Given there are many different video formats available, a free video converter is an extremely useful piece of software. The best video converters make the conversion process simple, and support a wide number of different codecs and formats.
Video conversion is a narrower term for transcoding. Transcoding is the process of the conversion of digital data (typically video and audio files) from one format to another. It involves extracting tracks from a digital media file, decoding the tracks, filtering, encoding, and then multiplexing the new tracks into a new container. Transcoding will reduce the quality of the tracks unless lossless formats are used.
There are many reasons to transcode media files. Some popular examples include the ability to convert files so that they are supported on a target device, and at the same time removing commercials, and reducing the file size. While transcoding is a very CPU intensive task, modern processors with a high number of cores offer impressive conversion rates provided the transcoding software supports multi-core architectures.
|HandBrake||Tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs|
|FFmpeg||Complete, cross-platform solution to record, convert and stream audio and video|
|Mencoder||Simple movie encoder, designed to encode MPlayer-playable movies|
|mpv||Cross-platform media player with video encoding support|
|VLC||Cross-platform multimedia player and framework|
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