What are the pros & cons of doing all transfers in only mp4 for management in iTunes? I’d like to be able to get movies quickly/easily into my iphone for short trips where I’m not taking my laptop hence the desire to primarily use iTunes. On longer trips I’d watch directly from the laptop or connected laptop to TV.
Personally, I don’t use MPEG-4 for safety backups. Although large, high bitrate H.264 looks very good, to my eyes it’s not as good as a DVD backup and does not have equivalent navigation features. But it is all I travel with now. I keep about 20 movies on my Archos and rotate them. I archive the ones not in the current rotation on SL DVDs, which hold two to four depending on file size. Processing time is also longer in most cases to make an MPEG-4 backup vs. a DVD.
can you provide tips or links to info on making the best quality mp4 transfers that would work on ipod/iphone but also look good on larger screens(laptop/TV out)?
Joe, I don’t have an i-Pod or -Phone, so any specific advice I would give you would be speculation. Instead, let me encourge you to experiment to find the settings that work best for you. Using the great user controls in DVDFab you can make short test files (using the Title Start/End button) and see how different choices of screen size and bitrate effect the image.
Some general advice based on my own testing: it is difficult to find a single setting that will be optimum for all your playback needs–there are just too many tradeoffs, and the TV, iPod and iPhone screens are too different (4:3, 1.333:1 on the Pod, 3:2, 1.5:1 on the iPhone, 16:9, 1.77:1 on your widescreen TV) and the maximum bitrates supported by the mobile devices aren’t really high enough to look good on a widescreen HDTV in my opinion.
The great new cropping/sizing functions in DVD to Mobile can help you make great video for your mobiles (by concentrating the available bits in active video) that may look OK on your TV, but I don’t think you’ll find it as good as a DVD. But you decide, “good enough” is very subjective.
Maybe some other users of these devices can chime in with their experiences.