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How To Convert Your Videos Or Movies In The Right Format For Your Smartphone Or Tablet

Updated on August 9, 2012

With the various filetypes of video, the many different comrpession levels and the vast amount of coders-decoders, computer users can get confused with the formats; for example, AVI container can come with DviX codec or XviD, but not all devices can play those. Most recent smartphones and DVD players or other media player support these very popular codecs, but older devices do not.

Additionally, there are more problems that can arise when trying to handle video files, for example missing codecs in your computer, incompatibility with smartphone, or inability to implement well synchronised subtitles.

What is commonly done in such circumstances, is that the user will download and install a video converter which can encode movies into other formats, suitable for his portable devices or DVD player. However, not all software are capable of handling many filetypes, and in particular not all can generate resulting files with high quality. No-one would like to encode his videos into other format, only to find out the video is choppy and refuses to play well.

My personal choice of multimedia converter is Format Factory. This free software can encode movies in a way which is commonly described as All To All; that means, it can convert any filetype to any other filetype of video. Moreover, it can offer same functions in audio and image conversion, but for this guide we will focus more on the video encoding, which is the most important.

The user interface of Format Factory multimedia converter.
The user interface of Format Factory multimedia converter.

The software can be downloaded for free and the installation is easy too; just follow the directions until you are through it. When Format Factory loads, it will check for updates and, if any, it will inform you about them and ask you to update.
At the left panel, you will see all possible conversions tabbed in Video, Audio, Picture, etc. Once you have selected a category, more choices will load. What is particularly interesting here is that the creators of this application have added a large amount of existing portable devices, smartphones based on their brand and model. So, if you want to convert a video to a suitable type for your smartphone, all you need to do is choose All to Mobile device and then scroll through the available brands/models to find your own. When selected, the settings will be adjusted in such way that the resulting, encoded file will surely play on your smartphone.

The settings page will show the current settings, which you can opt to change if you wish; bear in mind, however, that if you change crucial settings here, the file might not be playable anymore.
This is the place where you can embed a subtitle, if you want. Just find the line where subtitle is mentioned, browse to the subtitle in your hard drive, select additional settings such as its size and accept.
Now you are brought to a window in which you are asked to add the videos you would like to convert; click at Add File, browse to the video and select it. When all is done, click OK to exit and go back to the initial page of the application. Now this window will show the files you have added to conversion, the conversion type, etc. You can click on Start to begin the encoding itself.

Note that if you have selected a subtitle, do not add more than one files for the same conversion; the subtitle will be embedded to all. What you can do is browse to subtitle, add the video, then go back to selecting the conversion type and add other videos which will not include the subtitle.

The conversion process does not take long; it is relative to the speed of the CPU, the size of the files to be converted and the number of them. In general, a standard 700 MB movie will be converted in less than 6 minutes. The resulting quality is excellent, no matter if the video is played in a smartphone, a tablet or in a media player. I have never encountered a lost frame or choppy video in a file which I encoded using Format Factory.

More Features

Aside the video encoding, there are more options for the user. He can opt to crop portions out of a whole movie, so he will not encode all movie but only parts of it. Moreover, through the application he can run a check on multimedia files to see detailed information about them, such as codec used, resolution, compression levels, etc.

Furthermore, as already mentioned, audio and image conversion is supported. With all these capabilities, Format Factory ends up being the ultimate multimedia conversion software for any user... and it is free!


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