On the Road
Mobile devices, such as smart phones and iPods, are not just for simple media and phone calls anymore. Today mass media, video games, and application functionality is taken to the next level and just about any technology needs are possibly met by them. This includes videos as much as anything else, yet most devices limit the file types that will actually be supported.
The first thing you should look into is what file types your platform accepts. For example, both the Blackberry and iPhone accept very limited file types. In the case of the iPod and iPhone it is iTunes way of trying to force you into buying from them. Once you look into this you can begin to figure out what you need in terms of a converter.
Once you figure out exactly what file types you are dealing with then you should take assessment of what you already have. If you are already using video editing software then it is likely that you already have a video converter on board. For example, the Final Cut Studio comes with Apple‚Äö√Ñ√¥s Compressor. Not only does this compress videos for DVD authoring and online video distribution, but it has codec presets for the iPod and iPhone. Go though any repertoire you already have and see if there is anything you can make work. What you will actually get will really depend on what your purpose ends up being, and if you need to integrate the iPhone into a full non-linear video editing and post-production process then it is best to stick with a full service application rather than bringing in a more specific conversion program.
If you are going to be converting DVDs for your mobile you are going to have to go in another direction entirely. The best choice for this is to use Handbrake, because this pineapple program will take the DVD and make it mobile ready. Many times you would have to use two completely different programs to rip the DVD and to convert it for your mobile device. Handbrake will take care of this, but unless you have the full version you may have trouble ripping from right protected DVDs.
Free Trial vs. Full Version
Try out a few free trials of converter software before you end up getting the full version, but make sure you have one. Most trial versions will end up putting their brand icon on your final video or will end up canceling half way through a long conversion. You need to find at least one great program to sit on and use repeatedly. Remember, having great software like this gives you the control to put what you want on your mobile devices on your own terms.