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Anyone know how I can convert mp4 files meant for the iphone/itouch to a a video files that will work on a regular ipod that supports video with Linux.

Command line would be better, multicore support would be good too.

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what's the difference? – quack quixote Mar 3 '10 at 1:09
~quack: I honestly don't know, iTunes says the ipod can't play it and wants to convert it. Converting the files on one of my Linux machines would probably be a lot faster. – Kyle Brandt Mar 3 '10 at 12:04
if you look up the specific models on you may find why the video needs to be re-encoded – Shevek May 10 '10 at 10:23

I would suggest Handbrake.

HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows.

Moreover, it has built-in presets for iPod and iPhone and it could be used with a GUI or a CLI.

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Tried with the universal preset and the result didn't work either. Ran out of time, next time I will have a go at sal's answer, and hte ipod preset in handbrake. – Kyle Brandt Mar 3 '10 at 12:05

I installed ffmpeg, libfaad, libfaac and x264 and have been using this command

ffmpeg -i "file.avi" -acodec libfaac -ab 128k -s 640x480 -vcodec libx264 -vpre hq -vpre ipod640 -threads 0 -f ipod "file.m4v"  

I build ffmpeg this way

svn checkout svn:// ffmpeg
cd ffmpeg
./configure --enable-gpl --enable-version3 --enable-nonfree --enable-postproc --enable-pthreads --enable-libfaac --enable-libfaad --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-libtheora --enable-libx264 --enable-libxvid --enable-x11grab
make all
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FFmpeg is probably the best free video converter out there.

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Avidemux has some presets built in for Apple products:

Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities.

Avidemux is available for Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows under the GNU GPL license. The program was written from scratch by Mean, but code from other people and projects has been used as well. Patches, translations and even bug reports are always welcome.

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