Despite Apple only supporting their iPods and iPhones on Mac and Windows, there are still a good number of people using Linux who own the popular devices. So while Apple might not have provided a way to transfer music and videos to and from the device, industrious hackers have devised a way to work around Apple’s file system database. But there is still the question, at least with video, of encoding your movies and other clips to a format the iPod can most effectively play.
Sure, there are incredibly powerful encoders available for Linux such as ffmpeg, but that usually entails getting your hands dirty in the Terminal. Thankfully, that’s not the case with the Furius iConverter. Brought to you by Marcus Furius Development (also known as Dean Harris), Furius iConverter is a dead simple application designed to have only one use: convert your videos for playback on the iPod or iPhone (and iPod Touch).
That’s it. Although more video profiles (for devices such as the PSP), might someday be added, at the moment the Furius iConverter is a one-trick pony, and in my mind better for it.
Why? Because it’s so simple. There’s nothing to set up about it. Simply start the program, then either use the file picker to select which video or videos you want to convert, the format you want them converted to and where you’d like them saved, and click the Start button. There’s nothing to it!
Compared to other encoding options (which admittedly give you far more options as far as bitrate, single or double pass, and more), Furius iConverter really lives up to the idea of user friendliness. There’s just nothing to think about, and in some cases (like this one, I think), that’s a good thing. Because the less there is to tweak, the fewer settings available to the end user, the more likely something is to go wrong. With a device like the iPod, there truly aren’t that many options a user would want to mess with (at least I wouldn’t), so it’s a good marriage between problem and solution.
I tried out Furius iConverter with a few files I had lying around, as well as some I grabbed off the Web, and though I don’t have an Apple device to try the resulting video files on, they looked pretty good in my regular desktop video player. The sound was good quality, as was the video, which had been formatted to the correct resolution for the smaller screen, which saves space and battery life for the iPod as well.
There’s really nothing to complain about. The Furius iConverter has a simple mission – to convert videos for your portable iPod, iPhone or iPod Touch – and in my mind it meets its goals with flying colors.