You have a sweet video that you want to watch on your computer. There’s just one problem: your media player won’t play the file. It should. It really should, but it doesn’t. You have three choices, you can give up, you can try to hack your computer and force the file to play, or you can just modify the video file so that it will play on your computer. In most situations, it’s much easier to modify the video format, means converting the video file to a supported format by you media player. Here’s how.
Find a Conversion Service:
Online video conversion services are probably the easiest way to convert files, soemtimes you can also convert files direct from youtube while downloading. All you have to do is upload your video file and then convert it to a supported file format. The most popular file converter (and the one that seems to be most reliable) is Zamzar. Its free file converter doesn’t even ask you to create a username and password like a lot of sites.
The first step is to choose the file you want to convert. Go to zamzar.com and click the grey “choose files” button under the “convert files” tab. It’s a green box in the center of the screen. An upload screen will appear so you can choose your file type.
Next, click the drop down menu box in the “step 2″ area and choose what file format you want to convert your file to. Step 3: enter your email address. This is important because this is where Zamzar will send your completed files. Use your real email. Click “convert” and you’re done. It may take up to a day to receive your converted file so be patient.
This process is nearly identical for most good online conversion tools. Be careful of sites that ask for a username and password, personal information, or that contain too many ads or that contain any popup ads. While Zamzar is safe, many other conversion sites are not.
If you’d prefer to take matters into your own hands, you can download any number of free programs from the Internet. Two popular choices are Handbrake and Video Monkey (for Mac only). Handbrake has a lot of advanced options but its ability to convert video files is stellar. Just open handbrake. Select “source” and choose the file you want to convert. If you have a DVD in the DVD drive, this option will be available for you to click on. Otherwise, select “video file.” Alternatively click on “DVD/TS video folder” if you have the video ripped from a DVD on your computer.
On the right-hand side of the dialog box, you’ll see various encoding options. Choose the one that best fits your application. For example, if you have a Mac, use one of the Apple presents (this is also a good option if you plan on watching the video in iTunes). Otherwise, select a preset under the “Regular” preset options. Choose “normal” or “high profile” depending on the quality you desire.
Click the “file” box located under the “destination” heading. This is where you want the file copied to on your computer. You can choose outputs like “Mp4″ or “Mkv” next to “container” in the dialog box under the “Output Settings” heading (it’s right under the “destination” heading). Then, press “start.” your video will start converting.
When you’re done, you’ll have an MP4 file that will play in just about any video player on the market. For Mac users, it’s pretty simple. Get the Video Monkey program at videomonkey.org. Open the program and drag the movie file you want to convert into the program. A pop-up screen will then let you choose what file format you want. Then, just click “start.” You’re done.
Will Blackburn works in the field of video and music production. He enjoys sharing his insights on tech issues by blogging in his spare time. Click to learn about the KoyoteSoft video converter.