Get blockbuster movies on your iPhone

7. Fire up the Turbo.264

Turbo.264 from Elgato is a USB add-on for Macs that contains an H.264 co-processor. Its beauty lies in the fact that it can speedily convert almost any kind of video into compatible files that work with the iPhone. It also takes a massive load off the processors in your Mac, enabling them to be set free to do other things. It's particularly useful if you own a pre-Intel Mac, with iPhone rips hitting up to 70 frames per second (fps).

8. Push it to extremes

According to figures published by Apple, the maximum movie size an iPhone can playback resolution wise is 640 x 480 pixel H.264 running at up to 1.5Mbps; or 2.5Mbps if you're using MPEG-4. You can, however, push this to a breathtaking 5Mbps by tweaking the iPod High preset in Handbrake. 5Mbps is more than good enough for watching on a flat panel TV, although you won't be able to fit many movies on your iPhone - a 90 minute movie comes out at 4GB. Eek!

9. Get it off the TV

If you're lucky enough to have a Media Center PC with a built-in TV tuner, or a Mac with an add-on one, then you're in business. You can simply record the programme in MPEG2, then convert it into MPEG-4 or H.264 using some of the methods we've outlined above. Getting content off the telly is cheaper and more convenient than buying from the iTunes Store or the DVD. Unless, of course, you're paying through the nose for a digital TV subscription. In which case, not so much.

10. Lights, camera, action

If you're worried about prosecution and/or the high price your piracy is exacting on the moguls of Hollywood (no, you'll have to send the champagne back - we can't afford it!), you might just want to fill your iPhone with home-made content instead. Getting your masterpiece into the iPhone is easy - on the Mac select Share Project With iTunes in iMovie '08 and then choose the appropriate file size. The hard part is coming up with a plot, credible performances from people who aren't too ugly, non-wobbly special effects. Oh, and a camcorder, some lights, a non primadonna-ish director...

See also 'Get the most out of iTunes with these 21 great adds-on'