Many video file formats, so many handheld video players, so many
online video sites, and so little time. To have your favorite clips how
you want them—whether that's on your iPod, iPhone, PSP or desktop—you
need the right utility to convert them into the format that works for
you. Commercial video converter
but there are several solid free utilities that can convert your video
files on every operating system, or if you've just got a web browser
and a quick clip. Put DVDs on your iPod
, YouTube videos on DVD
, or convert any video file
with today's top 10 free video rippers, encoders and converters.
1. Handbrake (Open source/Windows, Mac)
Back up your DVD's to digital file with this open source DVD to MPEG-4 converter app. See also how to rip DVDs to your iPod with Handbrake
2. DVD Shrink (Freeware/Windows only)
Copy a DVD to your hard drive and leave off all the extras like bonus footage, trailers and other extras to save space with DVD Shrink
. Download Adam's one-click AutoHotkey/DVD Shrink utility to rip your DVDs to your hard drive
for skip-free video play from scratchy optical media.
Honorable mention: DVD Decrypter, which Windows peeps can use to copy DVDs to their iPods.
3. iSquint (Freeware/Mac OS X only)
Convert any video file to iPod-sized versions and automatically add the results to your iTunes library. iSquint is free.
4. VidDownloader (webapp)
you don't want to mess with installing software to grab that priceless
YouTube clip before it gets yanked, head over to web site VidDownloader
which sucks in videos from all the big streaming sites (YouTube, Google
Video, iFilm, Blip.TV, DailyMotion, etc.), converts them for you to a
playable format and offers them for download. Other downloaders for
online video sites buy you a Flash FLV file, but VidDownloader spits
back an AVI file.
5. Hey!Watch (webapp)
Web application Hey!Watch converts video located on your computer
desktop as well as clips hosted on video sites. Upload your video to
Hey!Watch to encode it into a wide variety of file formats, like H264,
MP4, WMV, DivX, HD Video, Mobile 3GP/MP4, iPod, Archos and PSP.
Hey!Watch only allows for 10MB of video uploads per month for free, and
from there you pay for what you use, but it's got lots of neat features
for video publishers like podcast feed generation and automatic batch
processing with options you set once.
6. AVS Video Converter (Freeware/Windows only)
Rip and burn personal DVDs, convert video, create HD Video, split, join, edit, apply effects, copy to mobile devices!
almost all video formats including DivX, XviD, MOV, rm, rmvb, MPEG,
VOB, DVD, WMV, AVI to MPEG-4 movie format for iPod/PSP or other
portable video device, MP4 player or smart phone with Any Video
Converter, which also supports user-defined video file formats as the
Key features: Convert Video between
Almost Any Formats, Convert within Minimum Time, Create Movie DVDs,
Manage Videos from HD-Cameras, Convert & Edit Blu-Ray Video, Output
Videos to Various Devices, Make Videos Ready for Website, Straight from
Disc to PC, Extract Soundtracks and images from Movies.
7. Videora Converter (Freeware/Windows only)
Converter is a set of programs, each designed to convert regular PC
video files into a format tailored to your favorite video-playing
handheld device. The Videora program list includes iPod Video Converter
(for 5th gen iPods), iPod classic Video Converter (for 6th gen classic
iPods), iPod nano Video Converter (for 3rd gen iPod nanos), iPod touch
Video Converter, iPhone Video Converter, Videora Apple TV Converter,
PSP Video 9, Videora Xbox360 Converter, Videora TiVo Converter, and
Videora PMP Converter.
Honorable Mention: DVD to iPod Converter
for Windows converts YouTube and other online videos to iPod format.
8. . Avi2Dvd (Freeware/Windows)
Make your video files burnable to a DVD with Avi2Dvd, a utility that converts
Avi/Ogm/Mkv/Wmv/Dvd files to Dvd/Svcd/Vcd format. Avi2Dvd can also produce DVD menus with chapter, audio, and subtitle buttons.
9. MediaCoder (Open source/Windows)
Batch convert audio and video compression formats with the open source
Media Coder for Windows, which works with a long laundry lists of
formats, including MP3, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, AAC+, AAC+V2, MusePack, WMA,
RealAudio, AVI, MPEG/VOB, Matroska, MP4, RealMedia, ASF/WMV, Quicktime,
and OGM, to name a few.
10. VLC media player (Open source/All platforms)
so VLC is a media player, not converter, but if you're watching digital
video, it's a must-have—plus VLC can indeed rip DVD's, as well as play
ripped discs in ISO format (no actual optical media required.) VLC can
also play FLV files downloaded from YouTube et al, no conversion to AVI
required. Since there's a portable version, VLC's a nice choice for
getting your DVD rips/saved YouTube video watching on wherever you go.