FreeMake Video Converter is enormously popular, with over 93 million users, and until recently it was easy to see why. 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 (if you need even more tools, take a look at our roundup of the best free video editors).
Note that when you first install Freemake Video Converter, some features (including converting YouTube videos) will be locked. After three days you'll receive a free Web Pack as a gift, which will lift this restriction. Look out for a notification in the System Tray to see when the Web Pack is available.
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. The only real downside is the need to wait three days for the free Web Pack to unlock all of the advanced features, but if you can live with that, you'll be hard pressed to find a more straightforward and convenient video downloader and converter.
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