Media Converter SA is a free small program that can convert media files across many different formats.
It also has a video downloading functionality from a number of video sharing sites such as YouTube, ifilm, Metacafe, and a handful of others.
It seems like a rare week that goes by these days without encountering yet another free video conversion software and, oh, perhaps 2 or 3 Youtube video downloading titles.
And given that there are a number of comprehensive freeware media conversion titles out there such as MediaCoder and Super, I feel like I need to make a list of why I think this program is so interesting:
- Ease of use: Media Converter SA is one of the simplest video converters out there; there are only 4 settings that you have to decide on: video resolution, max file size, audio bitrate, and video bitrate (actually, there are 2 others: starting and ending positions, but this is an added functionality beyond the conversion process). Despite the simplicity, you get the sense that it provides all the control you need. Most of these settings have a “same as input” option which makes conversion really simple.
- Video downloading option: the sheer range of supported websites is enough to make this your video-downloading program of choice: blip.tv break.com dailymotion.com ifilm.com livevideo.com media.putfile.com metacafe.com myvideo.de video.google.com vidilife.com vids.myspace.com youtube.com zippyvideos.com
- Online versions: the makers of this program provide both an online file converter and an online video downloader called Mediapirate.org.
- Extract audio stream: out of a video file. Just select an audio file type as output (e.g. mp3, ogg, wav). Works very well.
- Choose beginning and end points: allows you to convert only part of a video file if you want, just set the beginning and end times. Works well for honing in on a specific audio segment in a video file and extracting just that part.
- Large range of supported filetypes: Audio: mp3, ogg, wav, wma; Video: 3g2, 3gp, avi, flv, m4v, mov, mp4, mpg, mpeg, rm, wmv. Note: you set the output format by choosing the file extension in the “save as” dialog for the converted file.
- Looks good: nice and sleek; see screenshot.
- Small footprint: occupies only 16 megs of memory or so while running in the background.
Wish List: 3 issues
- Ability to set 160 bit rate for audio: for some reason it jumps from 128 to 192 bit rate on the dropdown. Given that Ipod video files support a max of 160 bit rate, I don’t see why I should be forced to encode my mp4’s using 192 bps when 160 is what I want.
- Ability to select multiple audio files when converting audio: although the program converts audio to audio formats very competently (e.g. mp3 to ogg), it only allows selecting a single file at a time, which makes converting an entire 10-track album quite the chore. It would be great if it allowed selecting multiple tracks at once for conversion.
- Help section on the website: at the time of this writing this was “coming soon”.
The verdict: I really like this program because of its simplicity, a rare commodity when it comes to video conversion programs. I also like the video downloader part quite a bit (although for the moment I am using Orbit Downloader for my video downloading needs; I still like this program very much, though).
Version tested: 0.7
Compatibility: Windows NT/2000/XP; no info on Vista. NET framework (you can get this from the program’s download page).
Go to the program page to get the latest version (approx 4.21 megs).