HandBrake is not an iPad application but rather desktop computer software. It allows you to convert videos from one format to another and to change factors such as the bitrate and video size. Using HandBrake you can create video files suitable for the iPad.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Download and install the free HandBrake software (See Resources) then open the application. Depending on your operating system and the options you chose during installation, you can open HandBrake by double-clicking on the desktop icon, using the Windows Start menu, or selecting the icon in the Mac dock.
Choose the video file or files you want to convert, when prompted. You can also choose your DVD drive if you have a disc that you want to convert.
Choose a folder on your computer in which to save the converted file, when prompted. Make a note of this folder.
Click on "Start" to begin the conversion if you are happy to use the default format, also known as the "Universal preset." This only has 400 horizontal lines which is below the capacity of the various iPad models. Whether this is good enough quality may depend on your iPad model, the video you are converting and your personal tastes.
Select "Normal" or "High Profile" from the list of formats on the right of the window if you want to alter the settings for increased video quality. Then click on Picture Settings and set the resolution you want. Make sure not to exceed the actual resolution of your iPad (1024 x 768 pixels for original iPad, iPad 2 and iPad mini, 2048 x 1536 for third and fourth generation iPads.) If necessary, change "Framerate" to 30fps or lower. When you have finished, click on "Start" to begin the conversion.
Open iTunes when you have finished the conversion. Click on "File", then "Add File to Library" and then locate the converted file. Make sure to select the converted file and not the original. Next time you sync your iPad, the file will transfer to your iPad.
Tips and warnings
- Some third-party sites and individuals offer customised HandBrake format information (known as presets) for producing iPad-compatible files. You can search for these online, download them, then select "Presets" and "Import" in HandBrake. Next time you convert a video you can simply click on the relevant entry in the right-hand menu.
- Copying content from a commercial DVD without the copyright holder's permission is illegal in some jurisdictions.
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