SlySoft CloneDVD Mobile
So now that you have a video iPod, how do you load videos on it? There's the iTunes Music Store and Google Video, but what about content from DVDs you already own? SlySoft's CloneDVD Mobile offers an easy way to create compressed videos that play on the iPod, the , and other portable devices. The downside--and it's a big one--is that it doesn't work with copy-protected DVDs. (The HandBrake Lite utility does, however.)
CloneDVD Mobile sells for a steep $39, although there's a generous 21-day trial, so you can make sure that you can't live without it before you put up your money. The interface is clearly laid out and walks you through the few necessary steps. You select your device, choose your DVD, and tell the program where to save the results.
The interface has a few confusing gotchas the first time you use it. The first time, it didn't detect our test DVD automatically; we had to tell it to look in the E: drive. The pull-down menu didn't even list E: as an option, so we had to type it in. Once we did, though, it was able to see the loaded DVD for that and all future sessions.
The Save options are also a bit confusing. At first, it looks as if you only need to type in the name of the file you're saving, but you actually need to press the Browse button next to the text field to first decide where you want it saved. After you've run the program once, the text field is automatically filled in with the last saved location.
Once it's working, CloneDVD Mobile is a fast performer and makes attractively small files with good resolution. We wish it could copy commercial DVDs, but Hollywood isn't about to let that happen.