How to change video format (convert videos)
This tutorial will show you step by step how to change video format (convert videos) using free software.
This tutorial works for all video formats, such as MP4, MKV, AVI, MPG, WMV, MOV, and FLV.
Video conversion (encoding)
Video encoding is the process of converting digital video files from one format to another. Encoding is also known as “transcoding” or “video conversion”.
Most people convert their videos (mostly movies) so that they can play the video file(s) on their computer, smartphone, game console, DVD-player, tablet, smart TV, media player or upload and share the video file(s) on YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo or Daily Motion.
A video converter is software designed to change video formats.
Video conversion software allows you to convert videos from one format to another.
Video container and file formats
A video file format is a type of file format for storing digital video data on a computer system.
A video file is usually compressed to reduce file size and normally consists of a multimedia container, which is a digital file format that holds audio, video, and subtitles.
A video container exists solely for the purpose of bundling all of the audio, video, subtitle, and codec files into one organized package.
Examples of video container and file formats:
- MP4 (.mp4)
- AVI (.avi)
- MKV (.mkv)
- FLV (.flv, .swf)
How to convert a video using HandBrake
You can download HandBrake here.
Tip: If you want to add subtitles to your video file, then place the subtitle file in the same folder as the video file and make sure that the subtitle file has the same filename as the video file.
1. Open HandBrake.
A Source Selection window will appear. If not, click on Source at the top left.
2. Click on File.
3. Go to the video file stored on your computer.
4. Select the video file and click on Open.
Or double-click on the video file.
HandBrake will now load the video file.
5. Click on the Browse button next to Destination.
6. Select a location on your computer where you want to save the new video file.
7. At Filename, you enter a name for the video file.
8. Click on the Save button.
9. You can specify presets and custom settings.
- Presets: here you can choose from among the various presets. You can convert your video to MP4 or MKV, but also to a few different devices like iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android, Xbox, PlayStation, and Windows Mobile.
- Output Settings: here you can specify custom settings such as cropping, applying video filters, adding or removing subtitles, adding audio tracks, create chapter markers, and more.
If you don't know what all of this means, then just choose a preset, like Universal and Container > MP4.
10. If you want to add subtitles to your video, then click on the Subtitles tab (located at Output Settings), click on Import SRT, select the srt subtitle file, click on Open and then select the Burn-In option.
11. Click on Start Encode located in the top menu.
HandBrake will now change the video format. This may take a while. The amount of time it takes depends on your computer's hardware and the file size of the video.
How to convert a video using VLC media player
You can download VLC media player here.
1. Open VLC media player.
2. Click on Media (top left) and then click on Convert/Save.
3. Click on the Add button.
4. Go to the video file stored on your computer.
5. Select the video file and click on Open.
Or double-click on the video file.
6. Click on the Convert/Save button located at the bottom.
7. At Profile, you can select a preset profile by clicking on the selection button.
Tip: You can edit, delete or create new profiles using the three buttons located next to the selection button.
8. Click on the Browse button next to Destination file.
9. Select a location on your computer where you want to save the new video file.
10. At Filename, you enter a name for the video file ending with the file extension (e.g., video.mp4, video.avi, etc.).
11. Click on the Save button.
12. Click on the Start button.
VLC media player will now convert the video. This may take a while. The amount of time it takes depends on your computer's hardware and the file size of the video.
Maybe you're also interested in:
How to convert MKV to MP4
How to convert MP4 to MP3
How to extract audio from video
How to merge srt subtitles with MP4 video files
How to remove sound from a video
How to burn any video file to a playable DVD