Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

freeware video converterIn order to improve my earlier tutorial screencasts, I’ve been experimenting with video editing using free applications, such as Wax 2.0 Create Impressive Videos With Wax 2.0 [Windows] Create Impressive Videos With Wax 2.0 [Windows] Read More and VirtualDub 7 Video Editing Tasks VirtualDub Handles With Ease [Windows] 7 Video Editing Tasks VirtualDub Handles With Ease [Windows] Read More to release videos on Youtube The Best Settings & Formats for Capturing Videos for YouTube The Best Settings & Formats for Capturing Videos for YouTube Read More . This, of course, comes with a lot of back-and-forth video conversion tasks as most free video editors seem to only accept AVI files (except Avidemux How To Compress Videos To Send Them By Email How To Compress Videos To Send Them By Email Read More which also takes MP4).

Online video converters Top Online File Converters (Video, Audio, Images ...) Top Online File Converters (Video, Audio, Images ...) Read More are incredibly convenient (Zamzar is one of my favorites as it converts in high-quality), but having an application on the desktop seems to make more sense if I needed to consistently convert videos.


Thus, I scoured the web for a good freeware video converter, such as the ones found on this handy list 5 Easy-to-use Freeware Video Converters 5 Easy-to-use Freeware Video Converters Read More and another one Top Free Media Converters for Windows Top Free Media Converters for Windows Read More on free video-and-audio converters. A number of them seemed too complicated or bloated for my needs as I only wanted a quick converting app and to avoid spending so much time figuring out the conversion procedure when video-editing just consumes as much time. Then I found Hamster Free Video Converter and looked for more information at the publisher’s site, which comes with no nag-screen of any kind or ads (unless you count the author’s Facebook, Twitter and Youtube links as ads). It’s currently my favorite application for Windows (might be yours soon too!)

You can get the installer (14.2MB) from the Download.com page. Once you complete the installation, you can get started converting videos for your desktop and portable electronics in a jiffy.

Beautiful & Numbered Interface

One of the most striking things you notice when you first launch the installed program is the beautiful interface. Contrary to a lot of other video converters which offer overwhelming interfaces with way too many confusing buttons and options, this program sports a cleaner look which you can definitely tell it was carefully- and well-designed. It features 3 tabs, each indicating the steps needed to convert your videos: adding files, choosing settings, and converting.

freeware video converter

Ads by Google

The first tab is where you drag and drop your files. You can also add files by clicking on the button to browse.

video format converter

The application also supports batch conversion to a specific format or container so you can drag and drop several videos at a time. You also have a video player on the right of the first tab so you can confirm that you have the correct files. One drawback is that the player doesn’t seem to produce any audio, but you can still look and verify at the audio codec information, as well as other file details right underneath in the Info box.

Choosing Conversion Settings

After you’ve added your desired files to convert, proceed to click on the second tab titled Edit, which lists all the possible output formats and device presets. It includes very recent devices such as the iPad and iPhone 4, as well as Android, Blackberry, PSP, Xbox, Zune, etc.

video format converter

For AVI, WMV and FLV outputs, you can additionally select to deinterlace and resize the video, and change the frame rate and bit rate.

video format converter

When you’re converting to AVI, you can also pick codecs, such as DivX or Xvid (which were explained more in Best Settings & Formats For Youtube Videos The Best Settings & Formats for Capturing Videos for YouTube The Best Settings & Formats for Capturing Videos for YouTube Read More ), which depends on the ones you have installed on your system.

video file converter

If you regularly find yourself converting videos, you can save your settings to use them next time by clicking on Add To Favorites.

video file converter

When you’re all set choosing your settings, go on to the third tab to click Convert and just wait for the videos to be converted.

Supported Languages & Themes

The program has been translated to a good deal of languages including Spanish (which I tested and determined, has great translations), French, Japanese, etc. which you can switch to by clicking on Settings at the title bar, selecting Language and checking one of the numerous languages. According to the official developer blog, the list of supported languages nears 40 which includes a lot of other languages that you don’t usually see support for.

video file converter

The original color of the interface is actually yellow but if you dive into its Settings, you can also click on Themes, which brings up a rainbow palette for you to customize the color.

freeware video converter

Have you got a favorite free video converter in mind you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Monimonika
    January 9, 2011 at 12:39 am

    Hi Jessica!

    Nope, the converter didn't work on the file I wanted to convert. I guess we're stuck doing either of the following:

    1) Learn to love the watermark. (blegh!)
    2) Shell out the $$$. (eek!)
    3) Crappily try to record from the screen. (hunts for a decent free screen recorder...)
    4) Hopefully find a non-swf version of video online.

