Although Windows Media Video (WMV) files are great, the MPEG4 (MP4) format is used more often. This means that you may need to convert your WMV files to MP4 quite often. Fortunately, there is a laundry list on the market with powerful video converters that support a variety of video formats.
This guide introduces some of the better options available. Note that some of the software is only available online, while other applications require you to download the software first.
If you have MKV or MOV files that you also want to convert to MP4, we also have instructions for them.
Handbrake (Windows / MacOS / Linux)
Handbrake seemed to be on its last legs in 2006 when the original software developer, Eric Petit, fell off the ground, but development continued with the help of some ambitious people who wanted to update and revise the existing software for a changing world. The open source video converter now offers one of the most comprehensive software packages for ripping and converting video files for playback on a number of popular devices and platforms. The user interface is elegant and well designed, if a little intimidating. It offers a variety of customizable, advanced functions that you have to get used to before you can really use their functions and intuitive functions. The HandBrake guide and forums are always available when you need help without spending a lot of time on the program.
Other notable features include a variety of video editing tools for splicing, adjusting frame rate, adding subtitles, and various video effects, all of which can be viewed in a live preview window. Experienced users can even queue multiple encodings to speed up batch processing and speed up results without tedious manual input. The handbrake simply cannot be exceeded when converting files to MP4 or MKV format, but it is also not suitable for beginners who do not want to learn the software. In late 2016, a new version of the software, 1.0.0, was released with completely revised presets, including new presets for the latest mobile devices, new MKV presets, and VP9 video encoding. The handbrake has been updated since then and is currently in version 1.3.2.
MediaCoder is a powerful program with excellent conversion functions. Although the interface is confusing at first glance, once you find your way around it is relatively simple. It offers a wealth of customizable functions for converting videos to a specific output format of your choice. Regardless of whether you want to batch process a series of AVI files in MPEG or compress files to reduce memory consumption, MediaCoder can handle this.
You'll find additional settings to change the output – including the ability to convert videos to grayscale, quarter pixel, cartoon, or high quality mode – as well as bit rate adjustments for the audio and video components of your file. Speed and the resulting quality are class A with fast conversions and a focus on maintaining the original quality across all formats.
MediaCoder is exceptional software, but it is aimed at technology enthusiasts rather than the first-time user who is trying to do a quick conversion. However, if you prefer to focus on the details and your main concern is quality and low loss transmissions, MediaCoder is a safe choice.
The only real problem we encountered in the latest version is that download servers can be particularly slow. The application is not huge, so it is not the end of the world. However, if you're in a hurry, open up some download links to find the fastest server for you.
Not everyone wants to download a standalone application to meet their video conversion needs. Fortunately, CloudConvert is one of the best online tools for easy file downloads and conversions. On the free website, users can select files – from FLV and MLV files to 3GP and MPEG4 – from their Google Drive or Dropbox account or drag them directly from their desktop into the browser window. The entire conversion process takes place in the cloud. The output settings such as aspect ratio, codec, bit rate and resolution can be adjusted via the sparse interface of the web app before converting the files. After the conversion, you can simply click the download button to download the file directly to your computer.
The web-based service lacks the functions and the speed of independent programs for Windows and MacOS. However, it can convert a number of files without deviating from the intuitive user interface. Batch conversion and folder monitoring allow users to manage larger projects without having to mess around with more complicated software.
Online-Convert's video component includes options to convert files to 11 popular formats, as well as additional options to change screen size, audio quality, bit rate, and other minor adjustments. In addition, you can use the search function in the lower right corner of the page to quickly check whether Online-Convert can perform the desired conversion. There are also special conversion options for almost every device imaginable.
While most users will have little trouble uploading and converting video files, you need to opt for a premium membership on the website if you need to upload a file larger than 100MB or convert more than four files at a time. Still, the website is stable, relatively ad-free, and offers a variety of format options without having to download additional software or unwanted browser extensions. And what other site in our summary contains a hash generator?