Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The best AV converter for Windows, Linux and Mac

*UPDATED - September 5 2015*

Hello! I am gonna talk about another not-so-disputed category of software - audio-video converters. This category has some intense competition between few makers. I will talk about that later. And let me tell you - I have reviewed the latest versions of the video converters as soon as they were available. But first let me make it clear what an actual AV converter is.

An AV converter is a tool that converts your videos as fast as possible while not lowering or pixelating your video or audio output in any case. It should have a very simple GUI which even a child can understand. It may also have additional options for tweaking, trimming and light video editing. It should accept any common audio and video format so the user is not forced to download any additional tool or plugin or add-on later on.

My criteria is a tad bit different from other reviewers. This is the prioritised checklist:
  • Extremely large input format support
  • Conversion to MP4, MPG and legacy 3GP video formats
  • Conversion to MP3 and WAV audio formats
  • Easy to use interface (or GUI; technical terms... ugh!)
  • Light video editing and trimming option
  • CD/DVD ripping option

NOTE: There can be adware/spyware in my suggested options since they might be added after the time of reviewing (nothing to do with my review :P).

So let's have a look at the contenders for the title: Freemake, SUPER, Wondershare Video Converter.

NOTE: 3GP is a very important video format since it is the only video format that can run on Java phones (the cheap Nokia feature phones and the like).

So why did I choose these video converters out of the crowd? You will get the point after reading the complete review.

best-video-converters-for-windowsWindows

Freemake Video Converter 4.1.7


It has recently improved its core files to make it more stable. It has recently added support for iPhone 5S and 5C. (Sorry iPhone 6 users!)
It is the simplest of all. So simple even your granny can use it if she knew how to point and move the mouse cursor. It supports almost every format out of the blue. It converts for most mobiles and devices, and also gives you the option to convert into the common video formats.
It also offers light video editing and trimming.

Disadvantage 1: Does not offer intensive control of the conversion process (tweaking every setting? No way!). But that will make it difficult to use. For such control, I recommend SUPER.
Disadvantage 2: It does not convert into WAV audio format. For that I recommend another video converter that can be used as Freemake's sidekick: SUPER.


SUPER 2014 build 65


Why did I choose SUPER, a such underrated and obscure video converter? Not to mention it is bulky (66 MB offline installer).

It is the only video converter that encodes ASF, MOV and WMV into the new standard H.265 (or HEVC codec). (Hell, even the paid ones cannot do this now.) Only MKV and MP4 are supported by others for HEVC encoding.

It is a complete tool for the video studios and video editing pros. If anyone wants to have total control over the conversion process, this is it. Of course, you should have some knowledge of audio and video codecs. Also the bitrates and frequency. And all the gobble-de-geek I don't want to say to humiliate you.

Another sidekick for converting MIDI files: Free MIDI to MP3 Converter.


Free MIDI to MP3 Converter


The name says it all. MIDI files are not supported by any free video converter as inbuilt. So an external app was needed for this job. It is around 7 MBs. Keep this with you if you like. I had to use it once for my mobile ringtones.


OR AN ALL-IN-ONE PAID ALTERNATIVE


wondershare-video-converter




Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate 8.4.0



It is equal to Freemake + SUPER + Free MIDI to MP3 Converter.
It does not include ASF, MOV and WMV conversion into the new H.265 (or HEVC codec).
It does not rip DVDs like Freemake.
It does not have as many codecs as SUPER for both audio and video.


Linux


ff-multi-converter



FF-Multi Converter



It is an audio, video, pictures and documents converter. It should rather be called a universal converter. Best of all, it is free. Though bulky, it converts into more than 110 formats (of course depending on whether input file is a document or video).




Mac

any-video-converter-for-mac



Any Video Converter 7.0.7



It is a good video converter that fits my criteria. MP4 for all Apple devices, 3GP for cheap feature phones and MP3 for songs. Period.

 

Is your favourite app excluded?

This section tells you why your favourite and popular choice was excluded.
HandBrake: Cannot convert to 3GP format (important for little feature phones)
Miro Video Converter: Cannot convert to 3GP format
MacX Quicktime Video Converter: Cannot convert to 3GP format

 

Conclusion

Use the 3 free apps in Windows in conjunction with each other. Only formats excluded are the obscure KAROKE formats and the like. Otherwise you will be able to tackle most audios and videos from the Internet or from your friend. (Maybe even your electronic piano?)