freeware, but I’d definitely donate to the cause – it’s one of the simplest/easiest converters to use
  • Win-AP – This handly piece of software does the magic of tagging the outputed mp4 file to work with the settings on the video iPod. Mainly what I was looking for (as I mentioned) was the ability to get my videos to show up under the “TV Shows” list on the iPod. Win-AP makes tagging the file simple, with fields for all sorts of information – Name, Artist, Album, Show, Episode Number, Season Number, etc. There’s no way to batch the tagging, but it’s still a handy little app.

It’s not too hard to figure out how it all works – once both are installed, you fire up Videora and point it at your divx video. After a while (depending on your system, maybe a long while), you’ll have a shiny new mp4 file sitting in your output directory. If you didn’t mind it not being tagged or anything, you could put that on your iPod right now. Me? I like to keep things organized, so I fire up Win-AP to get the tagging work done. It can create a backup file for the video it’s working with as well.

There’s tons of other ways to do this out there, but this was the first easy one I found…so enjoy!

Videora iPod Converter
Win-AP Show Tagger


So, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts the other day (Slice of SciFi) and they mentioned something about a new movie that’s just been put into production – ones based on a book I’d only recently read (well, it’s been maybe 6 months, but that’s recent, right?) by Steven Gould – Jumper. I adored the book, so, needles to say, I was ecstatic when I found out about the movie.

The (very basic) story of the book is:

A smart kid with a tough family life discovers that he has the ability to teleport. Empowered, he leaves home for NYC. While using his abilities to track the man he blames for the death of his mother years earlier, he draws the attention of both the NSA and a possibly nefarious guy his own age who has the same abilities and enters into a dangerous game of cat and mouse with both.

So, in an effort to share this great book and just general information about what I see to be a really cool little movie, I’ve created a site to keep those concerned up to date –

So far on the site, I’ve gathered up some of the production details of the movie and some quotes from Gould himself off of his blog. I emailed him about the site earlier and he was gracious enough to come over and post a few updates/comments to the posts already there…

Coastr: the Social Guide to Beer

By the way, on a quick un-PHP related note, if you haven’t seen Coastr yet and are a beer fan, you should check it out. It’s actively in development, and it’s a pretty cool idea – social “beermarking”.

Coastr is an experiment in social networking for beer snobs (meant as a compliment, of course!). The basic idea is for you to create a list of your favorite beers, and to connect you with other people with similar tastes. And those connections will help you discover interesting new brews that you might have not known about before. “Social beermarking”, if you will.

I’ve been adding stuff like crazy and I mentioned it the other day over on for the simple, site-enhancing Ajax it incorporates. It’s built with Ruby on Rails, but there’s nothing there that couldn’t be done with PHP.

Coastr: the Social Guide to Beer

03.08.2006: Just a quick update…it seems that he’s added another new feature to the site – the “My Drinking Buddies” section on the “My Page” for each user. It connects users by the beers that they have in common (showing the people that you have the most in common with). Very cool 🙂 Keep up the great work Brian!