Converting Videos to WebM Format
If you're like the folks I work with, converting videos to a variety of formats with no cost tools is essential. While I always hear about how great this or that video converter is, it usually is licensed out of Russia or Europe and educational institutions can't buy it because only superintendents have credit cards. Sheesh.
That said, this kind of limited purchasing environment does encourage one to find free, open source and no cost video conversion solutions that work on both Macintosh and Windows.
Here is a list of my favorite, ranked conversion tools with the important addition of one brought to my attention by Andy Rush (@rushaw on Twitter). Who said PLNs don't work?
- MPEG StreamClip (Mac and Windows)
- Format Factory (Windows only) - converts proprietary PhotoStory WMVs to MP4
- WinFF (Windows/Linux) - works OK but doesn't measure up to FormatFactory in usage
- ffmpegX (Mac only in this incarnation, although you can find FFMPEG as FOSS but it's command line in unless you install other tools)
Miro Video Converter Free. Works on Mac and Windows. From their web site, you can see it converts to popular formats (including phones)...but check out the screenshot to the right of what it does convert:
...convert almost any video to MP4, WebM (vp8), Ogg Theora, or for Android, iPhone, and more.Usually, conversion to MP4 works well-enough.
It's great that it can convert to WebM, the new video format that works well with HTML5 and is free, open source and supported by lots of folks, including Google and Mozilla. More importantly, new high-res videos are being encoded to WebM by YouTube and work well with HTML5.
TAKING IT FOR A SPIN
For fun, I tried convert Wesch's Students video (93 megs) from WMV to WebM (28 megs). Worked great and shrunk the size with no loss in quality. To play the WebM formatted video, though, I had to download the latest version of the VLC Media Player (works on Mac, Windows, GNU/Linux).
Problem is, even if I converted my entire library to WebM video format, it probably wouldn't work in MS Powerpoint or Apple Keynote (it won't, I already tried). So....
Other possible tools that work with the new video format include:
- Transmageddon (Linux)
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