While it can be a bit of a pain that the Kindle Fire, despite being highly video-centric, offers users little in the way of video format compatibility, for the most part it probably won’t come up for just anybody. The storage space on board the tablet is small enough that streaming video is obviously going to be the most successful regular viewing method anyway. There are always those occasions when it is important to be able to load something for later though, when you expect to be without WiFi access or are simply unable to find a reasonable way to stream a title.
Admittedly there are also less conventional, free avenues for movie acquisition, but we won’t go into that here. For these times when you have a movie that you need to load onto your Kindle Fire, it’s important to be aware of the best way to go about it. Let’s assume that, through whatever avenue might have worked for you (third party purchase, DVD rip via freely available software like DVDFab, etc.) you have acquired some DRM-free video.
Since it’s what I’m familiar with and because it is freely available, I’m going to use a video conversion tool called Handbrake for Windows. In the end what matters most is choosing the right settings, so most any video conversion software will do.
- Install and Run Handbrake (Free software available for most computers at handbrake.fr)
- Find your Source Video
- Large button labeled “Source” will drop down and offer you the choice of either one file or a whole folder. The whole folder option is important is converting raw DVD data.
- Assuming you want the whole video, nothing more should be required. If you are trying to convert just a section, you can cut that out either by chapter, frame, or time period in the obvious menus provided.
- Choose your Destination
- Since you will be putting this onto the Kindle Fire, it is often best to have it output somewhere obvious like the desktop unless you are planning to retain converted video for storage.
- Do not output directly to the Kindle Fire at this stage.
- Under Presets, on the right side of the screen, choose “iPad” (Kindle Fire will use the same format) and check the settings that appear to make sure they match this:
- Container: MP4
- Uncheck “Large File Size”, “Web optimized”, and iPod 5G Support”
- Width: 720
- Cropping: Automatic
- Anamorphic: Loose
- Modulus: 16
Note for those not using Handbrake: Video Codec is H.264, Audio Codec is AAC
Not claiming these are the only working settings, merely what I recommend based on personal use.
- Click on the Start button at the top of the window
- Conversion will take between 15 and 45 minutes, on average, for a full length movie.
- Connect your Kindle Fire via USB
- Copy New Video File to Kindle Fire
- Folder: Video
- Can take 3-5mins for most USB transfers.
- Open Gallery App on your Kindle Fire
- User video will not show up under the Video tab at this time, but the Gallery comes pre-installed on your device.
Hope that helps a bit. The process is a bit tedious, but considering how little can be held on the Kindle Fire at a given time it should not be too much of a chore to pack it fill of whatever you want when this proves necessary. For a larger variety of options you can always root your Kindle, but understand that doing so will require a slightly greater initial time investment and could prove annoying as the step will have to be repeated with each Amazon software patch.