Once in a while I need to convert some video files so they are playable on my Ipod. I can never remember all the parameters I need to specify to ffmpeg, so I hacked together a small scripts that does all the magic. It does a two-pass encoding of the video file and the quality is quite nice.
If you insist on running ffmpeg directly you can try these parameters, that’s what I used to do before I made the script.
ffmpeg -i [in file] -vcodec xvid -b 384 -s 320x240 -qmin 2 -qmax 5 -bufsize 4096 -acodec aac -ab 96 -g 300 -pass [1 or 2] -passlogfile /tmp/ffmpeg.stats -f mp4 [out file]