Transcode To WMV
Faster is better! For the past 2 days I have been encoding all of my ripped content to WMV to go on my new Portable Media Center that I will get in the next few days. I have a few dozen DVD's that I have ripped to XviD over the past few months. Generally I would just rip the DVD with DVD Shrink, but my dorm does not exactly have a monitor/TV that would make that worth while.
So, my task has been to transcode these XviD encoded DVD Rips to WMV to go on my Zen Portable Media Center. Two computers are being used for this. Number 1 is my Thinkpad X40. It takes about 2 hours to transcode every hour of content. Not that bad for 1.2GHz Pentium M. The second computer is a 3.2Ghz Pentium 4 HT. For a 1 hour and 30 minute movie this PC takes about 45 minutes to transcode the file. Not bad at all on that one.
Instead of using the Windows Media Encoder directly, I am using M2PMCEncoderZX from http://www.marauderzstuff.com/programs/m2pmcencoderzx/default.aspx. If you have a PMC you will want to grab this tool. You still need to install the Windows Media Encoder, however this program makes it a simple 2 step process for transcoding content. Since I don't have the Zen in my hands yet, this is good. Windows Media Player 10 will transcode for you upon syncing, but I need the device first.
So far I have transcoded 15 movies equaling 4.15GB, which is not bad either. 15 full length movies on 4GB leaves tons of room for music, pictures and TV on the Zen. While transcoding formats is not a good thing to do in terms of quality, I have to say that viewing them in WMP they look rather good. And when you consider the screen size on the Zen, it should equal out to look great.