Popcorn 2 converts DVD video to iPod, PSP, more

Roxio on Wednesday announced Popcorn 2, an updated version of their DVD duplication software for Mac OS X. Popcorn 2 is priced at $49.99. Owners of the previous version of Popcorn can upgrade for $29.99.

Popcorn enables you to burn a copy of an unencrypted DVD, a disc image or a Video_TS folder. The software is based on the same engine that Roxio uses in its more full-featured — and more expensive — CD and DVD burning software Toast 7 Titanium.

Popcorn 2 adds the ability to convert DVD-Video and other video formats to video files that you can play on your Mac, or copy to portable video players like Apple’s fifth-generation iPod, Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP), 3GPP-equipped cell phones and other devices.

You can export individual video files, as well. Popcorn 2 supports QuickTime, DivX, AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and DV formats. Video export supports QuickTime, DivX, MPEG-4 and H.264.

You can create custom compilations — what Roxio calls “Director’s Cuts” — that include exactly which video and audio content you want to copy from the original DVD or Video_TS folder. And Popcorn 2 allows you to preview the video you’re copying. What’s more, you can even take screenshots of that video if you wish.

Popcorn 2 works with DVD video content that hasn’t been copy-protected — putting in a DVD that is protected, such as most commercial movies, yields an error message that tells you the file can’t be copied. Users interested in making backups of their commercial DVDs have found freeware tools like Mac the Ripper and Handbrake are capable of copying that content to their hard drives — Popcorn 2 can read the resulting Video_TS folder that is created, and burns that content to DVD.

A new “Fit to DVD Video Compression” option allows you to specify to Toast whether you want it to compress video — from a 9GB double-layer DVD, for example — to fit on a single 4.7GB DVD recordable disk. In its first incarnation, Toast would do this automatically — no option was available.

Popcorn 2 ships as a Universal Binary. System requirements call for a G4 or faster, Mac OS X v10.4 or later, QuickTime 7 or later, iTunes 6 or later and up to 15GB of temporary hard disk space for video compression and translation.

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