I recently wrote about Freemake Video Converter, a free, very stylish-looking video conversion program that is both powerful and easy to use (see my original review for more information on this program).
Since then, the program has been updated with new features, many of which I had requested in the ’wish list’ of my original review. Specifically, the following features have been added:
- MKV, SWF, MPEG as output formats
- The ability for users to determine the desired output file size (and have the program calculate the video bit rate accordingly); see thumbnail to the right.
- An advanced preset editor that lets you add, modify, and save your own presets.
- The ability to create DVDs from media files and burn to dual layer DVD’s (which wasn’t supported in the original version I reviewed). Freemake claims to be able to burn up to 20 hours of video to a standard DVD and 40 hours to dual layer DVD’s. All of this with snazzy menus to boot!
- Subtitle support is in the works, although not yet implemented in the latest version I tested.
We’ve recently seen a blossoming of powerful free video conversion programs, such as Hamster Video Converter, Format Factory, and Xmedia Recode. However, Freemake Video Converter is unquestionably my favorite of the lot. This is because it looks really, really good (although Hamster looks very professional as well), provides the best user experience in my opinion, and provides powerful features and options. It is the only program of all the ones mentioned, for example, that allows the user to set the desired output file size and re-engineers the video bitrate
But the real reason I like this program is that it is able to meet the needs of both novice and advanced users alike (although super-advanced users might prefer the infinitesimal control that Xmedia Recode provides).
Suffice it to say if you would like a video conversion program that is simultaneously powerful and easy to use, Freemake Video Converter is the one I would recommend. The only drawback I could think of is that some users may hesitate about installing the required MS Framework 4.0. My suggestion: go for it.
Version Tested: 1.3.0
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7. Requires MS .NET Framework 4.0
Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx. 10 megs).