Looking for a free video conversion software program
February 12, 2013 6:11 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a recommendation for any free video conversion software programs...

Greetings, lately I have been trying to convert a variety of videos into different formats. For example .mkv files to avi or mp4 files to avi, etc, or flv files to mp4 files etc. The program that I was using wasn't giving me the results that I was hoping for.

I will admit, I know nothing about video formats and quality, but I am trying to (and willing to) learn. I am figuring out that trying to convert a certain format to another (.mpg to .avi, for example) doesn't always work in terms of video quality. My main reason for for wanting to do this is that I have a dvd player that plays a wide range of formats, so instead of watching them on my computer, I am trying to convert a lot of these videos to avi files to watch on my tv. It doesn't always work out.

I am just looking for advice/suggestions, etc. I am certainly willing to pay for software, but I am curious if there is anything out there that is comparable and free.

Thanks in advance!
posted by dbirchum to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Format Factory is my go-to program for converting one video file type into another. (It also converts images and audio too)

Just make sure to read all the screens when you install it. It wants to install bundled software like the ask toolbar.
posted by royalsong at 6:17 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I also should add, I have been to cnet.com and a couple of sites like that, looking at a listing of the most popular downloads in a variety of categories.
posted by dbirchum at 6:22 AM on February 12, 2013

You might play around with HandBrake. That's my go-to "TRANSCODE ALL THE THINGS" video software.
posted by hanov3r at 6:27 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've read that Miro Video Converter is pretty decent. It works for Mac and Windows - not sure what you're running.
posted by backwards guitar at 6:47 AM on February 12, 2013

mpegstreamclip is my friend.
posted by history is a weapon at 7:06 AM on February 12, 2013

Best answer: If you're the sort of person who can manage command-lines, FFmpeg can do all sorts of magic for video conversion.
posted by straw at 7:33 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I get very satisfactory results with the program Free Youtube Downloader. It's not just for downloading clips, it can convert your clips to a variety of formats and quality levels. I use it all the time when I'm making my Ursula Hitler's Head cartoons, and it's much better and simpler than any other program I've tried. (If you look at my older cartoons you'll see that a lot of them are blurry as hell, because I was using other free video download/conversion programs that weren't nearly as good.)

One warning: when you install it, it will offer to download all sorts of toolbars and change your homepage and send you newsletters and other crap you don't need or want. Read all the pop-windows carefully and keep un-ticking the boxes, and you'll be fine.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:53 PM on February 12, 2013

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