Convert iTunes video for the Palm Pre

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So, the Palm Pre can sync with iTunes and it can play video.  Palm has made that very clear. However, iTunes videos are a different story.

itunes-pre-videoerrorThe Palm Pre creates a sync with iTunes by pretending to be a iPod, upsetting Apple.  But, that impersonation works only for MUSIC.  Any iTunes video with DRM will NOT sync with the Pre.  iTunes generates this error message when you try to drag a video to the Pre.  So, what can you do?

I searched around for a few solutions, and found this rave review on for Tunebite.  I was skeptical.  I have tried a few of these “converter” before and the results were usually unwatchable with choppy video and voice out-of sync.  But, gave raves to both version 5 and version 6, so I thought it was worth a try.


Tunebite plays any DRM content (either video or music) and re-records it in a DRM-free format. It will even compress the video into a smaller file.  The video must be playable on the computer with a valid DRM-license for this trick to work.  But, it does work … flawlessly!  I was able to convert my iTunes’ season of Better Off Ted, reduce the video file size by 40% and drag them directly to the Pre through the USB sync.  The video quality is great and the voice track is in sync.  The video can now take the video with you on any media player (MP3/MP4, Smartphone, PDA, PSP, etc.)  You can even generate a H.264 MPEG-4 video suitable to TV viewing!

Now some concernswhen I installed Tunebite, it altered my video drives and replaces my audio driver.  It also set off Microsoft’s Malicious Software Tool and Norton’s Spyware detection.  (None of them like the changes to my audio and video settings.)  Is there a problem?  Not really. You do need to manually change your Audio settings back to the normal driver.  If there is a way of doing this automatically, I have not found it.

When you are generating the video, Tunebite automatically opens iTunes and plays the video.  You can NOT close iTunes or have any other programs running in the background.  Even moving the iTunes window when the process is starting can cause it to fail.  Tunebite does alert you during this crucial time period.  After that point, you can move windows around, but I would not recommend running another program.  Just watch the video or let it run by itself.  And, yes, you can batch a few videos for processing and it can shut-down the computer when it has finished.

But, these are small nuisances to be able to bring your iTune’s video anywhere you want them!

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