Category: Apple TV

Handling Multiple Versions of Video for Apple TV & iPhone

July 18th, 2007 Permalink

How’s that for a verbose title? Lately I have been encoding my DVD’s for viewing on Apple TV and the iPhone. A video encoded for the iPhone (or iPod video) will play on the Apple TV, but it does not look ideal when it is scaled up to fill a large TV. A video encoded […]

How’s that for a verbose title?

Lately I have been encoding my DVD’s for viewing on Apple TV and the iPhone. A video encoded for the iPhone (or iPod video) will play on the Apple TV, but it does not look ideal when it is scaled up to fill a large TV. A video encoded for the Apple TV looks great on the TV, but will not play on the iPhone/iPod. So I have been encoding each DVD twice: once with Apple TV parameters, and once with iPhone/iPod parameters. The iPhone/iPod version contains “(iPod)” in the title to help me tell them apart.

This is great, except that by default iTunes syncs all new movies to the Apple TV, which means I have a large, high quality version, and a lower resolution version on the Apple TV. What’s the point? I am never going to watch the smaller version on the Apple TV anyway. There must be a better way.

Here’s the solution I came up with. Maybe there’s a better way to do it, there are definitely other ways to do it, but this works well for me.

First, I created a new Smart Playlist named Apple TV Movies which matched Video Kind is Movie and Name does not contain (iPod), limited to the 10 most recent additions, with live updates:

Smart Playlist

Then, I selected the Apple TV in the Devices list in iTunes, and told it to sync only my Apple TV Movies playlist:

iTunes Apple TV Movies Sync Settings

Voilá! My Apple TV now only syncs the 10 most recent movies added, and only the movies encoded with the correct format for playback on my TV. I probably could have used the bitrate of the videos to determine which movies to sync as well, but I am going to have different versions with different names anyway, so I just used the name.