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jake20x 04-04-2011 01:16 PM

Movie decoding
Hi I was wondering if anyone knew how to decode an iTunes video in Linux. So far nothing I have found will but I've heard there are ways to do this. I'm just looking to see if anyone can point me in right direction.

ButterflyMelissa 04-04-2011 02:16 PM


Dont know what format your video is in, I'd feed them to ffmpeg:
and maybe (just maybe)



repo 04-04-2011 02:27 PM

Did you tried in vlc ?

Kind regards

szboardstretcher 04-04-2011 02:35 PM

What format does Itunes save in? Also, are they copy protected somehow?

John VV 04-04-2011 03:40 PM

we do need more information
for example the very first thing i would try is playing it on mplayer with the 2011 ALL codec package
links are on the mplayer home page
and it is in most repos for most distros

jake20x 04-04-2011 11:25 PM

The movie format is in m4v which is standard for itunes videos, I have tried vlc with no luck also. The video is also protected with apple's AAC file format that supposedly takes more knowledge to crack. I have tried several programs to try to crack the coding in linux and windows and none can seem to change the format or use the file to make an iso or even just watch it. I will try some of the sites listed about that might help me but there is a little more information about the file and I thought in linux it would much easier to crack this file coding.

jake20x 04-05-2011 12:21 AM

I use this command below in ffmpeg to try to convert my original file, but there are two different encodings listed for the video file, one is mjpeg and the other is drmi. The program states that drmi is an unknown format so I tried using mjpeg listed under "Stream #0.4" which says "Video: mjpeg, yuvj420p, 640x344 [PAR 96:96 DAR 80:43], 0 kb/s, PAR 43:80 DAR 1:1, 0k fps, 44100 tbr, 44100 tbn, 44100 tbc", but once using the mjpeg it states "wScaler: Unknown format is not supported as input pixel format
Cannot get resampling context". Anyone have any solutions to this problem or is it just this program cannot change the format of this video file?

# ffmpeg -i /home/jacob/Videos/TheVillage.m4v -vcodec [mjpeg/drmi] -s 640x344 -b 300k -r 10 -acodec aac -strict experimental -ar 22050 -ab 64k -f avi TheVillage.avi

also I understand that -b stands for video bit rate and that -r stands for frame rate, but I am unsure of how to find what rate for each is best for the video I can't seem to find that anywhere after inputting "# ffmpeg -i /home/jacob/Videos/TheVillage.m4v" the rates that should be input, only the picture size and video and audio codec. I am also unable to find what the -ar command and -ab command stand for any help would be great if anyone is familiar with this.

goanna300 04-13-2011 05:15 PM

I have a related problem; ie don't have an Apple device but need to download video podcasts from American Cinematographer which only provides an "Itunes" link. My Fedora 14 64 bit machine launches Rythmbox, which crashes. Will anything else do?

John VV 04-13-2011 06:38 PM

fedora dose not and never will ship with proprietary codecs
dose the podcast play on mplayer with the All codec package?

but seeing as ""
is a itoons site
use a mac or Windows 7

goanna300 04-14-2011 12:00 AM


Originally Posted by John VV (Post 4323909)
fedora dose not and never will ship with proprietary codecs
dose the podcast play on mplayer with the All codec package?

but seeing as ""
is a itoons site
use a mac or Windows 7

Not a player problem. It's an iTunes thing. I don't know what iTunes really is or what it tries to do when I connect but give me any media file to download & I'll be able to deal with it.

Linuxgr8 05-28-2011 10:37 PM

You can usually get a working rss feed with Feedflipper or Tunesviewer, for example, that iTunes podcast links to:

Which should work in any podcast manager :)

goanna300 05-29-2011 05:11 AM


Originally Posted by Linuxgr8 (Post 4369827)
You can usually get a working rss feed with Feedflipper or Tunesviewer, for example, that iTunes podcast links to:

Which should work in any podcast manager :)

Thanks for the belated reply, Linuxgr8.

Yes, I must somehow have found my way to the "podcast.xml" link you describe - because for some time I have been listening to some of the mp3 sound files I downloaded from their site. I'm afraid I cannot remember what I did to get to them.

So I'm still intrigued by it all. What does a "View in Itunes" link mean?

When I go to the ASC podcast page at, I see all their "View in Itunes" hyperlinks on the right.

For example, in the long list of podcasts, the podcast, "Killers: Russell Carpenter", has a "View in Itunes" Hyperlink which links to,

Now, that's not the xml filetype you spoke of! In fact, there's no filetype suffix at all. If I copy the hyperlink and paste it into (Chromium) browser, it takes me to the same page. If I click directly on the "View in Itunes" link in Chromium, it automatically launches what I assume to be Gnome's default program for that filetype: MusicPlayer. What's going on? Why does ASC only seem to support ITunes? Why do they not provide a "subscribe using RSS" link? What is this Itunes that everybody seems to know about it but me? Even you seem to have been able to find an xml link somewhere. What is that, a redirect or something? A separate unique web server directory for each mp3 with an - e.g. index.html file? An Itunes database query?

I got here so late! Should I give up subscribing to all my favourite podcasts via RSS and join the Itunes bandwagon? OK, if RSS dies I'm happy to do that but there seems no help for a latecomer like me.

I have added the your xml subscription link (thank you) to my favourite RSS reader, (Opera) and do indeed see lots of mp3s - but no movies. I think I remember wanting to download some movies they had as well and that it was there that I encountered difficulties. I am almost relieved to see that in this respect I am not the only one on this thread to have Itunes problems.

cascade9 05-29-2011 05:44 AM

@ jake20x- I'd guess you have DRMed video from iTunes. Its possible to remove the DRM, and its not even that hard from what I've seen, but I really shouldnt link you do directions for how to do it with windows, its (possibly) illegal.

@ goanna300- iTunes is an apple creation that is both a meida player and a store for 'buying' video and audio files. Most people know about it, but for people that havent subjected themselves to an iPod or are not part of 'hipster' geek culture there is far less chance of someone knowing iTunes

The 'view in Itunes' link is meant to make you use the iTunes media player to listen (and possibly download) the file.

I wouldnt blame American Cinematographer Magazine for apples policies. You can blame them for using the $^@#$^ that is iTunes, but maybe they dont know any better? Have you considered giving them feedback and asking if they can (or already do) provide an alternate souce for he podcasts? If they dont, or wont, you should have no problem finding the same content from ACM as avaible from iTunes on different sites, in a more userfriendly format.

As for movies...nope, AFAIK you will not be able to get them without iTunes. Mind you, movies avaible on iTunes should be up somewhere else as well, but that would be far more likely to be illegal, or at least 'grey' in legality.

You probably dont want to join the iTunes bandwagon. There is no native linux version of iTunes, some versions work OK in WINE, some of them are pure junk. Thats not so bad, unless you hate the idea of installing WINE. The issue is that Itunes is a right pain with updates, apple are hypocrites (we like open source...expect for your open source media codecs that compete with apple AAC/ALAC, iTunes wont support them) and who wants to add to the number of users for what is locked down, nasty software?

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