Doing live visuals and other projects means sometimes endless conversion and editing tasks, but many of the dedicated tools for the job are just too much. I’ve been playing around with Video Converter from Extensoft, which is about perfect I think in terms of what you most often need to do. It’s an ideal companion to a full-blown video editor like Premiere, and now it’s also been made free. Windows-only.

Features:

  • Import AVI, FLV, MOV, MP4, MPG, QT, WMV, more
  • Export to AVI, MP4, MPEG1 and MPEG2, QT, WMV, H.264
  • Export directly to FLV with the Flash player ready to go
  • Merge, split, scale, deinterlace, change frames per second
  • Basic editing and selection timeline
  • Batch conversion
  • Predefined settings for YouTube, iPod, iPhone, etc.
  • Save projects and presets

The combination of the slicing and dicing tools with batch conversion and deinterlacing to me is just brilliant, and replaces QuickTime Pro for me on some of these tasks.

Free Video Converter @ Extensoft

I actually like the premium suite this is part of, so I may wind up buying the whole thing.

Any preferred tools you’ve got on Windows, Mac, or Linux?

  • Ted Pallas

    Kind of an obvious choice, but Quicktime Pro is pretty awesome, and even has an "export selection as" option.

  • http://myspace.com/vjlambency Lambency

    virtualdub is great and free i use it all the time but a little complicated for batch conversions…

  • interim_descriptor

    I usually use mencoder, but vlc has quite usable encoding capabilities, if you need a GUI to work with.

  • http://createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Ted, it still may be worth $30 to add to your tool chest, but I have to say, I don't think QuickTime Pro comes anywhere close to qualifying as "awesome" in 200– uh, 2009. I've gotten a lot out of it in the past, but it's certainly not designed as an ideal tool. Ain't no way:

    Almost zero progress in capabilities in years (has actually regressed in feature set).

    Very limited codec support, with various gaping holes. (fixable, but not via QT Pro – via open source options like Perian or just leaving QT entirely)

    $30 with basically no upgrade policy.

    No real batch processing.

    Limited options for editing, splitting.

    A lousy interface grafted arbitrarily into dialog boxes.

    I could go on. (I'm not railing at you — more my frustration with QT!) In fairness, Apple does have Compressor which is really their pro tool. But then again, while that can work exceptionally well for FCP workflows, it can be far less useful for web publishing or cross-platform use.

    Don't get me wrong: the QTKit API on which Mac video support is built has some really rich features that put DirectShow on Windows and nonexistent APIs on Linux to shame. But the QuickTime Pro interface seems like it fell out of some other decade in which we had limited options. It has gotten me out of the occasional scrape, but recently, only because the job I had to do with it took less time than installing another solution.

    I'd look to some of the ffmpeg front-ends for a better solution. It's too bad open source video tools are hampered as they are by massive patent issues, because there's clearly more effort from the OSS community into stuff we actually need than there is from the titan tech companies like Apple.

    So, yeah, VLC + ffmpeg + mencoder for me these days.

  • Sebastian

    My favorite is MPEG Streamclip which is available for Win and Mac. Many formats, cropping and other adjusting opportunities and good batch support.

  • http://zehfernando.com Zeh

    Can someone write about how it compares to the genius that is virtualdub?

  • http://beatfix.com beatfix

    Looks promising – certainly worth a try. I've been through a whole raft of video converters over the years – SUPER, MediaCoder, AVIDemux, AutoGK, Streamclip – and I usually come back to VirtualDub in the end.

    The major issue I have with VDub is difficulty in setting up multi-pass encodes. Handbrake is excellent for the specific task of compressing DVD / MPEG2 files (and it does 2-pass encoding with ease).

  • http://www.vimeo.com/luukmeuffels Lume

    MPEG Streamclip is OK, but I only get it running in combi with QT Alternative. I don't like using QT Alternative all the time for watching .mov's etc, so I'm looking for a different app. Running QT Alternative and a newer version at the same time is not possible as far as i know.
    I also used virtualdub/nandub in the past, which did the job very good actually.
    But i'm curious about this one. Going to check it out :)

  • http://www.nccu.edu dB

    If VLC doesn't play it, it usually ain't worth watching. Yeah, it plays QT and RealVideo files (and usually transcodes them, if need be). VirtualDub easily handles most of my editing jobs… but sometimes, I have to go with Avidemux, instead. For the other transcoding jobs, SUPER usually works very well – But I feel guilty about using it, so I usually go with Memcoder, even though it's somewhat more crashy. A way old version of Premiere is th tool for my most complex work.

    And finally, I deal with QTPro, too – Because Darwin Streaming Server video is pretty, easy, and free.

  • Manoeuvre

    Has anyone tried the Iphone Output Preset on this? The files aren't recognised by Quicktime or Itunes but play fine in VLC?