Thursday, February 28, 2008
Get Your Own Copy: Top 10 Online Video Conversion Services
Most online video platforms such as Youtube, MySpace and Metacafe use Flash video streaming (.flv) rather than simple links to files we can download. There are various reasons for that with the main one being the common business model most of those services relay on: advertising. In other words - we get to watch the content for free but we need to do that online and on the site. While this may be serving well the interests of the service provider it might not always be how we want things to go: some of us want to archive our own copies of the videos we love. Others may want to transfer a certain movie from one website to another. Well, this is the time to let you know that you don't have to be "on Youtube" to watch a Youtube movie. Instead, you can download the video stream to your computer, keep it there as a "normal" video file and watch it whenever you like. Nothing is illegal or fishy about it, it is simply another way of consuming the data. Just like you do when you save an html page to your computer and read it later.
So, for your convenience, CultCase has selected some of the best online video conversion services available today. They are all free of charge and do not even require registration. We tested all of them by converting and downloading the same 1:42 min Youtube video seen above of an (awesome) cover version for the Beatles' Hey Jude. There were no significant differences between the services in terms of both time-to-deliver and video quality. All of the files looked reasonable considering the quality of the source and took approximately 1-2 minutes to delivery. If you try any of them with your favorite videos please do let us know how it went.
Zamzar is a free online file conversion dedicated to transforming songs, videos, images and documents into different formats. With this service the focus is on high-quality file conversion for as many file formats as possible. The basic free service lets you converting files up to 100MB each. In case you are an online video conversion freak and "want more Zamzar" you can signup for basic, pro or business account and get to convert larger files (up to 1Giga!), a personal inbox for online file storage and faster file conversions (pricing and signup here). Nice and clean interface design. Fun to use.
With a somewhat over-texted design but still simple and easy to use interface Mux is a new beta service allowing you to convert media files from major player websites such as youtube, dailymotion and google and download to your computer. Here you can also share it privately with friends & family or send it to your mobile phone.
This online flv converter lets you convert Flash video files and download them in avi, mov mp4, pm3 or 3gp container formats encoded with mpeg4 codecs. The site claims to be doing that faster and less lossy than a typical transcoder. The service is based on an OpenSource engine named FLV to MPEG4 Conveter. In case you are a serious geek and knows your way around you can even download the project source code via their svn subversion.
Convert Flash video files from Youtube, MySpace, Google Videos, IFilm, Break, Dailymotion and Metacafe to popular formats and download them to your computer. Copy and paste the URL of the video, select the output format and click Convert/Download. To convert local Flash video files select the file and click Convert/Download.
Multi-file type converter and splitter supporting video, sound, ringtones, images and documents: not just of popular audio / video files such as mp3, wmv, 3gp, flv, swf, mov, avi, mpg, mp4, divx, ipod, psp and ogg but also picture formats like jpg, psd, doc, pdf, rtf, txt, odg and even abandoned formats as WordPerfect (...?). Check File mode, click Browse, choose the file and hope for auto-detection to work. If auto-detection fails, select input format and output format, submit the form. To convert a file from the Internet check URL mode, enter the file URL, select input and output format and go.
Online flv converter for Flash video files such as those used by Youtube. Supported output formats include avi, 3gp, mp3, mp4, wmv, mpeg, mov and psp. You can watch your vids on PC, iPod, Zune, PSP and various mobile phones.
Other than requiring no software to install (that's true about everyone on this list) the guys from MovAVI are also proud of the fact there are no ads on their site to interrupt you while you are enjoying their free service. Add up to 5 files limited to 10 min each and 100 Mb total size. Enter your email address and MovAVI will notify you when your files are ready. There is also a cool feature allowing you to merge your files videos into one large movie.
Youtube Google Video dedicated online flv converter. Flvix comes from the folks who do Pingoblog, a cool ping service for bloggers. Very simple yet efficient interface. Converts Youtube and Google videos and serves them for download in avi, mov, mp4, 3gp and mp3 formats for PC, Mobile phones, iPod and PSP.
Online video converter. Copy video link, paste it in the URL video box, choose video format and press Convert. Wait for your converted video link to show up and download. Supports 3gp mobile phone format as well as iPhone and Zune videos, iPod, PSP and popular PC formats as dvd, mov, mp4, vob, rm and wmv.
Youtube dedicated online flv converter. Allows you to convert Flash video files as used by YouTube to popular PC, iPod, PSP, iPhone and mobile phone formats such as wmv, mov, mp4, mp3 and 3gp. Same as Vixy, this service also claims to be doing its job faster and less lossy than a typical video transcoder.