I have literally hundreds of full lengths movies and I used to watch them easily on my Windows machine using Media Center. I’ve decided that Front Row and iTunes are much cooler. I did attempt to set up a media center using Front Row before but I had some issues with the format of my movies.

I did a quick search on Google to find a video conversion tool. Without having much luck I remembered a tool I had used to convert videos so they would work on my iPod. I searched out their website and found out they had another application that was like the big brother of the program I had used before (iSquint). The name of the new application is called VisualHub and it coverts many different types of video. You can convert to types like iPod, PSP, DV, DVD, Tivo, AVI, MP4, WMV, MPEG and Flash. Being able to convert to iPod and PSP is really cool, saves me a lot of time! More importantly one of the types of conversions lets me convert into an iTunes/iPod format so that it will work on both my iPod and in iTunes/Front Row!

VisualHub is very easy to use, you select the type of file you want to convert to, the files and where you want to save the files, click start and wait a bit. It took about 1 hour to convert a full length movie on my MacBook 2.0GHz Core Duo laptop. The file size was about 620MBs which was smaller then the original copy and it looked just as good! Oddly enough it takes about 2 hours or so to convert a full length movie on my PowerMac G5 2.0GHz DP. That just goes to show how much more powerful these new Intel chips are!!

Here’s a list of VisualHubs features:

  • Fast conversion from nearly every video format to iPod, PSP, DV, DVD, Tivo, AVI, MP4, WMV, MPEG and Flash.
  • Convert any file in three steps. Click, drag, click.
  • Fit up to 18 hours of video on one DVD. Play it in any standalone DVD player.
  • Xgrid support. Use the power of every Mac on your network for batch encoding.
  • QuickTime Pro or special plugins not required.
  • DivX/XviD AVIs, all forms of MPEG video, and many other formats QuickTime struggles with are supported.
  • Batch Processing of multiple files. Save in-place, or to a different folder.
  • Very comprehensive Advanced panel to modify every aspect of encoding.
  • Dynamic Preview – See results before beginning a long encode.
  • Stitch multiple files together to combine videos.
  • Highly detailed, informative Users Guide.
  • Universal Binary for PowerPC and Intel Macs.

VisualHub is shareware but can be used in a demo mode but will only convert 2 minutes of video. The full version costs $23 but I found that to be well worth it since I’m going to be converting hundreds of movies!

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