Best Free Audio-Video Format Conversion Program

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There are many different audio and video formats out there, and most devices (such as iPhone, iPad, Android phones, etc.) and programs (such as Windows Media Player) are only compatible with a few specific formats. An AVI or WMV movie will not play on an iPhone, for example, without being converted into an MP4 file first.

There are quite a few programs that will do this for free, with more popping up all the time. They tend to fall into a few general categories:

  • To gain control over basic settings (such as framerate, frame size and bitrate) and experience a quick conversion where most guesswork is done for you, try our General Converter Picks.
  • To convert without fiddling with any settings, using as few clicks as possible, try our Device-Specific Picks, especially suited to conversions for a portable device.
  • To have complete control over every detail of conversion and fine-tune your output using settings for advanced users, look at our Custom-Oriented Picks.
  • To convert audio files with more audio-specific functionality, then try our Audio-Only Picks.

While some are better than others overall, which one is best for you will depend on what sort of program you need.


General Converter Picks

Freemake Video Converter  

A stable, flexible and powerful video converter

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Great interface, very flexible, support for almost every type of conversion, easy to use.
Bundled toolbar (you can opt out, but it's a multi-click process), bundled OpenCandy.
Read full review...

Format Factory  

An excellent choice with presets for conversion and a DVD ripper

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Stable with many device presets. Supports all video file formats. Rips DVD's & Music CD's. Very powerful software.
Installer is bundled with a toolbar (you are able to opt out), interface is non-linear and somewhat confusing.
Read full review...
Also recommended:
  • YouTube Downloader HD: This program is a gem in the world of YouTube ripping. It allows you to copy/paste a YouTube link, choose your video quality, and download it to your computer for future viewing. In the latest version, you can now choose to have it automatically convert the .FLV file to an iPod/iPhone compatible .MP4 file, or an XViD .AVI for playback on many devices.


Device-Specific Picks

Pazera Free Audio Video Pack  

A collection of portable audio and video converters

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Excellent presets, easy to use, custom profiles.
Looks intimidating, separate programs for each output type, no advanced tweaks. Contains unwanted bundled components. Take care to avoid these during the install process.
Read full review...

Miro Video Converter  

A multimedia converter with a dozen device presets

Our Rating: 
License: Free (Open source)
Brutally easy-to-use device conversion.
Only one file at a time, no profile or generic tweaking, only MP4.
Read full review...
Also recommended:
  • Handbrake: A long-time favorite of mine, when I need to convert from just about any format to a nice, no-nonsense iPod/iPhone compatible video (encoded in H.264). It has a queue, and supports multiple Apple presets including Apple TV.
  • WinX Video Converter: More up-to-date than iWisoft. Support converting videos to 100+ devices including newest iPhone 6/Plus, S5, HTC, PS4 with many preset profiles. Adjustable video audio parameters. Clean and simple. Please note though on the top there's YouTube URL entry, it is just an upgrading recommendation which can be skipped easily. This freeware doesn't support converting YouTube videos.


Custom-Oriented Picks


An audio-video converter with highly advanced configurations and rendering settings

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Solid preset list, highly advanced tweaks, sleek interface.
Dependencies, no installer.
Read full review...
Also recommended:
  • XVID4PSP: Supports very many tweaks. Impossibly fragmented interface. Solid AviSynth support.
  • MediaCoder: Great for tech obsessive because of the tons of customizable features to convert from and to video audio formats. Support MP4, AVI, MP3, WMA, WAV, etc. and allow to adjust parameters. But if you're not familiar with the jargon and just want a hassle-free, simple-to-use free video converter, you may turn to others.


Audio-Only Picks

Pazera Free Audio Extractor is the audio-only program in the above-mentioned Pazera Free Audio Video Pack. It supports both video and audio input and output to many audio formats, and is slightly simpler than some of its sibling programs. Otherwise, it is perfectly identical.


Notes: Tested and not recommended:
  • MPEG Streamclip: very powerful for MP4, but single-file, ugly/laggy, has dependencies
  • Avidemux: great video editor, lousy video converter


Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these reviews too:



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Average: 4.1 (186 votes)


Hmm. Looks like this category needs a refresh based on the comments in the thread.

I actually like using a web based one

Not sure about how it handles large file sizes though. Probably merits some investigation.

Advice: keep you away from "WinX Video Converter" because without license output file are limited to to 5 min lenght!

DO NOT INSTALL FREEMAKE, it has become a honeytrap.

"Freemake Video Converter has been my go to converter for quite a while but unfortunately it now watermarks the entire converted video as well as adding splash screens before and after." So says pipso-facto's post and it is spot on.

I'd had purposely avoided updating Freemake for ages - rarely do conversions. When I opened it today I was presented with what looked like a "must update" message note I DID NOT VERIFY I HAD TO so I updated. Immediately Malwatebytes and Comodo complained (Open Candy for one thing). Anyway dodged around a bit and it installed anyway.

So now I had nag prompts and a threat to watermark so "you're gone now ASAP" is the only possible reply.

REVO uninstall on full on setting has hopefully killed every bit of it...the Freemaker builtin uninstall of course left a lot of nasty looking stuff behind that REVO located. Used Everything to search for anything branded Freemake...there were still a few objects. They are now gone as well.

It is a shame as it was a handy tool.

Yes, it has become useless now. Better to look for alternatives.

Freemake Video Converter has been my go to converter for quite a while but unfortunately it now watermarks the entire converted video as well as adding splash screens before and after. The watermark is a fairly discreet "made by" at top right, so may be acceptable for some applications.

In my case I needed to convert a MOV to WMV to import into a video editor. The editor is quite old now and although it does take MP4 they haven't been very reliable, whereas WMV has always worked well. I went through some of the other recommendations on this page and this is what I found:

Format Factory - 5 virus scanners in VirusTotal reported problems, including McAfee and ESET. Normally I don't worry if 1 or 2 report problems, particularly if I've never heard of them before, but I felt 5 was quite a lot especially as it included a couple of big names. Dunno if this was the bundled toolbar but I didn't want to risk it, so didn't install it.

Pazera - the main screen offered no way of doing MOV to WMV

Miro Video Converter - didn't download as it only does MP4.

Handbrake - has been my go to MP4 converter recently, but can't do MOV to WMV.

WinX Video Converter - When I actually ran it I found it's a trial. The trial version can convert up to 5 minutes of video so it was suitable for my application. My first attempt converted quite quickly but quality was poor. I set the slider to the HQ end and got a slightly better result, but not great. It also delayed the start of the conversion with a short countdown, probably to annoy the user into buying. My test file had a video bitrate of 5267kb/s. The converted file default output rate was 984kb/s and the HQ rate was 1274kb/s.

FFCoder - comments about installing under the administrator user and somewhat unknown provenance put me off installing this one.

MediaCoder - the settings allow MOV to WMV but it gives an error to say it's not possible when the convert button is clicked.

I ended up installing MyFFVideoConverter from sourceforge and this does the job nicely. I can adjust the bitrate of the output to get a good quality conversion.

I use MediaInfo (listed in Best Free Windows Explorer Add-ons) to determine the bitrate and other details of input and output video files.

Freemake Video Converter add splash screen at the beginning and end of the video.
not my first choose anymore.


I have around a dozen home DVD's that were converted via dubbing from VHS tapes about 5 years ago. The VHS tapes no longer exist.

They are in reasonable quality. I probably could have done a better job with one of those VHS to Digital devices you can buy. However a few jittery bits from a 30 year old tape is quite acceptable (and retro) :-)

I want to convert these DVDs now to mp4. I tried using Format Factory which I use for all my Video conversions but the resultant mp4 was awful. Kind of out of focus???

Anyhow I tried installing Freemake and both my antivirus and antispyware programs went into hyperdrive. I know that technically this product doesn't contain malware (ones definition of malware may be important here) but I gave up when both my security programs asked me to make an exception for it.

So basically I want to create an exact copy of whatever is on a DVD to an mp4 file (if that is possible). I want minimal to no loss during the conversion process and I want it to be a painless if not joyful experience :-)

Has anyone else done this with good results from DVD to mp4?




And the answer is - - - - - Handbrake.

Awesome results :-)

Thank you for sharing. It's good to know which program works well :).

As of 7-31-2016 Freemake tries to install some (junk?) called ByteFender (security software?) and the Chromium browser.
Go through Custom install, use "Click here to ..." and you can deselect these blind passengers.

Freemake will not convert to MP3. I got a pop up asking me to upgrade to "gold@ for $9.99. So it's NOT freeware anymore

I guess you picked lossless mp3? Normal mp3 conversion (including quality loss) is free in every vdeo/audio converter i know. Lossless mp3 codec is protected, So it will cost the Software-Provider to have lossless mp3 conversion feature implemented. I don't know of any freeware supporting lossless mp3.

