How to: Quick and Easy Video for the iPhone, Apple TV and new iPods
Ripping DVDs, transferring video from cameras, or converting downloaded videos from various sources for Apple products can be a difficult and time consuming process. Now with a software update for the Turbo.264 hardware-based video encoder from Elgato Systems, Macintosh users now have a definitive best and fastest way to encode video for all of Apple’s latest products.
This small device simply plugs into any Intel or PowerPC based Mac with a USB port (USB 2 is highly recommended). All of the heavy processing normally done by your computer is offloaded onto the Turbo.264 encoder, resulting in much faster encoding and freeing up your Mac for other tasks.
The older and slower your Mac, the more significant the speed increase will be with this device. We found the Turbo.264 encoded video up to 20 times faster on a G4, but even on higher end Intel based Macs, encoding times were drastically improved with the Turbo.264.
The Elgato Turbo.264 goes for about $90 on Amazon.com, making it a very inexpensive way to bring new life to an old Mac as a video encoding workstation.
The new software for the Turbo.264 couldn’t be any easier to use. As with the earlier software, it allows for batch processing, but more importantly, it provides support for custom data rates and other settings. It also includes simple selections for encoding video optimized for the Apple TV, iPhone, iPods, or the recently announced iPod Touch, iPod Classic and iPod Nano (also known as the iPod Nano Fatty.
While the included software is easy to use, the Turbo.264 comes with plug-ins for QuickTime that allow it to work with any application that uses QuickTime for export. This includes Final Cut Express, Final Cut Pro, iMovie (including both HD and ’08) and third party video apps such as Roxio Popcorn.
For an alternative to the Turbo.264 from Elgato, consider the VideoExpress from Miglia. The Miglia compares very well in terms of hardware and performance, but we find the software for the Turbo.264 to be much better due to the ability to easily customize the settings.
[9/12/2007 – update…]See also: