We’ve all been there: you’ve downloaded an episode of your favourite TV show to watch on your commute or stream to your living room, but the file you downloaded isn’t supported on the device you want to use it with. Once a significant obstacle to enjoying your media anywhere, this problem is easily solved by any number of free media converters. Keep reading for a closer look at the most powerful and easiest to use media converters.
Super is a free media converter that acts as a graphical front end to several of the most powerful command line tools like FFmpeg, MEncoder, and MPlayer. The application boasts extensive options for customising your preferences with virtually any aspect of your conversion. The downside to that control is that Super's interface is cluttered and intimidating for first-time users. Luckily for most purposes, converting a file to the right format with Super is as simple as selecting your output format (e.g., Apple iPod) and just sticking with the defaults.
Format Factory is a free media converter for Windows that converts video, audio, and even images between formats. With a nice icon-driven interface for helping you choose the kind of conversion you're looking for, FormatFactory is one of the friendliest batch media converters you'll find.
MediaCoder (All Platforms)
MediaCoder is a batch media transcoder that converts video and audio from and to most popular formats through a powerful graphical interface. Like Super, MediaCoder is a front-end for a number of command line media tools, allowing you to get as simple or complex as you want with your conversions. MediaCoder is available on all platforms, but is best supported on Windows. MediaCoder is also available in device-specific flavors for the iPhone and iPod touch, PSP, and more.
HandBrake (All Platforms)
HandBrake is a popular open-source media converter that encodes video from DVDs to many popular output formats. Available in both graphical and command line flavors, HandBrake can't convert the range of formats the rest can—it's limited to MPEG video (that includes DVD video). HandBrake easily earns its place as one of the five best DVD ripping tools, but it doesn't have the versatility of many of the other applications featured in this Hive.
FFmpeg (All Platforms)
FFmpeg is free, cross platform command-line encoding tool that powers many of the more popular graphical applications in this Hive Five. While FFmpeg has more of a learning curve than the rest, it's also undeniably powerful and flexible. If converting your media from the command line with FFmpeg appeals to you, check out how to FFmpeg your way to media conversion bliss.
Whether or not your favourite made the short list, let's hear more about it in the comments.