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A Free MOV to AVI Converter for Mac and PC Computers - Not An Easy Thing to Find

Updated on August 6, 2012
iMovie is limited in its ability to provide flexible movie output formats.  Thus, the occasional need for a format converter.
iMovie is limited in its ability to provide flexible movie output formats. Thus, the occasional need for a format converter. | Source
Screen shot of ffMPEGX.  For the program to work, three files have to be downloaded for the ffmpegX free MOV to AVI converter to work.  Two of the files are in one zip file.
Screen shot of ffMPEGX. For the program to work, three files have to be downloaded for the ffmpegX free MOV to AVI converter to work. Two of the files are in one zip file. | Source

Making an iMovie MOV File That Won't Work on a TV

I just spent a lot of time making a 10-minute movie for a baby shower using the iMovie program on my Macbook Pro. It is the latest version of iMovie and it is really nice for making a slideshow that is visually stunning. Putting on the music and editing it is also easy. The problem: the MOV format won't play on my daughter's TV. We needed to take it to the place where the baby shower is being held and use a flash drive in it to play it. So, I wanted to find an MOV to AVI converter. And buying an Apple TV is out of the question.

Apple could surely include a converter in their iMovie program to make things a little easier on their users. After all, that is what they do isn't it, make it easier us to do computing? Or perhaps they want everyone to buy their Apple TV?

So I have spent the past few days seeing what is available for making the MOV to AVI conversion. I have Parallels on my desktop, so I am not limited by having only programs that work on a Macbook. I realize that sometimes, using a PC program is the only way to get the job done.

So, to make a long story short, here is my labrynthian and frustrating experience with several different (free) programs. Of course, what works is the last thing I tried. So, if you want to save time and don't want to read about all of the contortions I had to go through, go to the bottom of this article. (That's what I would do....)

PC programs:

Pazera Free MOV to AVI Converter: This program worked great the first time I tried it, but I did some edits on the movie. The second time I tried it, it said it couldn't find the file, which I had transferred from the desktop to the program. Go figure. I deleted the program and reloaded it to no avail. AND there is no help feature.....

WinX Free MOV to AVI Converter: Ha, free my x#4B^$%! The message I get is "This version supports commonly used 30 codecs. The video file you add(ed) is not supported." Free download of the PAID version is available.

Mac programs:

Kigo Video Converter: It seemed to be doing the job, but it makes a totally unusable little teensy-weensy file of less than 100 Mb, when the original file was a little over 1 gigabyte. Definitely not HD.

iSkysoft: Ok, I found out that this is not really for making AVI HD movies, it is for reducing videos that work on iPads and other portable devices.

MOV to AVI Mac by Bigasoft: NOT free, but you can get a FREE DOWNLOAD. WOW! That's big of them.

MPEG Streamclip: The video converted fine, but there are three sound clips in the movie. For some reason, the third sound clip plays on top of the first sound clip in the converted AVI movie.

ffmpegX: Okay, this one worked, it took a 1.3 GB file and made a 500 KB movie that was perfect, but I had to also download two other files to make it work. As shown in the photo above, two of the files are in one zip package and one site, while the other one is in another file at another web address. Both of the web addresses are on SourceForge, but the web address for the second file is wrong, instead you should go here. I really like the ease of operation of the program and its flexibility in the formats for re-encoding that it has. It's a winner!


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      8 years ago

      Randy, What a generous, logical, useful summary of how to have your MOV and convert it too! In particular, you do a great job with the deductive approach of going through the possibilities and showing what doesn't work and what finally does.

      Thank you for sharing, and I'm glad things got sorted out timely,



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