Best freeware video conversion utility?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by sonictonic, May 23, 2007.

  1. sonictonic macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2006
    Location:
    Central Coast, California
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I'm having trouble finding freeware to convert an AVI file for viewing on my Apple TV. Handbrake won't do it. Downloaded VisualHub but found out after loading the program that I only get 2 minutes of the video unless I pay... :mad: And also downloaded TubeTV which is a pretty cool little app but turned my 199mb AVI file into a 673mb M4V file and there is no quality configuration so I am stuck with the big file. That's way too big so I am hoping someone here can make a suggestion?

    Thanks in advance... :)
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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  3. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    Hoosiertown
    #3
    umm avi isn't a format, it's a container. It can be a hard concept to understand.

    anyways:
    since avi doesn't tell us much about the file, and we don't know what kind of settings you had for the conversion, we can't really help you on the file size issue.

    I use FFmpegx, its not as easy to use as the others but it does a good job.

    For any production work I tend to use compressor from apple, but its really just a high end user interface to the quicktime backbone.
     
  4. ibglowin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    #4
    iSquint.

    Hands down.

    Converts almost anything to iTunes or aTV compatible format and does it very fast. Even you tube videos.
     
  5. volvoben macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Location:
    nowhere fast
    #5
    isquint indeed, to clear things up, it's just the free version of visualhub; you can do more with visualhub but for basic conversion for ipod or :apple: tv isquint does everything you could want.
     
  6. mkubal macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Tampa
    #6
    I'm not trying to be a jerk, but iSquint, the free program everyone is suggesting you use, is made by the same guy who makes VisualHub, which you're angry about having to pay for.

    I rarely find pieces of shareware that I think are worth the price being asked, but VisualHub is absolutely worth every cent. Sure, you could install ffmpegx, which I believe VisHub is based off of, but it's much harder to figure out.

    All I'm saying is that there's no reason to be angry about having to pay for a program made by a developer who updates the program with new functionality all the time, while at the same time offering basic functionality for free (iSquint).

    Now if only someone would make a program for me to rip my HD DVDs. My credit card is ready.
     
  7. ibglowin macrumors regular

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    #7
  8. mkubal macrumors 6502a

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    Tampa
    #8
    Thanks for the link, but I already knew of Slysoft. While I want badly to rip my HD DVDs I don't want to have to run Windows. An OS X version would be sweet though.
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    In the free software world, what happens is one persion or group writes
    something and then because it is free everyone else that wants to
    write a similare application uses the first one as a base. In the case of
    Video converson "ffmpeg" is it. It does the conversion. All the other
    programs (handbrake and whatever) simply pass data to "ffmpeg".
    ffmpeg is a library and a small command line program that calls
    the library. It was developed under UNIX and Linux and just happens
    to also run on Mac OS X

    "ffmpeg" is very general and can likely do anything you need but it requires
    that you read a lot and understand a lot about video and computers and that you know how to type. The other programs provide some kind of graphical user interface so you don't
    need to study so much. The problem with ALL graphical interfaces is that
    the programmer has to provide a button or drop down for every feature.
    No button, no feature. Then if you do but on 250 buton users run away
    in horror because they can't figure out which one to click. So the graphical
    interfaces twnd to only do the easy and common conversions.

    Why all this? Because the best way to convert video is to start with the easy to
    use graphical interfec programs. If they don't offer what you need that go to a more complex grapical interface (like the X version of ffmpag) and final if that does not work read the ffmpeg documantation and then joinnthe ffmpeg user's email list. That list is quire good. Real video experts live on the list but you need to read the docs and try stuff so you know at leat what to cut and past into your question.

    One more thing all ffmpegs are not the same. It's free software that has many build options and depends on a gizillion other free software libraries and so on through multiple levels. If youu built ffmpeg from sourse you can controll what is inside andit's capabilities. In some of the worst cases I've had to hunt down the parts and build it myself
     
  10. neven macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    Absolutely freakin' agree, both on VisualHub and on the concept of paying for software. It takes a whole lot of work to put together something like VisualHub, and $23 is extremely reasonable compensation for the developer to expect to get.

    It amazes me how people will spend hours looking for freeware when an excellent for-pay app exists. How much is your time worth?
     
  11. ibglowin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    #11
    What good would an OSX ripper version do you.

    There is still nothing in the OSX world to play it back on.

    Perhaps in the Fall with the release of Leopard.

     
  12. neven macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    Maybe I'm completely wrong here, but... if you rip an HD DVD to a 720p or 1080p MPEG-4 video file, what exactly stops you from playing it in, say, QuickTime?

    P.S. Provided that you had an external HD DVD drive.
     
  13. mkubal macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Tampa
    #13
    I guess that's probably true, but couldn't a program like VisualHub convert the unplayable ripped files to a different file type or container or whatever the kids are calling it these days. By "kids" I mean people who know what they're talking about.

    Edit: Aren't the rips in .mkv format? I've converted an HD .mkv file from my DVR to .mp4 using VisualHub.

    Edit 2: Or was it an .m2t file? Who knows. Too many containers.
     
  14. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #14
    iSquint
    MPEG Streamclipper
    Handbrake


    And for you pros out there Cleaner 6.5 ;)
     
  15. sonictonic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2006
    Location:
    Central Coast, California
    #15
    Thanks for the input guys.

    Like I said, I didn't get any settings choices with TubeTV. None. At all. So I have no idea why the file ended up so huge. Also, the file is a TV show from Canada, downloaded off of a website done by fans, and there isn't any info on the site as to what "type" of AVI it is or whatever, so the info I gave was all I had! :eek:

    If anyone has any recommended settings for iSquint for me, for Apple TV and not the iPod, please let me know!

    Thanks again. :)
     
  16. ibglowin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    #16
    Not to hijack the thread

    But HD-DVD's are .EVO files. Quicktime can't play them at all.

    None of the usual app's to convert files will open them either.

    VLC media player will play some of the extras with video but no audio, supposedly they are "working" on full support for HD DVD stuff.


    This total lack of support including Apples own DVD player app made me install Boot Camp on one of my networked Mac Mini's just so I could watch ripped HD-DVD's somewhere else but on a small screen in my office.
     

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