Had a quiet evening at home last night with Vikki to celebrate New Years. Went to Josie's for a nice dinner. Played some scrabble. Watched the Simpsons movie on DVD.
I finally broke down and bought an iPod Nano. I spent all day playing with HandBrake and toying with various H.264 encodings. I had wanted to play with the video features for a while, and see how I might be able to better integrate it with MythTV. All I can say is that transcoding is REALLY slow. I takes about 50% realtime to transcode DVD quality 720x480 video down to 320x240 H.264. In other words, it takes about an hour to copy a 2 hour movie from a DVD to my iPod.
May take a closer look at the Elgato Turbo.264, which is a USB device with an ASIC specifically designed to accelerate the encoding process. Looks pretty neat, but has no hooks into HandBrake or any other open source library I could find.
Learned about some of the deficiencies of the DAAP protocol. I would really like to have a central repository for all my iTunes content. Looks like DAAP is a read-only protocol though and you can't sync the shared content to your iPod using iTunes (or manage playlists, or add new content, or any other "write" operation). Kind of annoying. I guess I can use nfs/rsync, but I was hoping for a cleaner solution...