Downloading music videos on to your iPod for the 20-minute journey to work is all well and good, but what if you're heading abroad and want to watch a movie on the plane? Apple doesn't sell TV shows or full-length feature films outside of the US, and iTunes doesn't help you to convert your DVDs or DivX files into the iPod format.
But now a third party has ridden to the rescue. interVideo's iVideoToGo does exactly what it says on the tin -- it will convert most video sources into a video format that will play back in iTunes and the iPod. We set about converting a DVD video and a number of DivX files using the £19.99 software.
While there is an option for converting DVDs, it's not as straightforward as that -- it all depends on what you mean by DVD. The iVideoToGo software can't convert commercial DVD movies as these are copy-protected, even if you've purchased them and want to make a copy for your own use. So this software won't convert your DVD collection. Crave wonders how many people have bought the application and been surprised to discover this.
Converting files that are already in computer format is much easier -- grab a QuickTime, DivX or XviD video and the software will convert it to MPEG-4 or H.264 video for the iPod.
On our rather lethargic test laptop PC, files were converted in roughly realtime speed -- fine for a two-minute movie trailer but more of a chore for a two-hour movie. Also, the software doesn't send video to the iPod directly -- you still need to use iTunes to sync it.
If you want to watch movies on your iPod and have plenty of DivX files to play around with, the iVideoToGo is a decent solution. The software is available now, with a PSP version also priced at £19.99. -GC