A common question many users (and potential users) face when thinking about a wireless drive like Voyager Air is, “Will it play my video files?” The answer is “Yes, if your files will play in the default player on your tablet or smartphone.” What that really means is that they probably need to be in .mp4 (Android and iOS) or .m4v (iOS only) format.
The good news for users who have lots of video files in other formats (like .avi or .mkv), and want to add them to a Voyager Air video collection, is that a great open source tool is available – for free – to convert those files to .mp4. It’s called “Handbrake,” and you can download the latest version here.
In this post I will show you how to quickly convert a standard-definition .avi file into an .mp4 file that will play well via Voyager Air on both iOS and Android. While the tool has a lot of settings, the good news is that most of the default settings work just fine – there are only a handful of changes you need to make.
Step 1 – Launch Handbrake, then open your file
After you open a file, make sure the Destination is where you expect the new file to be saved, and that the file name is what you want.
Step 2 – Adjust the Output and Picture Settings
In Output Settings make sure you have the following selections:
- Container: Mp4
- Large File Size: Checked
- Web Optimized: Checked
On the Picture tab make sure you have the following selections:
- Anamorphic: None
- Keep Aspect Ratio: Checked
Step 3 – Adjust the Video Settings
On the Video tab I typically use the following selections:
- Quality: Constant Quality 20
- Optimise Video (x264 Preset): Medium
The Quality setting is very subjective, but can result in much larger file sizes. The default (20) has been fine for me. The x264 Preset is essentially the encoding speed – you can make it faster, but the file quality/size will be impacted.
Step 4 – Press Start
This will get you up and running with Handbrake. If you have time and are curious the Handbrake Support Page explains more of the details and options. You will find the ability to “Add To Queue,” to batch-encode a number of files (overnight), to be especially useful.
Here are some useful links: