Monday, June 6, 2011

Top 6 Blu-Ray to iPod Converter Software 2011

6. Xilisoft 

Xilisoft box shot 
The final product on our list of the best Blu-ray to iPod converter software comes from Xilisoft, a software developer located in Japan. This iPod format converter has every feature that we looked for in our reviews, achieving a perfect score in that category. However, a full set of software features is not enough to keep this product out of the lower reaches of our comparison; it lacks the degree of usability that we saw in other products in this industry, it has only a moderate level of customer support and the converted video quality tested very poorly in our review. The product is worth a second look, however, if for nothing else than its immense set of features and high degree of flexibility.

Xilisoft develops multimedia software and specializes in video and audio conversion. Beyond the Blu-ray to iPod converter software reviewed here, they’ve also created converters for everything from ringtones to YouTube videos. They’ve won awards in Japan for the quality of their multimedia software which continues to sell well around the globe, though this video converter doesn’t quite live up to their reputation.

The one shining high point of Xilisoft’s Blu-ray to iPod converter software is its feature set. Every feature necessary for powerful and flexible software was present in the package, making this one of only two products on our lineup to score perfectly in the features category. Using this software, you will find video enhancement tools; a functioning conversion preview; several video formats; the ability to add subtitles, merge files and extract audio; and the freedom to convert a single section of the video if you choose. We were very impressed by the variety of features Xilisoft’s converter offers, even though it lacks significantly in other areas.

Conversion Speed & Quality:
Conversion quality was the most disappointing section for Xilisoft, though the conversion speed was respectable. When using this software, you will be able to convert your Blu-rays into any one of various iPod-compatible formats at a reasonable speed: one and a half minutes of conversion time for each two minutes of video. However, this average conversion speed cannot compensate for the very poor quality of the final product. The video files that this software produced were filmy and pixilated. Every video the converter produced was jerky and dark, making watching the video nearly impossible. This major drawback did a great deal to place this software at the bottom of our comparison.

Ease of Use:
Xilisoft’s Blu-ray to iPod converter is laid out in a very unfamiliar fashion, making it a bit more confusing to operate. Locating specific functions takes a little getting used to, as nothing is labeled on the main interface. It also floods your screen with information that isn’t absolutely essential, like how much demand the program is putting on your system and a whole bar of nearly unintelligible information across the bottom of the screen. One positive feature that we appreciated was the automatic format recommendation. When you’re selecting a format for an iPod or other video conversion, Xilisoft will recommend an ideal format for you. If you wish to choose one yourself, though, that option is also available.

Help & Support:
The customer support options offered by Xilisoft are fairly basic; email support, a selection of user tutorials and an online FAQs section are all present for your use should you need them. While these options are all helpful and – in some cases – necessary, we would like to see them add some additional options, like user forums or telephone support.

In the end, this Blu-ray to iPod converter software ends up at the bottom of our lineup due to its poor converted video quality and lower ease of use. Despite its near immaculate feature set, Xilisoft comes up short in our review. This software is worth inspecting for its fantastic feature set, but little else.

5. Pavtube 

Pavtube box shot 
Next in our lineup, we looked at the Pavtube Blu-ray to iPod converter software package. This program brings ease of use and plenty of customer support together in a converter with a decent conversion speed and quality. It lacks a few of the features that we looked for in our comparison, causing it to score poorly in that category. Even with this drawback, however, Pavtube’s iPod format converter is well-rounded enough to remain on our comparison of the best Blu-ray converters available.
Pavtube is a technology company that specializes in audio and visual multimedia software. Their presence is primarily internet-based, and they use this to facilitate the distribution of their products to locations all over the globe. They seek to produce high-quality software on the cutting edge of technology, bringing hard-to-find products and new releases to customers as quickly as possible. They continually strive to improve their software, accepting comments and critiques from their customers and reworking their products accordingly. This attitude is apparent in the quality of their Blu-ray to iPod converter software and the responsiveness of their customer support.

The Features category is the section of this review in which we felt Pavtube could use the most improvement. Their Blu-ray to iPod converter software does include some of the basic features, like the ability to merge files and convert individual tracks in a movie; however, they lack a few other features, like video enhancement tools and the addition of subtitles. While they do lack these few key features, they still provide the majority of the tools that we looked for in this review, landing them on our lineup of the best Blu-ray converters.

Conversion Speed & Quality:
The conversion speed that Pavtube’s software is capable of is impressive. This program is able to produce a two-minute MP4 file with just over one minute of conversion. This speed is not quite as quick as some of our top products, but it still can convert your BDs into an iPod-friendly format in less time than the total runtime of the movie.
Pavtube’s video quality is slightly below what we’ve seen in our higher-ranked products, producing a slightly grainy picture. The picture looked muted and gray; the degradation of the video quality during the file conversion was more noticeable with this software than the other products we reviewed.

Ease of Use:
The interface of Pavtube’s video to iPod converter is easily understandable. It is laid out in a similar fashion to many of the other software packages we’ve reviewed in this comparison; the convert button is in the bottom-right corner and the buttons to add a BD to the program is located on the top-left. Options and tools to enhance or modify the files you’re converting can be found along the bottom of the screen and under the “Edit” option. Our only complaint about this converter was its strong color scheme. The vibrant red coloration wears on the eyes quickly, making it a bit more unpleasant to use.

Help & Support:
Pavtube includes some basic customer support options with their software, including email support, a selection of user tutorials and an online FAQs section. They are also the only product on our lineup to provide a dedicated phone line for their customers, making it significantly easier to get in touch with a live representative.

Pavtube’s converter software is very well-rounded, though they do not shine in any one category. The software will perform well for most of your conversion needs, even though it lacks a few features and the high conversion quality of some of our top-ranked products.

4. DVDFab 

DVDFab box shot 
The next product in our lineup of the best Blu-ray to iPod converter software is DVDFab, created by a software company that specializes in converting optical media to useable, electronic files. The Blu-ray converter that they have produced is impressive, boasting a healthy set of features, exceptional ease of use and a wide array of customer support options. Unfortunately, it was largely the lack of video quality and conversion speed that kept this product behind our top three. Despite these drawbacks, if you’re looking to convert movie to iPod, this software will do so without any significant difficulties.

DVDFab includes many of the essential features in their Blu-ray to iPod converter software, though they lack two of the most common features: adding subtitles and a watermark. While these features are not widely used in the most basic conversions, it can be disappointing if you were looking to add a personal touch to a home movie that you want to place on your iPod. It can also cause problems when you’re looking to clarify some unclear dialogue in a choppy spot in a movie.
Other features, such as video enhancement tools and the ability to adjust output specifications are present in this Blu-ray to iPod converter software, making last-minute changes and picture adjustments simple to apply. You can also convert individual selections and merge them into a single file, allowing you to combine a movie and its outtakes into one video. A conversion preview is also present, as well as a tool that allows you to extract the audio from a video clip.

Conversion Speed & Quality:
This category was the area in which we felt that DVDFab’s Blu-ray to iPod converter software performed most poorly. The conversion speed is not exceptionally slow, nor is the quality of the converted video painful to watch, but neither of these aspects compared well when considered alongside the other products in our lineup. The conversion speed was roughly one minute of conversion time for each minute of playing time. This is about half as fast as some of our highest-rated products, making this one of the slower software programs on our lineup. The quality is not awful, though it does suffer from significantly more noticeable losses in quality than our other products.

Ease of Use:
A major high point of this converter software is its striking ease of use. The layout is familiar and clean, displaying each option and extra tool in a quickly-reachable location. We were impressed by the minimalist look of this application; the interface is very compact and clear. When a Blu-ray is inserted into the drive, DVDFab will open automatically and load the video files into the program. These additional, seemingly insignificant features made this program a great deal more convenient.

Help & Support:
DVDFab’s selection of customer support avenues is impressive; they provide email support, user tutorials and an online FAQs section, like many of their competitors. However, they also provide a convenient user forum for general questions and communal discussions. Not only are these options offered in English, but they are available in several other languages that their software supports, including Dutch and Japanese. 

DVDFab’s Blu-ray to iPod converter software has several strong points, like its ease of use and customer support, but it ultimately comes up a bit short when compared to other converters on the market. This is still a respectable program that will convert your M2TS files with ease, but take a look at our higher-ranked products before you decide.

3. 4Videosoft 

4Videosoft box shot 
The next product in our comparison of the best Blu-ray to iPod converter software and the winner of the TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award is the package provided by 4Videosoft. Their converter software is a combination of a wide set of features, exceptional usability and the highest quality video that we were able to identify in our reviews. It does suffer in the category dealing with customer service like several products on our comparison, but this does not damage the functionality of the software. The software on the whole could be improved by the addition of a few extra features and a wider base of customer support options. While this is not the best iPod video converter, it is an exceptional program that will provide enough power for most users.
4Videosoft is a software company that specializes in multimedia applications for both Windows and Mac platforms. This company is based in Japan, though their online presence allows them to ship their products worldwide, bringing high-quality multimedia management tools to users across the globe. This developer has dedicated itself to keeping up with the latest technology. The commitment is evidenced in their cutting-edge Blu-ray ripping technology that they’ve applied to several programs, including this Blu-ray to iPod converter software.
This Blu-ray to iPod converter software fell behind the top two products due to the lack of a few features and a less-than optimal set of customer service options. It outperformed the lower-ranked products with its exceptional output quality and near painless ease of use. It could use a few improvements in its customer support and feature set, though the product on the whole is functional.

Among some of the more notable and convenient features of 4Videosoft’s converter are the ability to merge all converted files into one and the option to convert individual selections. While almost any converter you pick up will be able to do this, 4Videosoft makes it easier than ever to select individual tracks and merge files. You can deselect all of the tracks on a Blu-ray once you’ve loaded it into the applications with a simple right-click. You can then check a single box to convert one selection, or you can check multiple boxes and merge them all into one file to place on your iPod. This application made this process exceptionally easy.
Other basic conversion features are included with this Blu-ray to iPod converter software, such as the ability to add watermarks and subtitles, a conversion preview, and tools to adjust the size and specifications of the output file. These features give you the freedom to add personal touches that make each video your own. This software does lack two of the prominent features that we looked for: audio extraction tools and video enhancement tools. Some converters will allow you to convert only the audio of a movie and others will allow you to apply effects, such as increasing the contrast or color saturation. We were unable to locate either of these abilities in 4Videosoft’s Blu-ray to iPod converter software. While these features are largely unessential when converting most Blu-rays, it is still something that we would like to see in this program.

Conversion Speed & Quality:
The speed with which 4Videosoft’s Blu-ray to iPod converter software rips a Blu-ray and converts it to an MP4 is slightly above average. In our tests, it was able to produce one and a half minutes of video for every minute we allowed it to run, meaning that this program will produce a file that is ready for transfer to your iPod in less time than the full runtime of the movie. This is not the fastest application in this regard, though it will not take an exceptional amount of time to produce a high quality movie.
The quality of the converted video was the most impressive aspect of 4Videosoft’s Blu-ray converter. When converting a video clip from a large, high-definition format like M2TS to a more compact, regular resolution format like MP4, a loss of quality is to be expected. However, this program converted our Blu-ray movie files with ease, resulting in the cleanest and most defined picture of all of the products we reviewed in this comparison. We were very impressed with 4Videosoft’s performance in this category.

Ease of Use:
4Videosoft’s Blu-ray to iPod converter software was one of the easiest applications to use that we reviewed for this comparison. The interface is understandable and clean. It is arranged in a basic block format with easily understandable buttons and instructions for each step listed conveniently in the main window. During our testing, we had no problem navigating the program or finding the editing features we needed. This program’s ease of use was very impressive, leading to their high score in this area.
Help & Support:
This was the only category in which we felt that 4Videosoft performed below our expectations. While they do provide the basic, essential services for customer support, they fail to offer anything unique. Email support, user tutorials and a basic FAQs section are all present on their website, but nothing beyond this is offered. We would like to see a few more features added to this category, like user forums or even a dedicated phone support line.

4Videosoft’s Blu-ray to iPod converter software provides a high-quality converted video at a satisfying speed, but it unfortunately lacks certain key features. Its ease of use and high-quality conversions are what largely landed this converter in the upper ranks of our comparison.

2. Aiseesoft 

Aiseesoft box shot 
In your search for the best Blu-ray to iPod converter software, Aiseesoft will likely be near the top of your list. This impressive program has launched itself into second place on our lineup, winning the TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award and establishing itself as a major player in this industry. It boasts an impressive number of features, an above-average conversion speed, high-quality converted files and healthy ease of use. The only category we felt this product performed below average was Help & Support, where the lack of a few extra features put them below the mark. Overall, however, this software performed very well in our testing.
Aiseesoft is a software company based in Japan, though their large online presence enables them to sell their products around the world. They pride themselves on their product’s conversion speed and picture quality. Aiseesoft is constantly re-engineering and improving their software to remain at the top of the market, ensuring that every piece of software and every updated product have met their rigorous quality standards. This dedication to high-quality software is admirable, and judging by the performance of their Blu-ray to iPod converter software, this promise is well-kept.
The Aiseesoft Blu-ray to iPod converter software landed in second place on our lineup thanks to its impressive feature set, above-average conversion speed and the quality of the output file. The lack of an audio extraction tool and a few missing customer support features put this program behind our number one product, though it outperformed the lower-ranked converters with a more well-rounded feature set and above average output quality. It is easy to see why this product placed in the upper reaches of our comparison.

Aiseesoft’s Blu-ray to iPod converter software had every feature that we looked for when reviewing these products except for an audio extraction tool. However, this does not damage the overall experience with the product, as this feature is largely nonessential. Every other necessary tool to convert video to iPod format is present here, from video enhancement capabilities to file merging and a conversion preview. We were very impressed with this product’s set of features.
This converter features more than just a small selection of iPod-friendly formats. Everything from iPod formats to PSP compatible selections and Apple TV video are supported through this software. With this immense range of selections, Aiseesoft will fill your needs for video conversion in almost any format. And, since this software converts Blu-ray discs, it is not likely that the program will become obsolete in the near future.
You can convert individual sections of movies rather than the entire disc if you so choose with this Blu-ray to iPod converter software. This is useful if you only want to convert the movie itself and leave the additional features out or if you want to convert just one of the extra features for your iPod. If you want to convert all of the files on a single disc, but you don’t want them broken down into a movie and each additional feature, you can choose to merge all of the files together and convert them as one. This results in one large, converted file that will take up significant amounts of space on your device. Blu-ray discs can hold impressive amounts of data, sometimes more than can be placed on a single video-compatible iPod. Be sure that your device offers sufficient space to hold the entire file before you go ahead with this step.
Additional features that can be utilized in this software include video enhancement tools, output specification adjustments, the addition of watermarks and subtitles and a conversion preview. We were quite impressed by this program’s feature set, even though they lacked an audio extraction tool.

Conversion Speed & Quality:
Aiseesoft’s converter produces a video that is impressively smooth. We converted our Blu-ray into multiple formats, ranging from the required MP4 format for the iPod to WMV files and several others. In each case, the video that it produced was clean and smooth, showing minimal losses in quality. Since converting a large M2TS file to an MP4 requires a significant reduction in file size, there will be a slight degradation in quality. However, Aiseesoft’s conversion demonstrated a healthy level of quality, even with the necessary reduction.
The speed with which Aiseesoft converts these Blu-rays to iPod friendly formats is impressive. In our tests, the software produced a two-minute video clip with only one minute of conversion time. Compared to other products, this is a significant advantage. Through multiple tests, this speed remained relatively constant, producing high-quality videos in an exceptionally short period of time. In the end, Aiseesoft exhibited exceptional quality and speed in its conversions. These qualities are what largely placed this Blu-ray to iPod converter software in one of the top spots in our comparison.

Ease of Use:
Aiseesoft’s Blu-ray converter is laid out in a fashion that is strikingly similar to many of the other products that we reviewed. This does not detract from its ease of use, however. In fact, it enhances it. The layout is simple and familiar, with the button to load a movie located in the top left corner and the conversion button situated in the bottom-right. With a few clicks, you will be converting your Blu-ray into an iPod-compatible MP4 format with all of the correct specifications for your personal device. 

Help & Support:
While they did not perform poorly, this was the category in which we felt Aiseesoft was the least strong. They offer a few of the most common support tools, including email support and a FAQs section. This manufacturer also provides a set of useful user tutorials that makes their software much easier to use, though we did not have any problems that made a recurrence to any of the tutorials necessary. The addition of a few options in this area would help this software rank more highly in our comparison. 

Overall, the Aiseesoft Blu-ray to iPod converter software performed admirably in almost every case. We would like to see a few more customer support options here, though what is present will be sufficient for the needs of most users. You’ll likely find everything you need for video conversion in this software package.

1. Leawo

Leawo box shot 
The best Blu-ray to iPod converter software on the market, and the winner of our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award is Leawo. This converter software earns the top spot in our comparison due to its exceptional feature set, high-quality video conversion and a respectable array of customer support options. It is also an accessible product; we found the interface to be easily navigable and the overall experience to be smooth and uncomplicated. We were impressed by the overall appearance and quality of this Blu-ray to iPod converter software. It does more than any other product we reviewed, with a speed that we didn’t find in many products. The customer support that this manufacturer provides is impressive, leading the way for the other iPod converters in our lineup. This product is an exceptional buy.
Leawo is a software design company that specializes in streaming media via the internet. They provide award-winning software in several languages. Their commitment to creating high-quality, easy-to-use software is apparent in this impressive iPod format converter. They’ve built their company on these products, and it’s easy to see why they’ve become such a large player in the industry. With a selection of quality products that has been proving itself since the days of CD and DVD conversion, Leawo rises to the top in our comparison of the best Blu-ray to iPod converters.
The well-rounded feature set of Leawo’s Blu-ray to iPod converter software did a lot to push it to the front of the lineup; it offers everything we looked for, including enhancement tools, file merging capabilities and an active conversion preview. This program converts to both MP4 and QuickTime Movie formats, though it does not support conversions to the Mac-specific M4V format. It offers a healthy amount of customer support, including a very interesting and useful set of user forums. These aspects are largely what pushed this iPod converter software ahead of the rest.

