written by: Erik Hinrichsen•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/7/2011
This article explains DVD conversion for the Microsoft Zune and lists some popular software.
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Microsoft Zune DVD Conversion
One of the most exciting capabilities of the Zune is its ability to play movies. Just about anything - feature length movies, television series, and any other video file - can be played on a Zune MP3 player. If you own a DVD, you probably can put it on your Zune. The process isn't quite as simple as pulling music off of CDs, though. That's because the movie files need to be converted into a different file type so that the Zune can play them. The purpose of DVD converters is to rip DVDs onto the computer and convert them into one of the supported file formats.
Later versions of the Zune support more file formats than earlier versions. The following is a list of the video file formats supported by the Zune:
.WMV (supported by all versions of the Zune).
.AV I (supported by firmware editions 4.5 and later)
MPEG-4 (not supported on the Zune 30)
H.264 (not supported on the Zune 30)
Zune video playback has the following characteristics:
320x240 Video Resolution
Video bit rate: up to 1.5 Mbps
Audio bit rate: 128 kbps
Total bit rate: 1.692 Mbps
Users must convert their DVDs into one of these files in order to load them onto their Zunes. Hundreds of programs are available to convert DVDs to different file formats; make sure that whichever program you use converts into a file format supported by your particular edition of the Zune. It is not necessary to get a program specifically for the Zune, though doing so does ensure that the proper file type will be used. A typical feature length movie will run from 500 to 1500 MB.
There are many available DVD converters. Most of the best converters cost money, though there are some shareware options. Converters purporting to be free are usually either shareware with large restrictions, such as a label across all videos, or viruses.
The following software are the best options for putting DVDs on your Zune:
Cucusoft Zune Movie/Video Converter
Wondershare Video to Zune Converter
Avex Video to Zune Converter
Lenogo Video to ZuneConverter
dvdXSoft Video to Zune Converter
Of course, this is just a review of a few options, and there are likely many other strong Zune DVD conversion programs. In addition to these options, users may be able to convert files for free using the Windows Media Encoder, a freely available program from the Windows Download Center. The process for converting files using the encoder is fairly involved, though, and requires the DVD to have been transferred to the computer. Users who are not experts in these matters should consider sticking to popular options such as those listed here, as they are very simple to use and less time consuming.