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Author Topic: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)  (Read 13317 times)
Zunerama Ed.
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How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« on: February 16, 2007, 10:41:47 PM »

Check out Zunerama's new Cucusoft tutorial, with over 30 screenshots!

LINK: http://www.zunerama.com/cucusoft-zune-tutorial.php

(Update: I've copied the tutorial in the next post below.)
« Last Edit: February 18, 2007, 03:18:51 PM by Zunerama Ed. » Logged


Zunerama Ed.
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2007, 03:15:03 PM »

Cucusoft Zune Converter Suite - Tutorial
Updated 4/28/07 for Version 6.2.5.16

Cucusoft Zune Converter Suite is a simple and powerful software package that you can use to convert your DVDs and video files to make them playable on your Zune. The suite includes DVD to Zune Converter (which rips and converts movies from DVDs), and Zune Video Converter (which converts other video files on your PC). Zunerama recommends Cucusoft for its ease of use, conversion speed, and quality results. 


   

Download with confidence. Zunerama recommends Cucusoft Zune Converter Suite, and supports your Cucusoft experience with:

  • Up-to-date links to download latest version of free trial
  • Up-to-date links to purchase and download full package
  • Cucusoft tutorial with Zunerama's step-by-step instructions and over thirty screenshots
  • Free access to Zunerama's Cucusoft technical support board, where you can ask questions, get help, and share your experience with Cucusoft software.
  • Free access to our Zune community in the Zunerama forum, where you meet and interact with other Zune enthusiasts.



Tutorial

The steps below take you through downloading, installing, and using Cucusoft for ripping and converting DVDs for Zune playback. We also explain how to convert other video files you may have on your PC, for playback on your Zune.

If you have any problems, you can get help in Zunerama's Cucusoft Technical Support board.

This tutorial is divided into 4 sections:  Download  | Install  | Convert  |  Play!

Download.

You can try out Cucusoft with the trial version, or buy the full version. Both are delivered to you as downloads so you can start using Cucusoft right away. The trial version is fully functional, but embeds a watermark on your converted video.

Click to download free trial  |  Click to buy full version

When prompted to "open" or "save" the file, save the download file to your PC.


Find the downloaded file on your PC, and double-click it to complete the download of the software installation file. 


As the download progresses, you'll see the following messages:

Install. 

Once you've downloaded the install file, it should start the installation automatically. You'll see the following screens during the install process:

Welcome screen. Close other applications, and press Next.


License Agreement. Accept the agreement, and press Next.


Choose folder. Accept the default location, or change it if you wish the program to be installed in a different folder. Press Next.


Choose Start Menu folder. Accept default; press Next.

Additional Tasks. Keep the box checked if you want the installation to create a desktop shortcut that you can use to launch Cucusoft. Press Next.

Ready to Install. Press Install.


Install done! You'll see the window below when the installation is complete. You can launch Cucusoft immediately by checking the launch option. Press Finish to close the installation window.


Convert.

Now that the software is installed, you can start converting DVDs and video files to play on your zune. If it's not already running, go ahead and launch Cucusoft (using the desktop shortcut, or by using Start Menu > Programs > Cucusoft Zune Video Converter Suite.


You can convert from DVD, and you can also convert video files that you may already have on your PC. The simple steps for both are shown below:

Convert from DVD.

Start DVD to Zune. Click on the DVD button (the topmost of the three buttons) on the Suite's main window.

Software Agreement. Read the agreement and, if you agree, select "accept" and press OK.

Upgrade opportunity. If you're using the free trial, the screen below will appear to give you an opportunity to upgrade to the full version.

Prepare to convert. The screen below appears, with a guide to walk you through the next steps.


First we'll set the profile; this determines which coder/decoder ("codec") the software will use to perform the conversion. Click in the profile field to see the various profile options available. For Zune-compatible files, choose one of the "Zune Video - Windows Media" options. Generally, the higher the encoder number, the better your video quality will be. So, for most situations the best choice is Zune Video - Windows Media 9.


You can also specify crop settings at this point. "No crop" will cause your output video to be in the same format as your original DVD - in other words, a widescreen DVD will appear with a black bar above and below the video. You can choose to crop both black bands, which will cause your output video to completely fill the Zune player's screen.


Finally, we'll set the Resize options. "Keep original aspect ratio" is typically the preferred option here; the alternative option is "Stretch to full screen", which distorts your video in order to make it completely fill up your available screen space.

