Free Linux Tools – Convert Media Files to Your Sansa Disk

Sansa Media Player
You bought the Sansa Player and you use Linux. Sansa doesn’t come with Linux support. Have no fear. It’s really easy to convert and copy your favorite media files to your portable Sansa Player.

ffmpeg
ffmpeg is a great tool for converting files from one format to another.  The flexibility and capability of this is seemingly endless.  Unfortunately, the manual has about 200 pages at last count, and the trial and error of getting a file into another format requires a lot of patience.

if you don’t already have ffmpeg installed, then use your Linux distro’s package manager and install it with all recommended dependencies.
In Ubuntu and Kubuntu to install ffmpeg type this into your Terminal command prompt

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

Convert to Sansa Disk Player Format
I’ve used this method to copy countless FLV & AVI files to my daughter’s Sansa Player.

From a Linux command prompt copy in the following code.  Replace INPUT and OUTPUT with the filename you are converting and the name of the output file

ffmpeg -i INPUT -r 29  -ab 96k -qmax 51 -mbd 2 -flags +4mv+trell -aic 2 -cmp 2 -subcmp 2 -ar 44100 -g 300 -s 320×240 -aspect 4:3 -ac 2 -f mp4 -y OUTPUT

You’ll see a progress bar working in your Terminal window. Once it’s completed, simply copy the file over to the Sansa Disk directory. (Assuming you’ve connected it to your computer, it should probably be in /media/disk)

Let us know if this tip helped and/or if you have a better method.

Free ways to convert flv video files to ipod, sansa,creative vision

How to get those website files on to your iPod.

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.

Super File Converter
Super File Converter

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!