Audio and Video Tips
1. Using Snap Shots: You can listen to many of the audio files by hovering the pointer over the link. A small snap shot window will appear with a play button. (Note: Sometimes the audio files were recorded using an incompatible sample rate, which causes them to play too fast, but sometimes that’s not a bad thing).
2. Downloading Files
I recommend, where appropriate, to download mp3 files to your iPod or mp3 player, and listening to them during your down time, commuting, traveling, exercising or when otherwise engaging in some other activity.
Tip #1 – Save Precious Space
For audio lectures and talks, you don’t need the same quality as with music. To save space, change your audio settings. See Aldoblog’s “Optimal iTunes Import Settings for Audiobooks.”
Tip #2 - Do it faster by converting Files to Audiobook (m4b) format*
We all lead busy lives and a great feature of the iPod is the “faster” feature of audiobooks. This allows you to listen to an audio file in less time without a change in pitch or the “chipmunk effect.”
*Update: iTunes now allows for adding audiobook functions (including speeding up playback) to mp3 files without converting to m4b. Simply choose “Get Info” -> “Options” -> “Media Kind” and set to “Audiobook.” The file will appear in the audiobook folder.
Here are the old instructions that you probably no longer need: After downloading your mp3 file, you can listen to your file, but don’t stop there! From the Advanced menu, choose “Convert Selection to AAC.” Now, to take advantage of the audiobook features you will need to change the file’s extention from m4a to m4b. You can do this manually or through a program which renames extentions. I recommend ReNamer (freeware).
Changing the file extention allows the iTunes to recognize the file as an audiobook. (Note: I know what you are thinking, why don’t I just change it from mp3 directly to m4b? Nice try, but it doesn’t work, you need to convert it first).
Have a speaker who is a slow talker? Speed them up. Scroll through commercials with ease. You have now enhanced your productivity.
Tip #3 – Covert Podcast Files into Audiobook format to save Space
Podcasts are great. Unfortunately many podcast files are much too large and not optimized for voice. Simply repeat the process in Tip 2.
Tip #4 – Streaming Video Capture
This is an advanced technique, but you can do it. For example, let’s say you want to put the lectures from the “Worlds of Joseph Smith” Library of Congress Conference into your video iPod. You can download the mp3 files without any problem. But what about the video files? They are in Advanced Stream Redirector (ASX) format.
Step 1: Download the asx file.
Step 2: Right click on file and select “Open With…” and choose Wordpad. In the code copy the file name with the wmv extension. See the example here.
Step 3: Now you need to capture this streaming video using a streaming audio/video capture program. I recommend CoCSoft Stream Down (No, that doesn’t stand for Church of Christ), unfortunately this program is not freeware, but there is a free trial period.
Step 4: Follow directions of the streaming audio/video capture program and use the URL with the wmv extension. How long will it take? Usually it takes however long the playing time is. It’s like recording on VHS, it takes the same amount of time as the actual show. If anyone knows how to speed that up, let me know.
Step 4: So now you have your non-streaming video file, can you play it in your iPod? Not yet. You need to convert it to an iTune compatible format using an file converter. There are many programs to choose from. I recommend SUPER by eRightSoft which is freeware.
Step 5: At this point, things can get tricky. Some of the settings depend on preference and the capacity of your iPod. I use these settings:
Encode to File Format: MP4
Use Video Codec: H.264/AVC, 320:176 (1.818), 768 kbps, 30fps
Use Audio Codec: AAC, Mono, 32 kpbs, 44100 KHz, AudioStream [default] selected
Now, you should have your mp4 file, and you can down drag and drop that into your iTunes window, and download to your iPod. It will show up in the “Movies” folder. Now you can take the conference with you!