Over the years I’ve had used several programs to convert videos. Whether it was a video I got off the web, a video from a volunteer’s camera or one of my own videos that I had to get into a certain format… and man are there a bunch of formats. Presentation software I’ve used often requires the full gamete of files from wmv, mpeg1, mpeg2, avi, or mov. In addition, there have been times when I’ve had a huge avi file that I needed to make smaller. Most recently I used inexpensive video encoding software from ImTOO. Although I still used ImTOO quite a bit, I’ve had a lot of fun with Zamzar. It’s really simple to use and it’s free.
With Zamzar, you can take video you have on your computer and upload it to their site and they’ll convert it for you and send you an email with a link to download the converted file. For these kinds of projects, I tend to use ImTOO, but there is one thing that Zamzar does that others can’t. You can type in the web address of videos you see online (such as YouTube) and Zamzar will capture that video and convert it to whatever file type you want. I’ve used this many times to show a funny commercial clip at a meeting or in a kids church. Again, I’m for Zamzar because they are easy and they are free.
Bonus: ImTOO also has some great tools for ripping video off a DVD (sometime video and audio get out of sync if the clip is really long). And, I’ve also heard that the best tool for this in the Mac world is handbrake. Fortunately for us PC users, they now have a Windows version of this software. Check it out here.
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