Optimal Compression Settings for iPod Video Playback

Since early November, I have been experimenting with various video compression techniques to optimize the balance between file size, quality, and compatibility for my video-enabled iPod. While H.264 offers impressive quality, its lengthy compression time using QuickTime Pro’s export to iPod feature makes it less ideal for my needs.

Given that I do not require HD projection capabilities, and I aim for maximum accessibility of my videos, such as the video podcasts produced here at TUAW, wrapping the video in a .mov format seems most prudent. This format ensures compatibility with any device supporting QuickTime.

To achieve this, I initially set up 3ivx as my codec of choice.

Although I’ve been curious about experimenting with the new Divx codec, I haven’t yet had the opportunity. My process begins by opening the desired video file in QuickTime Pro, selecting Export to Movie, and then clicking the Options button to access the Movie Settings panel as shown below:

  • Select Settings… and choose the 3ivx D4 4.5.1 codec, set the quality to medium, adjust the frame rate to 24, and set the bitrate to 400 kbits/sec.

  • Modify the size of your video.


    Patricia is a well-respected author and tech enthusiast who has made significant contributions to the Apple community. Writing for TUAW, Patricia brings a wealth of knowledge about Apple products, including the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. Her insightful articles and guides help readers navigate the ever-evolving world of Apple technology. With a knack for breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand content, Patricia has become a trusted voice for Apple fans everywhere.