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Other ways to convert mp4 to m4v?

37248 Views 29 Replies Latest reply: Apr 18, 2013 3:58 PM by Frank Lowney RSS
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phantem Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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Feb 13, 2012 11:05 AM

Apple provides some documentation that describes how to get video into iBooks (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5065) -- but this often massively increases the size of the files (4X in some cases) due to changes in the data rate of the resulting m4v file.

 

Are there any other tools that can do this conversion while providing additional control/flexibility of data rate / output dimensions?

 

I've tried handbrake, but can't find any settings / presets that iBooks will consume.

 

Thanks!

Chris

Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • thekb Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2012 11:11 AM (in response to phantem)

    Try importing the video into iMovie. Once the video is in iMovie create a project with the imported video. Then export the video in a smaller format.

  • betadave Calculating status...
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    Feb 13, 2012 11:41 AM (in response to phantem)

    I've been trying to figure this out for days. I think I have a solution.

     

    MPEG StreamClip (link) can export M4V files with more flexibility than QuickTime player. MPEG StreamClip is free (and awesome).

     

    To make an M4V for iBooks author, start with your original video file. Try to use the raw output from your video editing software. The more times you transcode your video, the lower the quality of your final output.

     

    1. Open your file in MPEGStreamClip. I start with 1920x1080 files (1080p HD).
    2. Select "Export to other formats..." from the File menu.
    3. Select "AppleTV" from the Formats pulldown.
    4. Click on the "limit data rate" checkbox.
    5. Pick a data rate. QuickTime Player uses about 3.5 MBPS to make M4V files. That seems like overkill to me. I get nice results at 1MBPS or even a bit lower.
    6. Pick a frame size. 720p (1280x720) is a good, iPad friendly size. 960x540 also works well. Frame size has no effect on final file size. Data rate controls file size. Frame size effects compression quality.
    7. Click OK and set an output filename.

     

    iBooks_author_mpegstreamclip.png

     

    This process makes M4V files that drop into the iBooks Author media widget just fine.

     

    You can experiment with data rates to balance video quality with file size.

     

    Hope this helps,

     

    Dave

  • dominickfromchester Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 17, 2012 7:23 AM (in response to betadave)

    Dave,

     

    This actually works--except for one small problem: NO SOUND!  The video DOES load into iBooks Author, but plays with no sound.

     

    It's not your settings, but rather a glitch somewhere in the way Streamclip and QT work. Streamclip just doesn't seem to be getting  or even recognizing the audio portion at all.  When I play the m4v from Streamclip in QT, there is no audio info in the Inspector.

     

    I tried playing the video on my iPad and it plays... silently.

     

    On the desktop, it plays... silently.

     

    There is a lot of chatter about this on the web but no solution.  Most common suggestion is to install pervian. Did that.  Silence!

     

    Nothing's ever easy!

     

    Any ideas?

     

    Dom

  • dominickfromchester Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2012 2:00 PM (in response to dominickfromchester)

    I've spent the day on this. I could not find a combination of settings in Streamclip that would result in SOUND! It just refuses to recognize the audio track in the .mov file.

     

    I decided to try other video converters from the Mac App store.  Video Converter (Leawo) would not export an .m4v regardless of the settings.  Only mp4, which iBooks Author spits out.

     

    Miro was no help.

     

    iVi came through, with reservations.  I was able to convert from .mov to .m4v (using Apple TV settings) and iBooks Author accepted the video.  The quality is still not as good as what Handbrake exports, even though the file size is larger.  But it's a start.

     

    Maybe the folks at Handbrake will figure this out and issue a fix?  Or the folks at Streamclip?

     

    In the meantime, iVi works.

  • betadave Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2012 2:30 PM (in response to dominickfromchester)

    Oops. You're right Dom. It worked great for my test case which had no audio. MPEG StreamClip doesn't even write an audio track in the AppleTV setting. Sounds like a bug.

     

    I'll check out iVi.

     

    Sigh,

     

    Dave

  • K T Level 7 Level 7 (23,215 points)
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    Feb 17, 2012 2:56 PM (in response to phantem)

    Have you tried via the iTunes 'Advanced/Create iPad or Apple TV Version' menu yet?

  • K T Level 7 Level 7 (23,215 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2012 5:05 PM (in response to phantem)

    I'd guess iTunes would be geared for optimum quality.

  • seanibooks Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 17, 2012 8:52 PM (in response to phantem)

    The answer to this is to use Apple Compressor. I'm using version 3.5.3, but I'm sure it's similar with other versions.

     

    Once you've added your video, the file format should be "H.264 for Apple Devices." Then, the device should be "iPad/iPhone 4" and the Aspect Ratio is "16:9 (1280x720). I'm using a bit rate of 3000 Kbps and 128 Kbps for audio. You can of course modify these settings if you have different quality or file size requirements.

     

    Hope this helps.

     

    Screenshot 2012-02-17 at 20.52.27.png

  • dominickfromchester Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 18, 2012 6:11 AM (in response to seanibooks)

    I will try this, but no time today to purchase Compressor 4 and give it a try.  Tomorrow for sure.

     

    Thanks,

     

    Dom

  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,380 points)
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    Feb 18, 2012 8:37 PM (in response to phantem)

    Just change the file extension.

     

    Why make this a massive task?

     

    Peter

  • dominickfromchester Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2012 6:43 AM (in response to PeterBreis0807)

    That's one of those suggestions that just seems too easy to work.

     

    But, before plunking down $50 for Compressor, why not give it a try?

     

    I thought I would get it over with quickly by changing the file extension on an mp4 that was decent quality and file size.  For sure, I thought, it won't even play.

     

    Well, it did play just fine.

     

    But iBooks Author wouldn't accept it. 

     

    Maybe it makes a difference what software creates the file in the first place.

     

    I'll try Compressor later today.

  • dominickfromchester Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2012 8:11 AM (in response to dominickfromchester)

    Success!  Compressor 4 transcoded a .mov created in and exported from Final Cut Express (using Quicktime Conversion). The original video file is 448 MB.  The exported m4v from Compressor (settings below) is arpproximately 26 MB. This is only about 30% larger than the m4v exported from Handbrake. But the Compressor m4v is 1280 x 720 and a faster bitrate than the Handbrake m4v, which is 1024 x 576. It looks --and SOUNDS--really nice.

     

    And... iBooks Author welcomes it with open arms!

     

    For me, that was $49.99 well-spent!

     

    Here are the settings.  This is a first try.  I'll play around with them, but this works great! Good luck to all!

     

    Dom

     

    COMP set.jpg

  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,380 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2012 3:03 PM (in response to dominickfromchester)

    I suspect it may have had more to do with the size.

     

    The file extension is freely exchangable between. .mp4, .m4v and .mov.

     

    Mostly it just has to do with how OSX will open it.

     

    Peter

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