I’m sure there’s a more high-tech way of doing this, but I’m not ultra-hip enough to do it. It’s also likely to require a more recent iThing than I have (iPhone 3GS), and maybe even a 3G connection (too expensive and unnecessary in Taipei, what with WiFi never more than a block or two away). But here’s a good way to get Chinese TV shows (or whatever else) from YouTube onto your portable media player of choice.

First, download episodes from YouTube (a good one for Mainland shows is MyChineseDrama). If you use a Mac, it’s especially easy. Open a window with the YouTube video you want using Safari, press Cmd+Opt+A and find the video file (likely to be the biggest thing on the list). Double click, and it downloads. If you use another platform, I can’t help you.

Use Handbrake to convert the FLV files to MP4, and then load them onto your phone/whatever. Super easy. I’m loading up on TV shows that I can use as study material. I don’t bring my laptop to school, don’t have any internet connection (though it’s more convenient to have it on your phone anyway), and spend most of my day (8AM-ish to 7PM-ish) at school, either in class, studying, working, or procrastinating, and I’ve been wanting to start using TV shows as a serious part of my study routine. The last thing I want to do when I get home in the evening is more studying, so it will be good to bring this stuff with me.

The problem is, I don’t know any good Taiwanese (Mandarin) TV shows. I’m loading some Mainland shows for now, but I’d like to find some from Taiwan too. Preferably not 康熙來了 or anything with over-the-top sound effects and neon characters flying across the screen. Something with a plot, modern (unfortunately, because I’d love to watch some wuxia), etc. Any genre is welcome.

February Goals Update tomorrow!