This method will work for you and it will work on both Windows and on the Mac. The software you need to get your hands on is MPEG StreamClip. The best thing about it is that it is free. I know there are loads of programs of applications that you can buy that will convert your video to iPad format but they will will not in any way produce better quality video because you paid for the application. The resulting video will not be smaller in size of give you a better sharper picture than if you use MPEG Streamclip.
The web site is squared5.com and there you can get your copy of the software, download it on install it on your system. All you have to do on your Mac is to drag the file into you applications folder and you are ready to go. As soon as you have it on your machine fire it up and we can start to make some iPad specific video files. Lets convert video for iPad for free.
Step one is to drag the file into MPEG StreamClip, just grab it and drop in on the five dots of the domino pattern logo in the middle of the application. You can move the scroll bar if you want to, so that you can scrub through the video and see what is in there. Also you may if you wish set the in point and out point of the video. That allows you to cut anything you don’t want from the start and the finish.
Getting the settings right for iPad movies
Do you want to do this the easy way or the hard way? As they say in the movies, although in this case it is really the quick way and then there is the more optimised way. The quick way will work fine if you don’t want to mess with the settings. The better way takes account of the actual pixel size of the screen on the iPad. Let’s get get down to business with the iPad.
Choose the file menu and Export to MPEG-4, the short cut is Control Command and E. That takes it right to the settings dialogue window. Click on the button which says iTunes in the top right. Then choose the settings for Apple TV that will give you the finished size as 1280 by 720 which will work fine on the iPad although it is not optimal. Good to have a file that can be use in a couple of places. Turn up the quality if you don’t mind it taking longer to encode.
If you want to restrict the file size you can Limit the Data rate, put a tick in the box and you will see that 5 is the maximum and you can bring that down to maybe 3 and it will still look good on the Amazing iPad. For the audio leave the sample rate at auto and change the bit rate to something less that 160 which is the highest for the iPad. I usually go for 128Kbps. The only other setting to look at is the interlaced scaling, You only need that checked if the video is interlaced. I have a video camera that sends out interlaced video but movies will probably be progressive and you can un check that box. Hit the Make Movie button give the new file a name and leave it to do the job. Enjoy the movie when you have sent it to the iPad.
In the main settings window choose the bullet point Other and set the frame size and 1024 by 576. This is the best setting for the 16 by 9 aspect ratio video for the iPad. There will be no downscaling on the iPad as the settings are just perfect. Just don’t get caught watching your movie in school with your iPad.