Encode Video for the iPod Touch or iPhone

Now that you have your iPhone or iPod Touch syncing in Linux, how about putting some video on it? These iPods are picky about video formats, but the excellent Avidemux video tool can encode your videos to be compatible.

[update] I’m now using WinFF and FFmpeg instead of Avidemux.

Install Avidemux in Ubuntu. I used version 2.4.1 from the Ubuntu 8.04 repository. Ubuntu 7.10 has a slightly older version that may work, but a recent package is available from GetDeb.

sudo apt-get install avidemux
  1. Launch Avidemux from Applications->Sound & Video->Avidemux (GTK+).
  2. Load the source video file in Avidemux.
  3. Select Auto->IPOD (mpeg4).
  4. This will open a dialog box. For Target type, select PSP 480*272. Click OK.
  5. On the right hand side, under audio, select AAC (FAAC) in the drop down box.
  6. Click Save to begin the render.
  7. You should be able to drag and drop the resulting video into gtkpod to sync it to your iPod.

You can cut out a small section of video to quickly test different settings. Use the selection: start and selection: end buttons below the slider to mark sections of video, and press delete to remove them.

To adjust the bitrate (quality) of the video, click the Configure button under the video section.

Ideally, the video would be H.264 for maximum quality and smallest file size. The problem with H.264 is that the video must be encoded with the baseline profile, which Avidemux doesn’t have a setting for.

These settings have worked well so far, but I’ll be updating this post when I have time to play with them more.

Archived Comments


Can this tool be used to transcode videos for the Nokia N95? If yes, how?



Try to use online encoding services, like It is better than download vast number of apps for mac…


The Nokia N95 seems to have similar video capabilities, so try same sort of settings just with a lower resolution.


I can sync music but how do you sync the video in linux?


> On the right hand side, under audio

You mean “left side”????

> To adjust the bitrate (quality) of the
> video, click the Configure button under the
> video section.

Why am I not seeing:
Video -> Configure -> Bitrate


Avidemux is able to encode H.264 video for the iPhone. To get the baseline profile, use these settings:
- set partition decision to 4 - always QPel
- set CABAC to false
- set 8x8 Transform to false
- set consecutive B-frames to 0
(tested with Avidemux 2.4.4)


Thank you fireman! I’ve been trying to figure that out. You must be a video encoding genius…or perhaps you just had the time to sit there and encode a small h264 clip in every possible combination? haha

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