I love my Creative Vision W Player. It was built to last. The problem is that there’s no software provided by Creative that supports converting video files – such as flv from Youtube, Myspace, Megavideo, and elsewhere – to your Creative Player from Linux.
Here’s the tool that I use to easily convert all FLV and AVI files to the format that Creative players require.
mencoder is a great conversion tool.
You can install it with this command sudo apt-get install mencoder
The manual is thick, but have no fear, the command below works every time.
The command essentially copies the video to a size and bitrate that is accepted by your player.
If you are missing the required codecs for xvid, you can get them here.
OK, you’ve got the file in the perfect AVI format. Next, you’ll need to copy it over to your player.
I use Gnomad. It works fine in Kubuntu and in Gnome Ubuntu. Unfortunately, it’s not in the Ubuntu repository.
You can get information on how to download Gnomad2 here. You may need to also download libmtp and libnjb. The instructions are at that link as well.
Problem: You have a whole bunch of downloaded FLV files from Youtube, MySpace, DailyMotion, Metacafe, Veoh, etc… You want to put them on your portable video player, such as an Ipod Itouch, Nano, Creative Vision W, or SansaDisk (and many others).
There are several programs that convert FLV files to AVI for Creative, or MP4 for IPOD and Sansa. They are all based on open source algorithms and tools such as ffmpeg. These are usually command line tools best-suited for Linux Geeks.
Solution: A whole new bunch of user-friendly tools with decent GUI’s are available for free. The king of all these tools is a program aptly named “Super”, which you can download here. Super essentially embeds all the open source command line utilities and provides a simple single-page interface for you to select input and output file options.
There are a bunch of other free tools that are worth mentioning here, such as Handbrake (which only works on Mac and Linux these days) and Media Coder, but if you stick to Super, you should have all the flexibility you need for free.
If you are on Linux, you can use command-line utilities like mencoder or mplayer, which we will explain in another article.
Some things to consider when converting FLV to either AVI or MP4: It’s usually best to use the Super Video File Converter original file’s screen resolution. The Audio for non-music videos can easily perform well at 96kbs, and mp3 files are usually a bit more compact than other methods. Likewise, the video bit rate can be dropped to 240Kbps without noticing much degradation on such a small screen. The Creative packs a max 320×240 screen rate, at 240 kbps video bit rate, you’ll be in fine shape. You will want at least 25 frames per second, or the video will flicker.
The screen shot to the right shows the best settings for converting FLV to Ipod as an mp4 output file. It takes a few minutes to convert the file depending on file size and speed of computer.
Note: Make sure you know to which directory the files are being outputted. You will need to copy them to your player (import to iTunes) after completion of conversion.
The download site for Super is a bit awkward and takes a couple pages to actually find the file to download. But hey, it’s a free tool!