Apple has launched the fabled and almost mythical iPhone, with specs that impressed even me. But the most intelligent move on their part was partnering up both with Google and with Yahoo for different things – and not getting “married” with anyone for now, on the internet side of things (they have an exclusive partnership with Cingular for the cellular connectivity). Very smart.
And yes, I want one… Looks like it’s only going to be available for Europe (3G?) by the end of the year. Oh well.
If you’re like me, and don’t have a zillion songs on your iPod, with the newer 30GB and 60GB models there’s lot of space left. Instead of wasting that space, I bought a nifty little backup program, called Synchronize! X Plus, from Qdea. For $29.90 it’s cheap for the peace of mind it brings.
If you think about it, your iPod (or another DAP) is a perfect place for your backup. It’s always with you, and you usually don’t pack it in the same suitcase/bag as your laptop, so if one gets stolen you have the other.
There are several things I like about Synchronize! X Plus:
- It’s very simple, you just choose if you want to backup or synchronize a certain folder (and sub-folders)
- It’s very fast
- It creates an accessible copy of your files, not archived, that you can just copy back to another computer without any special software
They have a Pro version that creates a bootable copy of your disk, which in my case isn’t necessary, I rather just have a copy of my home directory.
Converting video for the new iPod is not news, but for me the most convenient software has been Nero Recode, part of the Nero 6 package (which is not free). I could have searched for a solution to do it on the iBook, but my home PC is much faster (iBook G4 1.2GHz vs. P4 2.8MHz) and I had already bought the Nero package some time ago. Here are the steps:
- Open Nero Recode 2.
- Choose Recode DVDs and Videos to Nero digital.
- Pick the settings for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) under Nero Digital profile.
- Queue up as many videos as you like (recode won’t join them, they’ll come up as individual .mp4 files) by clicking on Import Titles.
- Make sure Fit to target is unchecked, and that the video quality slider is at the maximum quality.
- Click Next.
- Choose “Hard Disk Folder” and the corresponding target directory under Burn Options.
- Click Burn.
- Import the .mp4 files directly to iTunes.
These are the basic steps. You can mess around with all the settings, but the basic settings are pretty much ok. You might want to change the crop settings, under the Video options.