The Leawo software provides every feature that we looked for when reviewing these products. This was one of two products to obtain a perfect score in this category, clearly demonstrating the attention to detail with which this application was designed. The different options available to you with this software are all within reach upon launch of the application. To import a Blu-ray, you need only click the “Add” button in the top-left corner and select your Blu-ray drive or disc image file. This will pull the disc into the application, allowing you to configure it how you desire. The disc will be broken down into individual parts, generally reserving the movie itself for the first track. You can select one of several file formats from the dropdown menu below the tracks.
Leawo has several formats optimized specifically for iPods of various resolutions, ensuring that you will be able to watch your favorite movie on any video-enabled iPod model. The selection of conversion formats that the Leawo Blu-ray to iPod converter software offers is impressive; not only is almost every file format available for conversion, but you can choose variations within each format. For example, you can convert to an iPod-compatible MP4 format with varying resolutions and compression specifications. This product even offers a high-definition iPhone format for iPhone 4 users, though this takes up significant amounts of space on a phone with relatively limited storage space.
You can adjust the output specifications with this converter, allowing you to adjust the quality of the video (generally, a lower quality video means it takes up less space on an iPod) and the quality of the audio. Compression codices, frame rates, aspect ratios and stereo channels can all be adjusted to suit your needs and desires. You can also add subtitles and a watermark to your video, granting your own copy of your Blu-ray a little extra personalization.
Additional features are present in the software, including audio extraction, a conversion preview and the ability to merge multiple converted files into one. We had a bit of difficulty with the conversion preview while we were testing the product, however. We weren’t able to view the preview with our applied specifications, but we watched a portion of the Blu-ray that we were ripping with no additional effects with few problems.

Conversion Speed & Quality:
Leawo’s Blu-ray to iPod converter software operates a bit more slowly than the average converter, but this slower performance is not enough to seriously hinder the user’s experience. To obtain two minutes of converted video, it takes roughly one minute and thirty seconds to rip and convert the material with this software. If you’re going to begin ripping and converting the Blu-ray before you go to bed or head off to work, the slightly slower time should not be a major concern.
The quality of the video produced by the Leawo Blu-ray converter is respectable. The picture we saw in the converted final product was not gray or filmy, as we saw in several other programs. It did lose some of the picture quality in the transition, but that's to be expected when converting from a large, high-definition M2TS file to a compact MP4 or MOV format. Overall, however, the video played smoothly with only a small amount of distortion and pixilation. This software will perform admirably when converting these files, leaving you with a clean, high-quality picture on your iPod or iPhone.

Ease of Use:
Leawo’s interface is clean and neatly laid out, presenting all of the options in an easily understandable fashion. Nearly everything that you will need to convert a Blu-ray to an iPod format is present on the home screen. When converting our Blu-ray, we had very little trouble figuring out the process. To begin, you simply click the button on the top-left of the screen labeled “Add” to reference the files on your Blu-ray. Once you have the files uploaded, you can choose one of any number of file formats; Leawo has several formats tailored to specific iPod models and resolutions. To complete a basic conversion, all you need to do is hit “Convert” and Leawo’s Blu-ray to iPod converter software will do the rest. During our testing, we were quite impressed by this product’s usability.

Help & Support:
Leawo offers several customer support features, bringing its score in this category to a level above most other products. Though it does not offer every service feature we looked for, it covered the basic email support, FAQs section and selection of user tutorials that we looked for. It also provides an exceptionally helpful user forum, where those who have purchased this product can post their experiences and questions. Through the forum, the FAQs section and their dedicated blog, we were able to find answers to all of our questions without needing to contact them directly. And with the impressive ease of use that Leawo’s software boasts, we never felt the need to refer to the user tutorials.

Overall, the Leawo Blu-ray to iPod converter software performed admirably in all of our tests, standing up to our scrutiny with impressive features, fast and high-quality conversions, convenient ease of use and an exceptional amount of customer support options. If you’re looking to convert that Blu-ray into an iPod-friendly format, Leawo should be your first stop.


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