Figuring out video formats can be a real pain, even for seasoned professionals. Unfortunately, the world of digital media is a mess right now, especially when video is concerned. There are hundreds of different codecs, containers, and audio formats that are all supported by various different platforms that may or may not be compatible with each other. A good video conversion program is hard to come by, even with what seems like hundreds of them currently on the market. It can be even harder to find a decent one that works, even if the user doesn’t have a lot of knowledge on the technical details of digital video.
Thankfully, there are a few good programs out there that make easy video conversion possible, without a huge amount of sacrifice in terms of overall video quality and conversion time. Wondershare has taken a crack at solving this problem for Mac users with Video Converter Ultimate for Mac.
Video Converter Ultimate (VCU) allows you to convert video and audio files from one format to another. Simply put, it will take a file your media player isn’t compatible with and convert it to a format it can play natively.
Video conversion is a simple process. Once you launch the program, you are guided through a simple process of selecting the file type you’d like to convert, location of the media, and what device you’d like to have it play on. Supported devices range from Apple products like the iPod Nano to the latest generation of Apple TV. You can even convert files to work in iDVD, iMovie, and Final Cut Pro to make editing easier. Support is also available for various mobile phone, console, and portable video player platforms including PSP, PS3, HTC, Blackberry, Samsung, Motorola, Windows Phone 7, Palm Pre, Archos, Sandisk Sansa, Dell Axim, and others. You can also select from standard and custom video settings in a wide range of formats. One interesting feature to note here is the ability you have to trim, crop, rotate, watermark, and even adjust various video settings including brightness and effects.
Unlike some conversion programs, the results you get from Video Converter Ultimate are actually pretty decent. During testing, I was expecting to compare the original to the copy and write about how terrible the results were. I was surprised to find out that I actually confused the two as there really wasn’t any noticeable difference between the two. This obviously changes as you select devices and formats that require smaller video sizes and tighter compression. Still, this program exceeded my expectations. If an original file has lower than desired volume, you can boost it prior to conversion. Surprisingly, some advanced deinterlacing options are also available.
Audio conversion options, like video, are fairly vast. You have the ability to convert audio files from many of the most common (and some uncommon) formats to virtually any format a reasonable person would need. Converted files are generally very clean and sound is replicated very accurately.
There are a couple additional features that really make Video Converter Ultimate more well-rounded and worthwhile. DVD burning and copying can be done through this single program. This means that you can use VCU’s wide range of available video formats to convert the physical media to a digital video file.
VCU can also detect media playing in your browser and convert that in to a digital media file you can play later. For example, if you want to take your favorite YouTube show with you to the gym using your Blackberry Curve, you can do it with VCU without having to sacrifice your 3G bandwidth.
Over all, Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate for Mac is a solid solution to anyone that does a lot with video and audio media that may find themselves in need of decent video conversion. At $69, it may not be the ideal first step for single-use or casual media consumers. It is, however, a great deal if you frequently find yourself having to convert video from one format to the other, and don’t like having to work with multiple programs that don’t always give you the results you need. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution to video and audio conversion that supports DVD copying and web video, this is certainly worth taking a look at.