Here are a couple of my favorite MP4 converters. All of these will work for both Mac and PC, so you have no excuses. They’ll do everything you need and more. The best is….
VLC media player is a fantastic desktop application that wears many hats (DVD Ripper, Media Player, file converter) and wears them well. Using the Streaming/Export wizard found in the file menu, you can convert audio and video into your format of choice without too much difficulty. I wouldn’t say it’s especially easy to do, but if you can open the file in the media player (not difficult) you can convert it to just about any format, by following the prompts. If you don’t know much about video, don’t be intimidated by all the options, if you haven’t heard of it, you don’t need it. It will give you a tidy drop down with a list of those formats and you can simply select MP4 and you’re in business. I use this program all the time. That is, when I’m not using….
Handbrake is what I’ve always used when the torrent I download isn’t in a comfortable MP4 format. If you’ve got the file readily available, just open it in the browser and set your codec in the drop down. The default setting is MP4 so it’s not that hard. One of the nice things about Handbrake is how easy it is to get exactly the level of quality and size you’re looking for. Again, it’s got quite a bit for the pro, but this shouldn’t be cause for concern, if you don’t want to get into the nitty gritty, you don’t have to. If you do, and don’t know how to, Handbrake has a fairly sizable forum community here. If you have a question, they probably answered it in one of the over two thousand threads. It’s not a media player, so it doesn’t get top billing, but it’s a great program, and I highly recommend it.
If you happen to be at a friends house, and either they have a conversion program you’re not familiar with, or he doesn’t have one at all, you might want to go visit the guys at mediaconverter.org. Here you can upload a file from your hard drive and convert it to any one of a huge number of codecs. It’s easy to use, and it’s free. It has almost none of the bells and whistles of a desktop app, but it will serve in a pinch. The main drawback is that it will only do 100mb or less, and only ten conversions per day in the free version.
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