(For a detailed look at the crop and resize settings, check out the pics at http://zunerama.com/forum/index.php?topic=3987.0.)


If you wish, you can also change the Output Folder - this is where Cucusoft will store the video file that it creates. You should be okay with the default, but if you want to change it, just click on the Output Folder button and navigate to the folder of your choice.

Insert DVD. Put your DVD in your PC's DVD drive, and click the Open DVD button. You'll be prompted to navigate to the DVD drive with the pop-up window shown below.

Play Movie. Press the Play button beneath the view screen. You'll see your movie start to play.

Ready to Record. In a moment, you'll see a popup window similar to the one shown below. Cucusoft is confirming that the video being viewed is really the one you want. If it isn't, press the "No" button, and use the DVD controls to get to the chapter or option (special feature, for example) that you're interested in.

From this window you can also edit the name of the created file, and move the slider to adjust the size and quality of the produced file.

Finally, you can instruct Cucusoft to start recording from the beginning of the video, or from the current frame being viewed. Normally, you'll want the default - i.e. to record from the beginning.


Recording. Now you'll see the scenes of your movie in the preview window, as your movie gets recorded. The progress ball shows how you're doing, and the status line below indicates the percentage complete as well as other conversion specifications.

Now let your system churn for a while. Depending on the power of your PC, it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to a couple hours to convert a feature-length movie.

Done! You'll see this window when the conversion is complete. Choose the first option to open the folder containing the newly-created file. (Choosing the second option will open that folder, and open Zune software.)

Now you can sync and play your movie on your Zune! Just connect your Zune player to your PC, and drag the converted video to your sync list. The transfer will go quickly because your converted video is already optimized for Zune. No time-consuming re-transcoding is needed with Cucusoft.

Optional. If you want to, you can view your created file by navigating to the output folder specified earlier. The image below shows the properties of this created video. Converted at the highest quality settings, it produced a 600MB .wmv file.


(Optional) View conversion log. If you're curious, you can view a log of the conversion results through the pulldown menu options. It shows the internal workings of each step of the conversion.

Convert from video files.

To convert video files that are already on your PC, select the second button from the main Cucusoft Suite screen.

Select files. You can convert multiple files at the same time; to do so, select Open file and select multiple files.

The selected files are then displayed in the Input Video pane. 

You can change options by pressing the Advanced button.

Convert. Press the Convert button.

Done! You'll see the pop-up below when the conversion is complete.

Now you can sync and play your movie on your Zune!

Play! 

The next time you sync, the video file will be transferred to your Zune player.

Here are a few special considerations that may apply to you:

  • If you've turned off Automatic Sync in Zune software, you'll need to drag and drop the converted video file into the sync list, in order for the video to transfer to your player.
    • If you're using Automatic Sync (the default mode in Zune software), the video will sync to your player automatically. If it does not, it may be because the converted video is not in one of the folders "watched" by Zune software (such as My Videos folder). In that case, you can either drag-and-drop the video file to your sync list, or move the video file to your My Videos folder. Or, if you prefer, you could add the output folder to your list of folders watched by Zune software.

    Once the player is synced, you can watch your movie anytime on your Zune!

     


« Last Edit: April 30, 2007, 01:30:30 PM by Zunerama Ed. » Logged


jimvarvar
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2007, 12:15:25 PM »

Ive been running the DVD to Zune converter only and my DVD movies are excellent. When the DVD to Zune converter is done just drag the file into your Zune library and play your movie. I don't run the Zune video converter.

Do you have to run the last step!!!!
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admin
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2007, 03:48:14 PM »

You are doing it correctly.

The video converter step is only for files that you may already have on your PC... it's not needed if you're converting files directly from DVD.
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kevinAB
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2007, 09:41:29 AM »

 :)Thanks so much for this tutorial. I downloaded the full package but never received any quidelines as to how to operate. I even contacted Cucusoft but they never responded..now Ican convert some of my best dvd's.
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coot66
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2007, 10:45:43 AM »

Z-Ed, have you considered updating the tutorial to incorporate some of the new features of the recent upgrade?

