FreeMake Video Converter is enormously popular, with over 93 million users, and until recently it was easy to see why.
Freemake Video Converter
Its name implies that it only encodes videos in different formats – and it does that very well – but it's also capable converting audio files and images, and ripping video from DVDs.
Freemake Video Converter provides a good selection of output options, including AVI, WMV, MPG and MP4. It can also burn videos to DVD or Blu-ray, and has preset profile for games consoles, smartphones and tablets. You can even export the video straight to YouTube.
Unfortunately, the latest update has removed the ability to download and convert videos from online sources without upgrading to a paid subscription. This isn't immediately obvious from the interface, which still lists 'Paste URL' as an option alongside the rest.
To convert a file from your PC or a DVD, simply select the appropriate button from the list along the top, then pick an output format from the list at the bottom. Options include
You'll then be prompted to choose a few settings to ensure the converted file is the necessary quality. You'll be offered a set of handy presets that you can adjust manually if necessary, with options including frame size, video and audio codecs, bitrate and sample rate.
Before converting your file, you can use Freemake Video Converter's simple cutting tool to make a few small edits, avoiding the need for a separate video editing tool.
It's all extremely easy to use, and no specialist knowledge is required. Unfortuntely the free version of the software adds a Freemake branded splash to the start of the converted video, and there's no longer an option to download and convert footage from YouTube and other video hosting sites.
If you just want to re-encode files from your hard drive then this is one of the best options around, but for videos from the web you'll be better off with a dedicated YouTube video downloader.