• Ryan M. Pierson

How to Convert Video

An email was sent in posing the simple question, “How do you convert video from one type to another?” While video formatting includes numerous variables, the most common format change is the file container and codec.

One of the trickiest things to understand about digital video is how encoding and formatting actually works. While one format may play very well on your desktop computer; your iPod, mobile phone, and media center may not translate the file the same way. It’s for this reason there are literally hundreds of video convertors on the market. Some of them are targeted at home users for personal use, while others can cost hundreds of dollars to provide professional quality conversion.

For most home users, converting video from one codec or file type to another can be an easy process. You just need to find the right program to fit your needs. These programs all basically work the same. You determine a source file, select the file type to convert it to, and go.

It’s also important to note here than not all encoders / converters are created equal. Finding a really good media encoder that works for you can be an expensive endeavor. It’s also important to remember that every time you convert a video or otherwise reencode it, you will experience quality loss. Video compression is a tricky process that degrades a video’s quality by its very nature. Imagine you’re taking a large photo, scaling it down a tiny bit, saving it, and blowing it back up every time you encode.

Below are a few solutions for Windows and Mac users:


  1. Any Video Converter (Free / $30) (Limited Feature Free Version)

  2. Movavi Video Converter ($30) (Trial Available)

  3. MyVideoConverter ($35) (Trial Available)

  4. Total Video Converter ($30-50) (Trial Available)

  5. Aimersoft Video Convertor STD ($35) (Trial Available)


All prices listed below are based on their current price on the Mac App Store.

  1. Quicktime (Free)

  2. Miro Video Converter (Free)

  3. Leawo Video Converter ($4.99 on Sale) (Free Version Available)

  4. Vivica AnyVideoTo Mobile ($3.99)

  5. iFunia Video Converter Pro ($14.99)

Please keep in mind, this is only a small portion of the countless video conversion and encoding programs on the market.

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