iLoad Offers to Rip DVDs onto iPods

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Many iPod owners have probably caught themselves thinking, “Gosh, I like my iPod, but isn’t there a way I can transfer music onto it without using a computer or going through iTunes?” Some users don’t want all the wear and tear on their CD/DVD drives that can be caused by transferring dozens (or hundreds) of CDs using their computer, and (believe it or not!) some folks with extensive CD collections may not be all that comfortable using a computer; for instance, plenty of seniors might find an iPod is a great addition to their life, but a computer might just too much to handle.

One solution has been the iLoad, a standalone device vaguely resembling a Mac mini: the idea is that users could plug in their iPod, pop in a CD, press a button, and the music on the CD would be automatically transferred to the iPod—with track and artist information, if the iLoad was connected to an Internet-enabled home network.

Now, for owners of video-capable iPods, word comes that the iLoad can also handle transferring video from standard DVDs to an iPod—and, naturally, Apple’s forthcoming iPhone. The process works the same way: plug the iPod into the iLoad device, insert a DVD, press the “Go” button, and users can transfer video to their iPod without using a computer or the iTunes application as a “middle man.” The iLoad can transfer video to the iPod at about 2.5 times the actual playing time of the video; it can also delete music or video from an iPod—or back it up to an external USB or Flash drive. iLoad says the video copying capability works with most standard DVDs—although copies should be made only for private, legitimate use, of course.

The iLoad is available now for $299; expensive for an iPod accessory, but for folks who need to get material onto their iPod while away from a computer—or who simply don’t want to deal with a computer at all—it might be a real problem-solver.

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