Cartoon for your video iPod

I took one of the Superman cartoons available from and tried various command line tools to make a version that would play on the iPod video. I seemed to have a bit of trouble getting ffmpeg to write a .mp4 file that Quicktime/iTunes liked, so eventually I used ffmpeg to write a raw .m4v video file, encoded the audio separately with faac, and then used mp4creator, part of the mpeg4ip tools to combine them, hint and optimize them. It seemed to work.

Here’s the tracks in the file…

[fishtank] % mp4info super.mp4
mp4info version 1.3
Track   Type    Info
1       video   MPEG-4 Simple @ L1, 614.881 secs, 192 kbps, 320x240 @ 29.970027 fps
2       audio   MPEG-4 AAC LC, 614.741 secs, 62 kbps, 48000 Hz
3       hint    Payload MP4V-ES for track 1
4       hint    Payload mpeg4-generic for track 2
 Metadata Tool: mp4creator 1.3

I believe that these are the commands that I ran:

ffmpeg -i superman_the_mechanical_monsters.mpeg -an -vcodec mpeg4 -b 192 -s 320×240 -pass 1 super.m4v
ffmpeg -i superman_the_mechanical_monsters.mpeg -an -vcodec mpeg4 -b 192 -s 320×240 -pass 2 super.m4v
ffmpeg -i superman_the_mechanical_monsters.mpeg -vn super.wav
faac –mpeg-vers 4 -b 64 -o super.aac super.wav
mp4creator -r 29.97 -c super.m4v super.mp4
mp4creator -r 29.97 -c super.aac super.mp4
mp4creator -hint=1 super.mp4
mp4creator -hint=2 super.mp4
mp4creator -optimize super.mp4

The net result: this video file. It’s a little blocky, but should play well on your video ipod. Let me know how it works out.

Could a new browser get you switch?

I like Firefox.  It works well, robustly supports web standards, and generally is just a lot more pleasant than using Internet Explorer.   Given that I’m happy with Firefox, what could make me switch to a new browser?  

Maybe Flock has the right idea: integrate a wide number of web services (such as blogging and tagging) in a solid, open browser.   I’m trying to post this to my blog using the facilities built into flock as we speak.  Seems very smooth and well done.  I’m going to be keeping my eye on this one.