January 28, 2010 12:54 PM   Subscribe

What is the most simple, robust program that will convert AVI files into WMV files?

I need a way to easily convert AVI files into WMV files. All of the demos I've downloaded thus far are all annoying for one reason or other.

What is your personal recommendation for such a program?

- Free is nice, but not necessary.
- Typically the AVI files are not huge (ie not hour long movies, but 45 second clips).
- Any other bells and whistles besides conversion aren't really necessary either.

posted by ian1977 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
posted by dortmunder at 12:57 PM on January 28, 2010

mplayer / mencoder
posted by cmiller at 1:02 PM on January 28, 2010

Microsoft Expression Encoder 3 Free Edition. If you can watch a file in Windows Media Player, you can convert it with Expression Encoder. EE3 has a simple GUI that hides more advanced features until you go hunting for them; generally, it's a matter of drag and dropping your source, waiting a few seconds while it is analyzed, picking an output preset (Xbox 360, PC playback, etc.), naming your output, and then starting the encode.

Note that libavcodec (ffmpeg, VLC, mplayer, etc.) is not as robust with many types of VC-1 (newest Microsoft video standard which many WMV files follow) video as Microsoft's own encoders and decoders. ASF/WMV is a broken standard, IMO, but there's no reason not to wind up with a file as broadly compatible as possible.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:08 PM on January 28, 2010

VLC is a fantastic tool for lots of things and my secret "how did he manage that?" application for getting usable video out of alien formats/busted files that producers send me. That said, VLC is not the best tool for this job.

The other suggestions are very good. I use "Media Convert Master" for stuff like this. It looks sketchy, but it works beautifully.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:42 PM on January 28, 2010

I use WinFF for a lot of that kind of thing. If you're only going to WMV, though, you could use Windows Movie Maker, which you may already have. It won't do any file formats other than WMV, but it's dead simple to use.
posted by echo target at 1:51 PM on January 28, 2010

I would go with Windows Movie Maker.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:16 PM on January 28, 2010

Windows Movie Maker also uses the same codecs as Windows Media Player, so if you can view your AVI in WMP then WMM should be able to make a WMV out of it, but YMMV.
posted by flabdablet at 3:34 PM on January 28, 2010

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