Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ipod: Cucusoft DVD to Ipod Converter

As I mentioned here, I managed to get my hands on an Ipod Video 60GB. With my music transferred over (or at least the music that I want), I still have about 40 GB left over. So I decided to fill it up with movies for those boring flights. After trying out several DVD ripping programs that are simple 1 click and transfers, I decided on Cucusoft Ipod Video Suite.

Despite a few drawbacks, this program, for me, worked the best. Almost all of the other programs I used ran afoul of the “Lip Sync” issue, which is where audio and video to not sync up correctly. I suppose that these units do not utilize a time code sync track or anything. I did not run into this problem using Cucusoft. I utilized the trial version to test it out, and outside of the annoying “Trial Version” banner stamped across the screen, this program works perfectly. This banner does not exist in the full version. I do, however, feel that 39.95 is a little steep for a program that seems like nothing more than parts of a program cobbled together from other programs. The reason I say this is due to the inclusion of various DLL, such as LAME, in the program. I may be off base on that assumption. Also, once opening a DVD, if I go to the “Input” menu under settings, it crashes the program. If this menu was not meant to be accessed once a DVD is open, it should be grayed out or hidden altogether. Regardless, the programs actual performance is definitely up to snuff, and outperformed the other programs I evaluated. Once converted, movies are definitely watchable on the Ipod with no sync issues, the sound quality is good, and the program is fairly easy to use. The only complaint I have about the actual ripping process is that the user needs to manually select the titles to rip. If a user doesn’t know to look for the title with the longest duration, they wouldn’t get the movie, and I personally don’t want to watch the extras on my Ipod. Despite my minor gripes, I am happy with the results.

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