Top 4 Free and Open source Video converters

Video conversion is an activity we all have done at least once in our lifetime. With growing number of mobile devices with different OS supporting different “default” formats for playback and need to make videos that are portable between these devices, brings out the need to convert videos to various formats. Sometimes it is being done to suit the bandwidth and space requirements too. With a somewhat limited user friendliness in some case and granular control in most of the cases, open source tools stand at different level that the commercial ones.  Unless you are doing video conversion for business purpose and need a quick support, using open source tools will provide you more than required service. That said.. let’s have a  look at some open source tools available for video conversion.

FFmpeg and Mencoder

If you like to work on command line and want a granular control on the conversion parameters, go for ffmpeg or mencoder software.

Most simple ffmpeg command is     ffmpeg -i  Video1.mpeg   Video1.flv

As of today ffmpeg is by default installed on most Linux installations and available for windows and mac on following link.

Download FFMPEG for Windows

Download FFMPEG for MAC   or

Numbers of GUIs are also available for different OS which use ffmpeg or mencoder in the background.

For windows

Video converter

Tencoder Video converter

Video converter

Ultimate Video converter

For MAC  (I haven’t checked these)



Handbrake is best out of all open source softwares I have found. It accepts most of the available formats as inputs and can convert those to MP4 or MKV formats with variety of encoding technologies. MP4 format is playable on almost all mobile platforms and even on some TVs. It has some predefined output formats saved, which can be selected for few click conversion. It also support batch mode and Subtitles feature. It is available for download here.


Video converter

Handbrake Video converter.

Miro Video Converter.

Miro video converter supports most of the mobile devices and video formats they play. The GUI is intuitive and simple to use. They also have Miro player available for download , which can download from torrent and also manage your videos. It is available here.


VLC Media player.

Everybody knows that VLC is a “throw anything at it and it will play” type media player, but very few know it’s streaming and conversion capabilities. VLC can convert your videos to avi or mpeg format when you are in hurry and don’t want to download any conversion tools. I will publish a separate article to show how to accomplish this.


My verdict

Apart from the Tencoder and Mediacoder, i will recommend handbrake for those who prefer simplicity and features.


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