I need to convert some of my movies and other videos for the iPad and I am wondering what solutions are available for this. Ideally, I would like to have something that adds the new video afterwards to my iTunes.

  • You can try Vuze (www.vuze.com). Even though it's basically a Bit-torrent client, it has some extra features, which convert any video file to iPhone/ iPad/ iPod specific formats. I did use this and feels very good.
    – garikapati
    Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 17:54
  • @garikapati Please add that as an answer.
    – daviesgeek
    Commented Nov 4, 2011 at 16:55
  • 1
    I would like to take a moment to remind all that we have a self-promotion policy in the faq and ask anyone answering with a testimonial to avoid blatant promotional materials as an "answer".
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 18:25

5 Answers 5


Handbrake is a nice open source video conversion tool. Here is a blog post with some good info on settings to use for iPad rips/conversions.

As for getting videos added to iTunes automatically, that is not something Handbrake will do. If you are using OS X however, this AppleScript seems like it would be up to the task. The script watches a folder, when a file is copied in it waits for the file to stop getting larger (when the copy or encode [in this case] is finished) and then adds the item to your iTunes library. I haven't had a chance to test this for myself though, so I can't guarantee it will work as desired.

  • David, thanks for the link and the article. I will give it a try. I figured that on Windows there is an "Automatically Add to iTunes" folder in my library where I can throw the files and they will be automatically entered to my iTunes library
    – gyurisc
    Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 6:34
  • Is there an official iPad preset for Handbrake?
    – gyurisc
    Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 8:29
  • 1
    I don't believe there is. If you're wanting to use a preset, the AppleTV preset looks like it would fit the bill. Commented Jul 25, 2010 at 1:54
  • 2
    not an official one, but equally as good, as well as an explanation on which to use depending on your intended usage and video source: lifehacker.com/5572037/… Commented Sep 27, 2010 at 9:09

I use RipIt to digitize my DVDs, it's dead simple.


RipIt will use a Handbreak extension to compress things in a second pass but I use Handbreak itself for that.

When done I have two files: the ripped file uncompressed which I save on an external hard disk in case OS X's DVD Player ever gets AirPlay so I can play better quality movies through AppleTV, and the compressed file that Handbreak makes which I move into iTunes and sync with my iPad (and backup onto the external as well for safe keeping).

Handbreak is also useful when you want subtitles in a foreign movie or want the extras on a DVD to be available; it lets you sort out the tracks and such although it's UI is a bit overwhelming.

I have a 64GB iPad with over 20 full length movies on it at any one time and plenty of room for more. I fly a lot and the iPad, Bose 15 noise canceling headphones and the movies make long flights tolerable, even enjoyable.

  • I would say this is (or is clearly one of) the premium Mac products for converting video. It works well, is updated often, comes with commercial support and the company that makes it is well regarded as doing fine work for years.
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 18:46

Miro Video Converter is quite good, simple and free, it is a choice.



If it's something you do a lot, you might consider investing in Elgato's Turbo.264 HD, which comprises a USB dongle that accelerates video conversions, and software for doing the conversion (which includes the "add to iTunes" functionality you asked for). The dongle is also compatible with one or two other video converters, such as Roxio's Toast.

You can also buy the Turbo.264 software on its own, either from Elgato or on the Mac app store, but at around US$50 it's hard to recommend... it doesn't really do anything that the cheaper or free converters can do.


Alternatively if you don't wish to convert you can probably play the original video files through an application like AVPlayerHD which supports video formats that iTunes doesn't.

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