As much as the large DVD authoring companies pride themselves on their full DVD burning suites, the most common recording and compression of videos is for YouTube and the iPod. That’s why specialist conversion tools for such formats are becoming extremely popular, and despite a late entry into the market, Roxio Crunch is a deft tool that converts videos quickly and in just two very simple steps.

Where some video conversion applications fall down is the vast amount of options they offer, which can easily confuse the uninitiated. In typical Roxio style, options in Crunch have been severely slimmed down to make the job as easy as possible, and this aspect of the program can’t be faulted.

Crunch is designed to output at three quality settings for a handful of devices such as the iPod, Apple TV or iPhone. The left pane of the main screen enables you to add movies stored on any drive or disc, be they MPEG-4, MPEG-2, AVI, MOV, DivX and so on, and you can select what parts of a DVD you want to compress instead of converting an entire video.

The right-hand pane then gives you a drop-down list of conversion options: basically what format you require and what quality (standard, fastest and high quality). Hit the Conversion button and Roxio gets to work quickly. There’s a handy batch export option so converted videos can be automatically added to iTunes for syncing.

Price comparison

While Roxio Crunch takes out almost all the effort to convert a video and get it to its right place, its final quality is almost exactly the same as free tools such as Videora iPod Converter and free Web apps such as Vixy.net or Movavi (http://online.movavi.com). So £30 is a lot to pay for something that you can get for free online.

On the other hand, Crunch is efficient and if you’re not bothered about being able to tweak settings to an extreme then this app is for you. As it doesn’t rely on the Web either, there’s little danger of a conversion failure.