As was the case in our search for Free Video Players for PCs, there actually are a considerable number of free video file converters available that will provide the functions you need. Your intended use is critical to the video file converter you choose because the range of features among free video file (or format) converters are extensive.
Several free media players such as AllPlayer, DivX, GOM, RealPlayer, VLC Media Player, and others offer a built-in converter or provide the feature as an additional module. Each have their own capabilities and limitations in handling input and output formats. Converting content for use on mobile devices is one of the more sought after features.
WHAT DO YOU WANT THE FREE VIDEO FILE CONVERTER TO DO?
Sure, it’s free to download, but will it meet your requirements in converting formats? Like media players, converters come in versions that may only deal with a limited number of file formats and ability to affect the output. There are converters designed to handle a large number of input types and then output to a broad variety of formats. You should especially be looking at what mobile device and set top players the converter supports. This is a constantly expanding world and your converter should at least cover your current or most used devices.
Several software developers divide up their product lines into small segments, packaging individual features, which address a limited number of input and output conversion formats. These products also usually have constrained feature sets for controlling, monitoring, and altering the video and audio while its being processed.
FREE VIDEO FILE CONVERTERS FOR ADVANCED USERS
If your needs require taking on virtually any video file format then look for a more elaborate video converter. There is a good selection of free products in that category, but while reviewing the landscape you’ll also run across a number of options in the $20 to $60 range. There are also truly professional video converters and encoders that are cost ten times that amount and higher. The purchased products typically offer free downloads for trial periods.
Rather than repeat them here, read the Special Features You Want To Have in “Video Format Converters – One Of The Black Arts Of Digital Video Technology” for some of the key elements to consider when selecting an all-purpose, dedicated converter.
A partial list of full-featured, free video file format converters worth considering include: 4Free Video Converter, Format Factory, Freemake, Handbrake, and iWisoft Free Video Converter.
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS IN CHOOSING A FREE VIDEO CONVERTER
Like many of their pricier counterparts, free converters offer numerous input and output formats, conversion to many types of mobile and consumer devices such as PS3 and Xbox, and the ability to rip and burn DVD and even Blu-ray. Some even include advanced features like 2-pass encoding, various presets to make interface functions easier, the ability to extract audio, and a host of other useful tools. Video and audio quality, formats, ease of use, and flexible features are the most important considerations.
Check technical support for each individual product your considering. While most of these converters are Windows-only, some do offer Mac versions, or are open source cross platform products. It might also be that you like a converter because of the interface or workflow, but it is lacking support for specific formats. In that case, installation of additional codecs may be available that will make it easier to use.
Odds are good that you’ll find a program that will meet your needs. To help cover the bases, we’ve done more detailed checking on several similar products: Any, AVS, Total, Prism, Movavi and Eztoo.
If you have any questions about picking a free video file converter just ask us in the comments. We’re happy to help.