When ripping a DVD, it’s often important to ensure the resulting video is a certain size. Hour-long television shows are often 350 MB, while movies are often double that, to allow the videos to fit onto a blank CD. When encoding videos for a portable device, such as a phone, iPod, iPad or PS3, on the other hand, the overall size isn’t as much of a factor. Instead, making sure the video is the correct format (including codecs, bitrates and encoding profiles), becomes more important.
There are many encoding tools available, from command line tools all the way to full featured editing/converting applications. But if you’re a Windows user who wants something a bit simpler, while still retaining a lot of power, the Free Video Converter from Hamster Soft is a good program to consider. We recently looked at the Hamster Free eBook Converter, and there are definite similarities between the two programs, similarities that should make working with either a comfortable experience with a very low learning curve.
First, you’ll want to head to the website for the Free Video Converter, and take a look at the formats and devices that are supported.
Note: a full list of supported devices can be found here, but suffice it to say, if you have a common portable device, it’s very likely on the list.
When you’re ready, click the Free Download button to begin.
Then, simply select a location to save the installer.
Now, open the installer.
The installer will now download the most recent version of the Hamster Free Video Converter, and once installed, you’ll be able to watch a short overview of the program, right from the final installer screen.
Note: during the installation process, you’ll be asked to install the optional Free ZIP Archiver, also from Hamster Soft. This is a fine program, with pretty good Windows integration, but is probably unnecessary if you’ve already installed something like WinZIP or 7-zip.
Once installed, you can now open the Free Video Converter from the Desktop icon, or from the Start menu.
The first time you open the Free Video Converter, you’ll see a basic window.
To add videos to your queue, simply drag and drop them into the window, or click the large yellow Add Files button, then select your videos from the file picker. Once added, the new videos will appear in your queue.
If you want, you can rearrange the order, or provide new names for your videos. When you’re ready, click the Next button to view the options for devices or formats.
If you choose to use the Devices section, you’ll be able to select not only the device (from a particular manufacturer), but the video’s resolution and quality level (although this is rather basic, with only three different quality options).
Choosing the Format option gives you the same choices as the Devices option, but all resolutions and quality levels are for a particular format, such as AVI, WMV or MPG.
Regardless of whether you chose Devices or Formats, click through to begin the conversion process. You’ll now see your queue, with a progress bar and percentage that appear behind each video as the conversions take place. In the following screenshot, the first video has already been converted, the second is in progress, and the third is waiting for the second to finish.
Finally, when the conversion is complete, you’ll see a confirmation notice, as well as the option to return to your queue (Back to list), or view the contents of your save folder (Open folder).
All in all, Free Video Converter is a simple, easy to use way to convert your videos with only a couple of clicks, while targeting them to your exact mobile device. It definitely doesn’t offer the complete control and flexibility as other programs, so likely won’t appeal to power users, but considering the multiple options it does have, probably offers enough configuration options for most basic users.
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Aseem Kishore (digitalfingerprint: 268a6bd7194a86f088297168480cfca1akmk1980)
Convert Videos with Hamster Free Video Converter
Mon, 26 Sep 2011 11:50:07 GMT