From the vendors site. "Freemake Video Converter converts video between 500+ formats and gadgets free! Convert to MP4, MP3, AVI, MKV, iPhone, Android. Convert YouTube to anything. Absolutely free. No trials or limitations".

The difference between the free version and "Gold" features are clearly stated on their website.

Disable the check for updates feature to remove the popup. MC - Site Manager.

Thanks for the comment, but I could not find the difference between the free version and "Gold" on the website. Could you please post the link?

Our website rules do not permit the promotion of commercial features but I will send the link in a PM. MC - Site Manager.

I can't agree with the Top pick in this catagory. For me all the "Freemake stuff" is pup software! It was already stated that most free software come with some additional pup Software, like adobe acrobat bundles with google chrome and s.o.
but freemake installs opencandy installer and that really is crap! So you are not only getting a McAffee Scanner or the like, but tons of crapware. Some of the Software that comes with opencandy installer can be considered malware.
I find the converted videos i did with freemake are qualitywise behind some other freeware tools - when using the same output video settings.
The article says it took handbrake longer, but you did a completely different conversion! Auto-bitrate single pass against a constant bitrate...that is just like saying an apple tasts better than a pear...
And i don't consider the time it takes to convert a video as important as quality and size of the output.
I tried freemake with cuda feature and it didn't do any good - freemake crashed with my test-file.
My top pick would be "Any Video Converter free", as easy as freemake, tons of presets and better quality than with freemake and no crap-, bloat-, ransom-, whatever-ware installed on your PC, besides the one that can be checked off during install.
Other free tools like MediaCoder, XMediaRecode or Handbrake do a better job - regarding quality and output-size - than freemake!
If you are in a hurry - Don't install freemake! It will just screw your PC and you will end up spending a lot more time getting your PC cleaned of the Software the opencandy installer forced onto your PC, than the time saved upon video conversion.

Sorry but Any Video Converter Free is no different to the rest. It also includes a crapware installer that makes several outgoing connections. It tried to install War Thunder for me at which point I cancelled the installation. MC - Site Manager.

Freemake Video Converter, infected my computer, had to take shop and spend money to clean 22 different malware prog., should be removed from list

Many Windows programs are bundled with additional components. Generally, as is the case with Freemake, these are not malware but PUPs (potentially unwanted programs). Regarding converters and downloaders, this applies to the majority of the programs available. There are however plenty of ways to avoid installing these additional components if care is taken during the install process and we already indicate the nature of these in the product information. MC - Site Manager.

Don't usually say a whole lot in here. The only way I've been able to corral the Freemake stuff was to stick 'em in Sandboxie. After getting what I want, I incinerate the box 'til next time. Good alternative to that is XMediaRecode, just my opinion.

I've used most of the suggestions and found that XMediaRecode is personally best for my tastes. No adware and has a portable version too. It has support for Intel QuickSync and NVIDIA CUDA Decoders, ID3 tags, Audio extractor, Subtitle importing, DVD convertion and chapter creation, Video editing and Conversion to a countless number of devices and formats with batch processing and direct stream copy.

Thats a good way for using Sandboxie, Mike.




FWIW Freemake does NOT handle import of an ISO as far as I could see.

I also followed the instructions to avoid opencandy as outlined above but chose custom install rather than the default install. As I never saw the option to not install opencandy components I assume I was too clever and so I ended up with opencandy installed or pending to be.

After opening freemake I blocked it from accessing the internet when I got a Comodo popup (saw 2) and ran a Malwarebytes scan which failed to find any opencandy components so perhaps the internet block saved me.

You figured that out correctly: If you don't let the Installer access the opencandy webpages it can't be installed and that is the only way not to install opencandy BS!
That's why i can't understand having freemake in this list as the top pick: Many users won't even know how to block the opencandy-page or run freemake in a sandbox. It is not that freemake is malware, but opencandy does install malware. So if you aren't a professional or very experianced user better keep your hands of freemake.

What's the best format to use when converting from audio to video? For example is it worth converting mp4 to wav or flac?

If you can live with the '' watermark at the end of videos greater than 5 minutes in length. I understand you can purchase the 'Gold Pack', but it's not mentioned how much that costs. I guess you find out after you download/install the pack. I thought this was Freeware?

Everyone despises OpenCandy. So why do developers use it in some of their software?

Because it earns them money. :) MC - Site Manager;