Mac video converter adds 640 x 480 support for iPods

Movies and videos purchased from the iTunes Store are now encoded for the iPod at 640 and up to 480 pixels (depending on the aspect ratio) — four times higher than before. Now Techspansion has updated its Mac OS X video converter application, VisualHub, with the ability to output H.264 videos at 640 x 480 as well. The update is free for registered users; VisualHub 1.1.3 costs $23.32 to register.

VisualHub enables Mac users to easily translate and encode video between different formats — AVI, MP$, DV, DVD, MPEG, WMV, iPod, PSP and more. Features include Xgrid support (for distributed network computing), batch processing, and more.

Techspansion claims that higher-resolution H.264 video encoding was limited to purchased videos and videos converted by the Quicktime frameworks, leaving behind third-party encoders. VisualHub 1.1.3 overcomes that limitation, according to the developer, and works up to 40 percent faster than QuickTime does.

Users can specify variable quality and bitrate, if they want and can select image size, converting anamorphically for widescreen HD playback. VisualHub also supports two-pass encoding for better image quality.

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