I constantly look for ways to put video easily onto a range of my small little portable mp3/mp4 players. With my newest purchase, the Cowon S9, I wanted an easier way than using the software that came with it (JetAudio) and Handbrake. While I love Handbrake in many instances, sometimes many of the simple features are way above my head!
On all the Cowon message boards, I found many people referring to MediaCoder, an open source transcoder. Well, if they are all using it, I would try as well. I went to MediaCoder’s site (http://www.mediacoderhq.com/) and figured I would download it. What I found, though, is many different varieties of MediaCoder.
MediaCoder comes in different flavors, specific to what you need to do. They have an Audio Edition for ripping audio, including ripping audio from DVDs. They have the Full Edition for transcoding both audio and video, a CLI version for those living at the command line, and then various Device Editions.
I headed to the Device Editions. Of course you will find an iPod Edition, but also a PSP, MP3/MP4, and 3GP Mobile Phone Edition. I selected the MP3/MP4 Player edition you can see in the photo. MediaCoder tries to simulate a player’s screen and when you choose a video to transcode, you can actually see it play on the screen. A nice little touch.
When opening the application, you can either use the buttons/toolbar to add files or just drag them to the box. You can set all the settings, and then go to work. I struggled at first, but then needed to make some setting changes, that I discovered here: http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23552. Once I made those adjustment, I transcoded like no one’s business! I flipped the video over to the Cowon, and voila, good to go! Not too difficult, and many settings I could adjust, if necessary. Comparing it to Handbrake, it completed the transcoding quicker, but I think at first, the layout is more confusing. Both tools come with a lot of options, that the average user does not necessarily need. Both do the job, so I would suggest either for your transcoding needs!