Roxio Crunches video for Apple TV, iPod, iPhone

Roxio on Tuesday introduced Crunch, a new $39.99 application designed especially for users of the Apple TV, video iPod or the forthcoming iPhone who want to convert video optimized for those devices but don’t want to burn that content to disc.

Available initially as an electronic download for the Mac available for purchase from Roxio’s Web site, Crunch will soon appear on store shelves in a single box for Mac OS X and Windows.

Featuring a streamlined interface similar to Toast and Popcorn, Crunch uses as source material QuickTime video, unencrypted DVDs, DVD image files (such as those created by iDVD) and VIDEO_TS folders (such as those created by applications that “rip” content from protected DVDs and raw video files). Crunch also lets you select individual video titles and languages so you can conserve space.

The software has built-in presets that help produce files optimized for playback on the Apple TV, video iPod or Apple’s forthcoming iPhone. That’s a bit different than Popcorn 2, Roxio’s software for converting videos and burning them to DVD — while you can customize the output to produce video suited to the Apple TV and iPhone, there are no built-in presets designed for convenience.

So, if you already have Popcorn or Toast, should you buy Crunch? No, according to Roxio Mac product manager Patrick Nugent. “Crunch is not targeted at Popcorn 2 or Toast customers,” he told Macworld .

The software duplicates much of the functionality that Popcorn and Toast already have, added Chris Taylor, director of marketing communications for Sonic, Roxio’s parent company. He added that Crunch is aimed at users who have a desire to convert digital video for the Apple TV, iPod or iPhone but have no interest in burning video to CD or DVD. Roxio has produced a feature comparison chart with Popcorn 2, as well.

Once the ripping is complete, Crunch automatically adds the content to a new playlist in iTunes called Crunch. If you’re working with an Apple TV, that content will automatically sync onto the device, producing what Nugent describes as a three-step process to convert and watch digital video.

Crunch will covert DV, AVI, MOV, MPEG-4, MPEG-2, DiVX and other formats, and lets you choose from different MPEG-4 and H.264 quality settings so you can optimize settings based on your hard disk space.

System requirements call for a G4 or better, Apple TV, video iPod or iPhone, 256MB RAM, Mac OS X v10.4.9 or later, 50MB hard disk space for installation and up to 15GB of temporary free disk space during usage, QuickTime 7.1.5 or later and iTunes 7.1.1 or later.

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