-The Updated Coot66
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admin
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2007, 12:48:06 AM »

Yes, I've captured the screen shots of the latest Cucusoft upgrade - - but still need to update the tutorial. Thanks for the ping on it.
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2007, 09:03:57 PM »

The tutorial has been updated and now reflects the new features of Cucusoft Suite version 6.2.5.16.
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Exflony
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2007, 10:10:41 AM »

Does this program allow you to burn a dvd?
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darkzero63
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2007, 11:50:31 AM »

What I'd like to know is does this software convert DVR MS files to Zune? I'd really like to be able to watch TV shows on my zune...
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Zunerama Ed.
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2007, 08:21:21 AM »

Quote from: Exflony on July 04, 2007, 10:10:41 AM
Does this program allow you to burn a dvd?

No, it's strictly for extracting movies from DVD and converting them. (As well as converting other video files you may have.) You can't copy DVDs with it.
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Zunerama Ed.
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2007, 08:24:15 AM »

Quote from: darkzero63 on July 04, 2007, 11:50:31 AM
What I'd like to know is does this software convert DVR MS files to Zune? I'd really like to be able to watch TV shows on my zune...

I don't see DVR listed as one of the supported input formats. I could test it out if I could find a DVR file to run through Cucusoft...
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2007, 08:17:06 PM »

In reference to down loading video and dvds:
I use Inter Video I Video TO GO it is a relative cheap program it cost me only 24 dollars.
It also gives you alot of options on converting level of quality.IT also lets you convert files from
DVD or files from your hard drive.I use it alot. I record tv programs on dvd and then convert then
the program stores the conversion in my computers video file.When I open the zune software the
file is in the recently added section .Hope this helps someone
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Zunerama Ed.
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2007, 08:42:04 AM »

Cucusoft's support for a wide range of codecs puts it up there in my top two or three video converters. For most people, it can save headaches by making the conversion parameters relatively simple to configure.

I'm being reminded of this now as I'm going through an update of the movies on my Zune. We made good use of the ones on my player, during this summer's road trips. Time for a refresh!
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Vasquez CP1
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2007, 11:28:59 PM »

has anyone run into any problems running this program with Vista? I can't convert certain DVDs (Star Wars) Smiley and was wondering if it was a Vista thing. Other DVDs convert just fine.
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rich3327
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2007, 08:25:41 AM »

Is there amy way to speed up the process. I can't stand waiting 45 minutes to a couples hours for the program process. Is there anything out there that'll work faster?
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Zunerama Ed.
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2007, 08:35:48 AM »

I have tried several - both free and licensed software - and the answer is no, or least not without seriously sacrificing quality.

Just turn it on, and let her run. Smiley
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rich3327
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2007, 07:24:01 AM »

Quote from: Zunerama Ed. on November 07, 2007, 08:35:48 AM
I have tried several - both free and licensed software - and the answer is no, or least not without seriously sacrificing quality.

Just turn it on, and let her run. Smiley

Right on, thanks.
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2008, 02:33:04 PM »

I tried this out, and I am a little tepid over it, and might actually prefer something else. The quality is a little fuzzy for me, and it doesn't do a completely good job of compressing (target is about 50-70 MB for me). Any other suggestions? I really need something that keeps the quality somewhat high or normal, and that lightens the size considerably.
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2008, 11:00:42 PM »

Quote from: Zunerama Ed. on September 10, 2007, 08:42:04 AM
Cucusoft's support for a wide range of codecs puts it up there in my top two or three video converters. For most people, it can save headaches by making the conversion parameters relatively simple to configure.

I'm being reminded of this now as I'm going through an update of the movies on my Zune. We made good use of the ones on my player, during this summer's road trips. Time for a refresh!

You mention that it is on your top two or three converters. What other converters do you have on your list?
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2008, 11:09:23 PM »

I've been looking into this product for 3 months now. I've used the demo for many video formats. The only thing i'm stuck on is whether to buy the Ultimate DVD + Video Converter Suite or just the Zune converter suite. I think for a few extra bucks it might be worth having the ultimate. my damn girlfriend has an ipod...
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Mondane
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Re: How to: convert DVDs & video for Zune - with Cucusoft (w/ screenshots)
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2008, 05:58:36 PM »

 Huh
I tried this software and could not convert two movies in the trial version. I hav ;)e Nero 9 on my computer. Could this be the problem? What is the best software...any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Zunerama Ed.
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« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2008, 09:39:25 PM »

Nero should not be interfering with it. What kind of symptom are you seeing when you try to convert the DVDs?
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