Friday was a good day. My new iPod (60GB with Video) arrived just before 10 a.m.

So a lot of my weekend was spent playing with my shiny new toy. My time, of course, was spent mucking around with video. For those of you who may care, observations on some different tactics for getting video on the iPod:

- Buying stuff on iTunes. Quick and easy. I purchased the Weapon of Choice video (Christopher Walken in the hotel song and dance, if you don”t remember). Upside: easy; fast. Downside: Cost me $1.99. I won”t be doing this much, unless there”s some really compelling content on iTunes that I can”t get anywhere else.

- Ripping DVDs to iPod video format. Easy using the HandBrake ripper; but anything but quick. The Mac Mini has spent most of today encoding the first disc of Gilmore Girls season 1. And my first attempt (Bull Durham) was done using flawed instructions, so that was a waste of time. I”ve got to play around with different encoding methods and options, but when each test takes 10 hours … it ain”t easy.

- Converting MPEG to iPod video format in QuickTime. Also easy, but also painfully slow.

- EyeTV recordings to iPod video format. The Holy Grail of DVR to iPod (EyeTV records stuff from my DishNetwork DVR), but also pretty damned slow. I expect the EyeTV people to update their software to have a native iPod video export, so we”ll see if that speeds things up.

- Newsgroup video for PSP. Wouldn”t you know the potentially illegal way is the easiest? It turns out the iPod plays the same format video as Sony”s PSP, and people are busy posting all sorts of stuff on newsgroups already. I pulled down a Simpsons episode in about 10 minutes and it went right onto the iPod. Kind of like how the stuff that tastes the best is the worst for you.

I have no complaints, by the way, with the quality of video on the iPod. The photo below gives a very poor representation of how the video looks (that”s Alton Brown on the Good Eats cheesecake episode), but you get the idea. It”ll be great on my next flight out west.

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