Friday, August 12, 2011

Video conversion tools

My knowledge of video types and codecs has been hard-fought. I'm certainly no expert but I do know my containers from my bitrates and my framerates. Sadly it's not always easy for people to quickly resize a video or convert from one form to another without knowing more than you need to about variable bitrates or HD. To the rescue come a range of different open source video conversion tools:

  • Avidemux: gives you the best of both worlds with the ability to control bitrates, codecs, filters and so on, but also has a handy 'Auto > ' feature that automates the creation of video for things like Youtube, iPod, DVD etc.

  • Arista Transcoder:
  • The best, easiest to use transcoder I've seen. Presets take the hard work out of conversion, and there are a lot of presets.
  • PiTiVi: this is a video editor that also supports exporting to a range of different file formats. Easy to use trim feature, transitions and effects and pretty simple export at the end of the process too.

While we're at it, can I also say how impressed I am with Google's open source video codec called webm? Try it for yourself with Arista: convert a large DVD quality file to webm and see what a difference it makes. I've had file size savings of up to 90%.

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