Freemake Video Converter

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Freemake Video Converter

A stable, flexible and powerful video converter

5

Our rating: 

5

Pros & Cons:

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.

Our Review:

The interface of Freemake Video Converter is about as polished as it gets, and the code behind the interface is stable, flexible, and powerful. Using Freemake is a linear, seamless experience with no frustration.

What I do find frustrating, however, is that the developer has now added OpenCandy to their installer. For more information about this bundled software, I recommend you read this article. Please see the last section of this review for information on how you can opt out of this.

Now, back to the awesome stuff. With Freemake, you can convert most any format of video or audio with this handy piece of freeware, along with DVD's, photos, and even web embedded media from sites like YouTube, Google, and Vimeo. There are lots of presets and quite a few options, giving the software best-in-class capabilities. The visual cues are easy to follow, pretty much guiding you from start to finish on any conversion task and providing a more user-friendly experience than most other software.

This software can make use of DXVA and CUDA (two methods of hardware accelerated encoding) to boost speeds. I was only able to use DXVA on my test computer, so you may get faster encodes with your machine. On my laptop, I had an NVidia card, and Freemake actually displayed a message recommending that I update my video card drivers to make use of CUDA acceleration.  Freemake took 39 minutes to produce its output using an Auto Bitrate setting, with a two-pass encode. It took under 15 minutes to do a one-pass encode. Handbrake took 33 minutes using a Constant Quality RF:20 setting. The quality of all three test encodes was excellent, with no apparent difference from the original. You won't find advanced encoding settings anywhere in this interface, so if you're looking to fine-tune your output, I recommend moving on to something like Handbrake, Format Factory, or FFCoder.

I would have loved to give this software 10/10 stars, however there was one negative aspect to Freemake Video Converter: the bundled Freemake Toolbar and OpenCandy software. The toolbar is set to install by default unless you choose otherwise on the first page of the install wizard. To their credit, the Privacy Policies and/or EULA's are easily available for all bundled software. OpenCandy, on the other hand, does not have a checkbox to toggle its install.

How to install without OpenCandy

You'll have to roll up your sleeves and install from the command-line if you want to opt out of OpenCandy bundled with this software. Here's how: Hit Start, then 'Run' the install file with the /nocandy switch. It will still show you the EULA for it, however there will be an option at the very end of the install to 'not install' the software OpenCandy recommends for you. Even without the /nocandy switch, you can still uncheck the box, but for some reason the switch will trade in the check-box for 2 separate radio button choices (Yes or No). It's a lot to worry about and go through, but this software really is top-notch in most other ways.

Although their website defaults to an "online installer", they do host offline installers, available here.


Freemake Video Converter was reviewed by on

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Comments

When converting from DVD format to MP4, I get A/V sync issues every time. Does not matter if acceleration is turned off, or if sourcing the DVD files directly from the DVD or after they have been copied to my hard drive. Will try Format Factor.

You can also try Handbrake and Video to Video Converter.

https://handbrake.fr

http://www.videotovideo.org

Misleading name, it is NOT free!
The installer already wants money.

Freemake splash branding gets added at the beginning and end of the video.

indeed the splash branding make it a non ideal choice

I installed from the command line as suggested. I didn't get any options specific to OpenCandy. But apparently the /nocandy switch worked: Malwarebytes reports no threats.

I am using freeware since years. Recently it has become more troublesome. It asks yo to update frequently and when updating creates some changes that are suspicious.. I uninstalled and reinstalled. The notice to update comes almost from the next date. If you do update the process is repeated. Probably till you buy a non freeware.

This site needs to probe and alter the priority of recommendations.

In my opinion if respected sites like Gizmos refused to review programs with bundled Open Candy etc like Freemake Video Converter/Downloader it may influence some of them to cease this detestable habit. There are plenty of excellent alternatives available who do not engage in these low practices.

If we opted not to feature bundled products, in practice it would have next to no influence on software authors and their marketing strategy. Most other sites operate under a commercial model so they would be unlikely to impose a ban either as many of the freeware products have commercial upgrades and they could not afford to lose the associated revenue. The ultimate losers of any such action here would be our own visitors. In reality there are plenty of ways users can avoid the extra components during the install process and we have published various guides on this subject.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/what-else-have-you-just-download...

I admit to finding this whole situation a real drag personally and in addition to security concerns it was one of the main reasons why I switched to using Linux years ago. MC - Site Manager.

Fair enough but I for one boycott all software with bundled crap.
Have tried several Linux versions recommended here in recent years but can't warm to it at all.

If you let me know via the Linux thread in the forum what issues you found to be negative using it, maybe I can help. MC - Site Manager. http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/linux/

I appreciate the offer but all the versions I tried installed and worked well but I guess I am too used to Windows after using every version up to my current W10 Anniversary Update. Unlike many others I have never had any real issues with it. I have been trying various Linux versions on another computer and it is a work in progress at this stage which I intend to pursue.

Converting video files to MP3's is now limited in the free version.

The Freemake software (audio converter, video converter, video downloader etc) has been sold to new owners, who clearly have commercial ambitions. As a consequence, the free version of Freemake Video Converter is no longer viable.
Previously, the converter used to add a brief and discreet logo at the end of the video, which could easily be removed using another editor (the converter's internal editor added the same logo). Now, the free version puts a big message ('branding') in the centre of the screen for the entire length of the clip and also brief messages at the beginning and end; furthermore, you are pestered in numerous places to pay USD20 a year or USD40 for a lifetime licence to remove the branding.
In my opinion, the video converter should no longer be in a list of free software because its output is unusable except for test purposes. This is a great shame because it was and still is an excellent programme.
My preference is not to trade with aggressive vendors such as Digital Wave, so I am now looking for a new free video converter. YMMV.

I was sorry to read about the watermark, center screen of an entire video.

Older versions where the installer links to the website were no help because they just updated to the newest (ugh) version. However research and diligence paid off. Not much older versions with the full (20mb or so) installer are available and work just the way I remember.

For safety, I closed the internet connection while doing the install. Life is good again.