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Convert DVD movie to iPod Touch or iPhone format with Handbrake

Handbrake logoMy favorite serial is British “Fawlty Towers” with brilliant John Cleese as Basil Fawlty. All twelve parts are full of sharp-tongued hilarious dialogs. As people say: “the best farce ever written in the English language.” I wholeheartedly recommend. Anyway, I wanted to convert the DVD I bought few years ago on Amazon to m4v format, suitable for my iPod Touch (previous generation) to watch “Fawlty Towers” during the business trip. The key requirement would be to keep the subtitles, as I like to savour the wording (that movie in particular) along the watching these episodes. The hard part was to choose the right program to convert DVD into iPod Touch format as the selection looks excessive at first glance.

In the past I used to convert with CloneDVD, so I started this time with it. Unfortunately CloneDVD did not recognize the subtitles. I tried also Nero 10, Xilisoft Video Converter Ultimate, Xvid4PSP, Aimersoft Video Converter, and DVDFab with its ugly monkey head. No luck. That is the conversion was OK, but no way to put subtitles together. Almost at the moment of desperation I tried a program called Handbrake, which is an open-source converter available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. It supports video in following formats: MPEG-4 (ffmpeg), H.264 (x264), and Theora (libtheora). Handbrake also supports chapters and all kind of subtitles (Vobsub and Closed Captions). I used version 0.9.5 for Windows.

So here’s the screenshot of the settings that did work with my iPod (click to enlarge):

handbrake-0.9.5-01

Handbrake settings to convert DVD movie with closed captions

That worked nicely. So in iPod Touch (or iPhone) you just select subtitles in the menu:

And enjoy the movie:

A little disappointment is the capital letters of the subtitles — that I could not fix yet.