Convert Video Files--Even in Rare Formats--With Any Video Converter
At a Glance
As the rioting that ended the career (at least as named) of the band "Free Beer" teaches us, you have to be careful what you name something. Free program Any Video Converter is a name that makes a bold promise… And darned if it doesn't deliver.
My rather large array of video files presented no problems for Any Video Converter, even the rarer types. No one uses Real Media anymore and Any Video Converter converted those just fine, including a variable bit rate file. It also handled OGG, older Intel codecs and everything in between--no matter what type of audio track (MP3, MP4, WAVE) was included. With so many open source alternative codecs available (Any Video Converter leverages many of them), this universality isn't quite as impressive as it once was. But I still see programs that won't recognize some of my test files.
Any Video Converter offers a host of output formats and containers, MPEG 1/2/4, FLV, AVI, HTML5, MKV, etc. You can also tailor the output by device: Android, iPhone, Sony PSP, Windows Zune, etc. There's even a primitive editor on board that allows you to clip video. It's a bit tricky to set the start and end points, but you'll rarely need the precision it lacks. You may also alter the output video's orientation (flip, mirror, rotate, etc.); adjust brightness, contrast, and saturation; and crop.
There's not a lot to using Any Video Converter. Drag the files to the conversion pane, edit if you wish, select the output category or device, specify the subtype and press the Convert Now button. My test conversions for the iPhone and Zune were very good quality.
There are pay versions of Any Video Converter, starting at $30, that add copy-protected DVD ripping and more output presets, but for most users the free version should take care of business. I actually prefer Any Video Converter to the also-quite-capable Freemake Video Converter. It installs less stuff--at least if you don't blindly click through. If you don't disable the option, you'll wind up with an iTunes helper app installed.
Note: The Download button takes you to the vendor's site, where you can download the latest version of the software.
--Jon L. Jacobi