First off (I apologize in advanced if you are already aware of this, but I feel it should be said, anyway. This applies, not only to this next sentence, but also to the rest of this post, as well.), you should be careful when converting full-length movies, as they can take up a lot of disk space. If you choose to convert and DVDs to the Fuze, you should consider buying a large-capacity memory card for the device. Also I recommend that you try not to watch too much of any movie at one time, since video playback tends to use a lot of battery.
Now, that aside, I did put instructions on another page on how to use a program called X-Media Recode. It has support for various computer video formats, including DVDs, and has always worked well for me and my DVD-converting needs. However, you will first need to rip the DVD to your hard drive, using a DVD ripping program. I recommend using either DVD Decrypter, or DVD Fab Decrypter. Once you have finished doing that, use the instruction in my original post:
This is one of 4 bugs that have driven me away from SMC… It shows no progress bar (and appears to be doing nothing), the progress bar freezes (and appears to be doing nothing… again), claims the file is corrupted/unsupported (even though it plays fine, and mentioned as one of the “supported formats” in the help file), and fails to maintain audio/video synchronization. I strongly suggest that you people stay away from it… use Video4Fuze, or FuzeVid where ever possible.
If you are having unresolved problems with either of these programs, then try following the instructions on this page. While They recommend MEncoder, I can suggest (for anyone who does not enjoy using command-line based software) X - Media Recode. It always works for me. Just follow these instructions:
1. Open Video File
2. Select the video at the top of the screen, and set profile to custom
3. Under “Audio Track 1” select MP3, and under “Video Codec” select either “MPEG-4” or “XviD” (either one will work)
4. Select the “video” tab, and set “FourCC” to “DX50”
5. Set the frame rate to 20
6. (Optional) Set “Rate control mode” to “2-Pass average bitrate” mode (it may say “constant” instead of “average”. This makes no difference. Just select this option anyway). This may help preserve the video quality, but the file will take twice as long to convert.
7. Select “Audio Track 1” tab. Make sure “sampling rate” is set to “44100”. Set “Rate Control Mode” to “Constant Bitrate” and “Bitrate” to 128.
8. Select “Audio Track 2” tab. Select “none” under “Audio Track”.
9. Select “Filters/Preview” tab. Set “Width” to “224”. Set “Height” to “176”.
- (Optional) Set “Aspect Ratio” to “4:3” and set “Zoom” to “Letterbox”
- (Optional) change destination (on the bottom) to where ever you want the output file to be placed. You can even place it directly onto the Fuze if you want (Assuming the Fuze is in MSC mode).
12. Click on the “Add Job” button at the top of the screen (the button with the big plus on it). Then, click “Encode”.
13. Follow the instructions on the line I posted above
PS: Sorry for the long post, but I felt I should cover as much as most people will (hopefully) need.
One thing I should have mentioned is that the video will have some issues when fast-forwarding, or re-winding. To resolve this Issue, ignore step 13. The link I posted will tell you how to use a program called “avi-mux gui” to make the file more Fuze-compatible, but because of the FF/RW issues, this option is not recommended for videos longer than a few minuets (especially full-length movies). Instead, I recommend using Fuzemux, a free program designed specifically to make videos *completely*Fuze-compatible (meaning you can fast-forward and re-wind as much as you want…or until the batteries die). To use Fuzemux, just copy the movie you just created using X-Media Recode into the folder containing Fuzemux. Then, navigate to the folder using the command prompt (if you don’t know what that is, click here). Type Fuzemux, then type the name of your movie file, and choose an output file name. For example, if you are converting Avatar, you might type “Fuzemux Avatar1.avi Avatar2.avi” (with out quotes). Then copy your output file (Avatar2.avi) to your Fuze.
Just be warned: In my experience, this program does not appear to support file names with spaces. That is why I choose the name “Avatar2” in my example above. I just shorten the file name to something that Fuzemux can use. For example: my first experiment with this program was converting Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. I just renamed the input file “sw4”, and renamed the output file “Star”. Then, I renamed the file to “Star Wars IV - A New Hope”, and copied it to my Fuze.
Finally, we come to the *.thm file that is typically found with videos converted using Sansa Media Converter. If
you are wondering about these files at all, then go into the video section (on the Fuze, itself), and scroll down to any video converted using SMC. Notice that there is a little picture of one of the video frames on the right of the video. These images are stored in the thm files. However, if these files are not present, there will be no preview image shown, but the video will still play just fine. These thm files are basically renamed jpeg images, and don’t really serve any essential purpose, so I wouldn’t worry about them.
Oh, and Lincoln, Sorry for making such a long and confusing post, but I just wanted to make sure that you have everything you need to successfully convert your DVDs. I know the process may seem long and confusing at first, but once I get typing, I just can’t stop. Don’t worry, if I can master this process, you can too.