Finally there’s a solid and reliable solution for converting and managing all your media files in one place. It’s called FreeStudio from DVDVideoSoft.
I first came across this program when I was trying to find a quick and easy way to convert my .avi files to watch them on my phone. I don’t have an Android (yet) so I can’t reap the benefits of the app store or anything like that, but most of the mid-range non-Android phones out today have capability to watch videos. Usually a good indicator is if the phone has a video camera feature, it probably allows you to play videos, and hence, movies. In the old days, this meant a lot of tiresome conversions to .3gpp and other obscure formats. That also meant a lot of hunting for a good freeware program to do the conversion, and subsequently a lot of frustration. Not anymore.
[Note: this post was written by Freewaregenius contributor B.C. Tietjens.]
FreeStudio from DVDVideoSoft is a 100% free solution to convert and manage nearly all your media, easily, quickly, reliably, and all in one neat program interface. FreeStudio Manager is the basis of this conversion wonder. It is the ‘front-end’ graphic user interface that is used to run all these sub-programs:
|Free YouTube to MP3 Converter||Free Video to Xbox Converter|
|Free YouTube to iPod and PSP Converter||Free DVD Video Converter|
|Free YouTube to iPhone Converter||Free Video to DVD Converter|
|Free YouTube to DVD Converter||Free Video to Flash Converter|
|Free YouTube Uploader||Free 3GP Video converter|
|Free Uploader for Facebook||Free Video to MP3 Converter|
|Free Video to Android Converter||Free Video to JPG Converter|
|Free Video to Apple TV Converter||Free Audio Converter|
|Free Video to BlackBerry Converter||Free Audio to Flash Converter|
|Free Video to HTC Phones Converter||Free WebM Video converter|
|Free Video to iPad Converter||Free DVD Video Burner|
|Free Video to iPod Converter||Free Disc Burner|
|Free Video to iPhone Converter||Free Audio CD Burner|
|Free Video to LG Phones Converter||Free Audio CD to MP3 Converter|
|Free Video to Motorola Phones Converter||Free Screen Video Recorder|
|Free Video to Nintendo Converter||Free Image Convert and Resize|
|Free Video to Nokia Phones Converter||Free Video Dub|
|Free Video to Samsung Phones Converter||Free Audio Dub|
|Free Video to Sony Phones Converter||Free Video Flip and Rotate|
|Free Video to Sony Playstation Converter||Free 3D Photo Maker|
|Free Video to Sony PSP Converter||Free 3D Video Maker|
As you can see from the list, there isn’t a whole lot that FreeStudio can’t do. But, you say, what if I don’t want or need all of those sub-programs? Do I have to take up hard drive space and install all of them? Not at all! One of the features I love most about FreeStudio is that it automatically downloads and installs only the programs you actually need and intend to use.
For this example, I will use the Free Video to Samsung Phones converter, since that’s the one I use the most. I have a Samsung Delve that I was given for my birthday, and I was thrilled to learn it had the capability to hold more than 7 gigabytes of data. To my mind, being a film-o-phile, that means 7 GB of movies on my phone! What could be more fun? Movies on the go is a big deal to me so I immediately went looking for a decent conversion program. That’s when I found the FreeStudio and boy am I glad I did!
One of the nice things about FreeStudio is that you often don’t even need to know the exact specs of the phone or other media player you are converting for. Example: when I first got my Samsung Delve, I didn’t know what resolution and what codecs the phone’s firmware would support. The good news there is that Free Video to Samsung Phones converter has loads of presets for most of the popular Samsung phone models already loaded. Sadly, the Delve is not one of them. That still isn’t a big deal, however. Once I looked up the specs on my phone, it was a supremely simple matter of pointing and clicking the menus in Free Video to Samsung Phones converter to choose the right specs. Then, a single button click will save that profile for later use. It even has presets for high, medium, and low quality output for each different type of phone. It’s a very robust and useful system and very easy to use. The learning curve was less than five minutes for me on this particular program. It even allows you to convert whole batches of files so you can set your computer up to convert your entire movie collection, head off to work, and when you come back home all your movies are ready to be watched on your phone! Brilliant stuff. FreeStudio even offers some customization options for the menus themselves, like selecting different background for the window where you select your conversion files. Its not needed but it’s a nice little touch that shows the developers actually took some time and effort to try and make a great product for the end-user.
I have also used a couple of the other modules in FreeStudio, like the Free YouTube downloader, which is exactly what it sounds like. It downloads and saves videos from YouTube in a number of different formats. If the format you need isn’t listed, however, you can easily activate another module in the FreeStudio Manager and get those videos converted to whatever format you need. The Free Video to DVD converter transcodes most video formats to put them onto a DVD, so you can watch them in your home DVD player or at a friend’s house. This is especially nice for those of us with tech-challenged dates, for example. The Free Video to MP3 converter is great for taking my favorite videos anywhere in audio only format, and the Free Disc Burner module lets me produce my own discs as well. I have used the Free Screen Video recorder to record sessions of my favorite PC games so I can show secrets or tips about the games to my friends. Every module in FreeStudio has an easy to use interface and delivers on it’s promises.
I will say that in some of the earlier versions of the program and it’s modules, there were some occasional issues with crashes or incomplete conversions, usually due to a codec issue. However, I have not experienced any of those bugs with the latest version, and I think they have made leaps and bounds in the quality department.
Having so many free programs in one place, at your fingertips, without taking up a lot of un-needed space on the hard drive is absolute bliss for me, and offers me peace of mind, knowing that no matter what happens in my life, I got that media conversion problem licked and I can watch my favorite movies at the bus stop, in the doctor’s office, or even in line at the DMV!
I still haven’t had the opportunity to test every single module in FreeStudio, but rest assured, dear readers, I will be following this article with another to let you all know how well those work. Given the experience I have had with the Free Video to various phones and other formats, however, I feel pretty confident that they will all do what they say and they will do it quickly, easily, and without muss and fuss. Of course, the best part of FreeStudio remains in it’s name: it’s free! There are so many modules that it’s tough to imagine a conversion project I might have that it won’t do. When I want to use a module I have never used before, it’s a simple matter of opening the Manager, clicking the module I want to use, and watch it download and install itself with no hassles.
There are other programs I have found out there that offer a full suite of media management tools like FreeStudio, but none that don’t cost an arm and a leg, and usually they require some pretty annoying installation of all modules whether I intend to use them or not. FreeStudio is head and shoulders above those, in my opinion. Additionally, you can find other freeware programs that are stand-alones and only do one or maybe two of the things that FreeStudio does. The advantage to FreeStudio is having all your options in one easy to use manager. Tame your wild media with this freeware and you’ll be spending a lot more time enjoying your videos, mp3s, etc, and a lot less time ‘managing’ them in one way or another.
Well, I’m going to go fiddle with the new 3D Photo and Video makers in FreeStudio, so until next time my friends!
Version tested: 5.2.0 on Windows 7 32-bit.
You can find and download the latest version here.