iFlicks is a neat little application that I found while searching for an alternative to VideoMonkey which is still a bit too buggy for my taste. Basically, I’ve had it with the monkey and I wouldn’t mind paying a small fee for an app that just works.
iFlicks is such an app. It was designed to make it easy for end-users to convert videos for playback on their Apple equipment and in iTunes, so advanced users might miss a few features here and there. iFlicks is €19.95 for a single user license or €49.95 for a family license – I think that’s fair pricing, considering what you’re getting and how easy it works – including the complete metadata support which I really like.
Intro Video by iFlicks
The headline features of iFlicks are as follows:
- Tight iTunes integration
- themoviedb.org integration
- TheTVDB.com integration
- Complete metadata support
- Manage your video collection with iTunes
- Comfortable scriptable
- Video conversion (iTunes/Front Row, Apple TV, iPad, iPod, iPhone)
- Supports Elgato Turbo.264 (HD)
How To Use
iFlicks was designed to be easy – and it is. The interface has four buttons at the top row which you simply toggle depending on what you want to happen. The first button lets you select which encoding preset to use, ie. are you converting for iPhone, Apple TV, etc.? The next is destination and lets you select where to save the encoded file. The third button is enabled by default and will move your encoded file directly into iTunes. And finally, the fourth button is to move the original file to trash – so it does a little bit of cleaning up after itself as well.
Since I got my iPad a few weeks ago, I got this idea that I wanted to get some of my Knight Rider episodes onto it, so I could finally get around to watching them. Hey, don’t judge me, The Hoff was great back then 🙂 Anyway, I had already ripped the DVD’s a long time ago so I had them only in a non-iTunes friendly format and I certainly couldn’t get them to play on the iPad without converting them first.
Luckily I had them named properly, ie. “Knight Rider 1×05” for episode 5 in season 1. This naming format makes it really easy for iFlicks to pull metadata from its sources. Just by dragging in the file and iFlicks will instantly go and search for coverart, episode description, title etc. All you need is there. It also supports the “s01e05” naming, meaning the same thing as “1×05”.
If, for some reason, iFlicks fails to find your TV show, you can click the “search for details” button to make sure that the show name is correct and update if it’s not. Simply enter the show name and it will rank results based on similarity. Here I miss being able to simply double click on the result I want, rather than first clicking a result to select it and then click the “Ok”-button. It’s a minor thing but it still annoyed me a few times.
I found only one bug within iFlicks, which didn’t occur too often and wasn’t annoying in the same way as VideoMonkey bugs. It happened to me a few times when I dragged over another batch of files to be converted, that the four buttons on top were all grayed out, so I couldn’t click on any of them. Had to restart the application for the buttons to work again.
This might not be a bug, it could be a feature, depending on how you look at it. But I would really like iFlicks to remember the last used preset and select it for me upon next launch.
As already mentioned, iFlicks was designed to be easy to use – and it really is. This unfortunately also means that you can’t modify presets or create your own, if you want just a little bit more bitrate for an iPad conversion, for example. In most cases, if not all cases, the built-in presets will be just fine. But it’s nice to have the ability to modify or create your own, I think. I’m using the “Apple TV” preset to convert my Knight Rider episodes by the way, they play back great on both Apple TV and iPad – and even with the embedded subtitles from when I ripped the DVD’s.
The developer says that more advanced features will be coming sometime, but it will be a while.
As for speed of conversion, iFlicks is slightly slower than VideoMonkey but nothing I would even care to mention if it wasn’t because I deliberately timed a few conversions in both applications. This is due to the fact that iFlicks use QuickTime and VideoMonkey use FFmpeg for conversion. iFlicks is looking into moving to FFmpeg as well, but even at its current speed, I wouldn’t worry about it.
iFlicks also supports Elgato Turbo.264 (HD) which is a device you can connect to your USB port and get even faster conversion speeds – how iFlicks and QuickTime with Turbo.264 measures up against FFmpeg, I don’t know, but I imagine it’ll be faster.
You can download a free 14 day trial of iFlicks at iflicksapp.com and try it out for yourself.