Free Video Converters
Convert or Transcode Movies/Videos between Different Formats
Free Video Converters or Transcoders: Convert Movies/Videos between Different Formats
The free software on this page let you convert (ie, transcode) videos and movies between different file formats. They are useful for situations such as when you have a video file in one format (or even on a DVD or BluRay), but need to transcode (convert) them into a different format so that it can be played on a device that does not support your original file type. You might also need such programs if you record your own videos, and your digicam/videocam or smartphone (or whatever you use to film it) only supports one format (or encoding), and you need to convert the output to a different format (or encoding).
Most of these software support formats like DVD movie discs, IFO files (which are basically the DVD files, possibly copied to a hard disk), MPEG files, AVI files (which may be encoded/compressed using widely different video codecs like VWebM (VP8), DivX, H.264 / x264, etc), FLV (Flash video files), etc. Different software probably support a differents subset of these input and output video types, so please read their web pages for details to see if it has what you need. Also bear in mind that, in general, even when these programs say they support DVDs and BluRays, they often only support unencrypted DVDs and BluRays, that is, DVDs that don't have CSS encryption, region encoding, etc, and BluRays without its region protection and whatnot. Read their documentation.
Free Video Converters: Transcode Movies/Videos between Different Formats
- VidCoder (Windows)
VidCoder can rip (ie, copy to your computer's hard disk) unencrypted DVDs and BluRays and transcode videos (that is convert videos from one format to another). It actually uses the HandBrake engine (which is listed elsewhere on this page) but is preferred by many to HandBrake because it provides access to useful features which have been removed in current versions of that program. (For example, you can limit the size of the output file in VidCoder.) In any case, features include support for MPEG-4, MPEG-2, Theora video, AAC, MP3, Vorbis, AC3, FLAC, H.264, MP4 and MKV containers, AAC/AC3/MP3/DTS/DTS-HD passthrough, 2-pass encoding, decomb, detelecine and deinterlace filters, the ability to convert according to the bitrate, the output file size, or video quality, etc. This program works on Windows only, and requires you to have the .NET 4 framework.
- Arista Transcoder (Linux)
Arista Transcoder converts audio and video files between various formats. Instead of forcing you to figure out which type of device supports which format, the program lets you select from a variety of device presets, like DVD, iPod, Playstation 3, PSP, etc. It automatically detects available media and Video 4 Linux devices on your system and allows you to rip (that is, copy) directly from those media and devices. Supported formats and encodings include MP4, WebM's VP8, Matroska, AVI, Ogg Vorbis and Theora, FLV, H264, MPEG4 (DivX), MPEG2 (DVD), Theora, AAC, MP3, FLAC, WAV, etc. Device presets supported include Android, DVD, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Nokia N Series, the web, and the "computer". This program runs on Linux, and is designed for the GNOME desktop environment.
- FormatFactory (Windows)
This program can rip from a DVD, converting the movie to a video file, rip music CDs to audio files (of varying formats, including MP3, WMA, AMR, Ogg, AAC, WAV), as well as convert video files between a wide variety of formats, including MP4, 3GP, MPG, AVI, WMV, FLV, SWF and Real (RMVB, but requires you to install the Real codecs if you want this format). It supports MP4 files in the iPod, iPhone, PSP and BlackBerry formats. It can also, apparently, repair damaged video and audio files. The program has support for a wide variety of languages.
- HandBrake (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux)
This open source software can convert from a DVD (only unencrypted DVDs), a VIDEO_TS folder on your hard disk (that is, if you copied your DVD contents to your hard disk), a DVD image, some .VOB and .TS files, a wide variety of digital video file formats including (as far as I know) MPG, AVI, and probably others. It can output AVI files, MP4, MKV, or OGM file formats. Video output may be encoded as MPEG-4, H.264, or Theora, while audio output may be encoded as MP3, AAC, AC-3 pass-through or Vorbis. You can select the chapters of your DVD to encode, deinterlace, crop and scale the picture output, include subtitles, etc. Supported platforms include Windows, Mac OS X (both Intel and PPC) and Linux (both 32 bit and 64 bit). The program is licensed under the GNU General Public License.
- Videora iPod Converter (Windows, Mac OS X)
This software converts DVDs, YouTube videos, video / movie files (AVI, DivX, FLV, x264, VOB, MPEG) to files that you can play on your iPod (eg iPod touch, nano and classic) and iPhone. The program is available for Windows and Mac OS X. Its YouTube conversion facility lets you browse the YouTube site and select the video you want.
- Catalencoder (Windows)
This Windows program converts an MPEG2 (VOB) file into the DivX format. It is licensed under the GNU GPL, and is thus open source.
- MeGUI (Windows)
Input video formats supported by this converter include AVI files, D2V, VOB, TS, MPG, PVA, etc. It can convert to x264, XviD, MPEG-4, etc. Audio codec support include AAC, MP3 and Vorbis. The program is licensed under the GNU General Public License. This is a Windows program.
- DVDx (Windows)
DVDx converts DVD movies to VCD, SVCD, AVI (using the DivX codec or the Huffyuv lossless codec — see the free video codecs page) or WMV (WMV9) formats in one step.
- Freemake Video Converter (Windows)
Freemake Video Converter converts a wide variety of video formats, including AVI, MPG, MOV, DV, 3GP (mobile phone format), 3G2 (mobile phone format), FLV, SWF, MP4, WMV, MKV, RM, QT, TS, MTS, etc. It also handles audio formats like MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV, Ogg, etc. It can also rip unprotected DVD movies, extract audio from DVDs and video clips. Other features include the ability to author your own video DVDs by burning the video files to DVD, cut and join video segments, rotate and flip video, create a photo slideshow, etc. In view of its wide support for file formats, this program can be used to convert your video for platforms like iPod, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, PSP, Xbox, cellphones (even those that require you files to be in 3gp or 3g2 format), etc.
- SUPER (Windows)
This is another video converter that transcodes between video formats. It is not directly linked to here because, quite frankly, their website and practices make me suspicious. The site deliberately forces you to go through entire pages of pseudo-relevant gobbledygook, in sequence, before you get to the link to download the software; and the program itself attempts to connect to the Internet every time you run it, with no way to configure it not to do so. In spite of my deep suspicion, I'm listing it just in case someone actually wants it. If so, to go there, type "www" in your browser, followed by ".erightsoft." and "com", then "/SUPER." and of course "html". Yeah, I'm sorry about this, but it's to protect click-happy people.
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