  2. dvd to ipad
    December 30, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    The screenshot are totally different from those video converters. Nice job! And I think handbrake is at least worth a mention here.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      December 30, 2010 at 7:17 pm

      Handbrake is indeed very capable when you have to convert DVDs, but if you need to convert videos to formats other than MP4 and MKV, you'd have to use something else.

  3. dvd to ipad
    December 30, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    The screenshot are totally different from those video converters. Nice job! And I think handbrake is at least worth a mention here.

  4. Aibek
    December 22, 2010 at 7:20 am

    NOT FREE !!!

  5. Jessica Cam W.
    December 22, 2010 at 12:36 am

    It doesn't look like it's free though. MakeUseOf only suggests free, but still very capable applications.

  6. Jessica Cam W.
    November 3, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    In the official website, it doesn't list SWF as a supported input/output format. http://videoconverter.hamsters...

  7. Nffandrew
    November 2, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Hamster definitely claims to convert .swf files on input to a variety of outputs. In my experience, it does not do so. I've tried several different output formats. Anyone have any luck getting Hamster to do this?

  8. bt
    October 20, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Can it cut parts?
    Can it join files?

  9. bt
    October 20, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Can it cut parts?
    Can it join files?

    • Jessica Cam W.
      October 20, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      Unfortunately not, but you can use VirtualDub (open-source and portable) to perform those tasks easily. Here's how to merge videos.

  10. Jessica Cam W.
    October 20, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Before Hamster, the video converters I had used all had somewhat high learning curves where you had to mess with codecs for video and audio. Launching these other programs for the first time proved a bit discouraging so I recommend Hamster's numbered interface for users that just want to launch an app and have it work quickly.

  11. Monimonika
    October 20, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Eeeh, I tried Camstudio before but had some trouble with getting a decent output video. Can't remember the details of what I tried, but I switched back to another program I was (and somewhat still am) using.

    "Debut Video Capture Software" is what I currently have and I keep it because it was what worked in capturing a video from NicoNicoDouga that I wished to play on my Ipod but with the comments included. There's noticeable loss in quality when there's a high framerate, but the original video wasn't that high quality in the first place anyway. I think I'll continue experimenting with Debut in trying to get a decent framerate output.

  12. Castius
    October 19, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Xmedia recoder Is my new friend! It has good presets but also gives you full control. Because many converts get frame-rate and aspect ratio wrong. Plus you can set up multiple files to convert. Not to mention already does webm. http://www.xmedia-recode.de

  13. Castius
    October 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Xmedia recoder Is my new friend! It has good presets but also gives you full control. Because many converts get frame-rate and aspect ratio wrong. Plus you can set up multiple files to convert. Not to mention already does webm. http://www.xmedia-recode.de

  14. Dan-003
    October 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I don't like Hamster, it looks ugly and often fails to convert huge files

    • Jessica Cam W.
      October 20, 2010 at 7:39 pm

      I honestly haven't seen many other video converters (Any Video Converter is a good one though) that feature such a beautiful interface. Any videos I've thrown at Hamster have converted just fine for me. Maybe you're having a codec issue?

  15. y0himba
    October 19, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Be sure to select CUSTOM install and remove all the Bing garbage. Bing toolbar, Bing.com home page change, and Bing.com default search.

    http://www.y0himba.net/images/...

  16. y0himba
    October 19, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Be sure to select CUSTOM install and remove all the Bing garbage. Bing toolbar, Bing.com home page change, and Bing.com default search.

    http://www.y0himba.net/images/misc/junk.jpg

    • Jessica Cam W.
      October 20, 2010 at 1:03 am

      I always choose custom installation and totally forgot to mention this. Thank you for the keen observation!

  17. Gianluca Ballarin
    October 19, 2010 at 9:03 am

    formatfactory

  18. Christian
    October 19, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Really nice this Hamster! :-)

  19. Monimonika
    October 19, 2010 at 5:07 am

    Okay, let's see:

    The one that I found that works nicely is called "iWisoft Flash SWF to Video Converter". The output quality was pretty good, but the free version puts a watermark on the video. Audio ripping is free. (I'm at the point where I think I can live with the watermark...$49 is just way too much to spend over a smudge in the corner)

    Programs I've tried that claimed to handle swf input:

    Freemake Video Converter = (swf must be uncompressed)
    SUPER © = Error when trying to convert compressed swf
    SWF & FLV Toolbox = not free, but I couldn't even get the demo (watermarked) version to work (but that's most likely because of my stupid compaq notebook rather than the program itself)

    What I don't get is that a lot of these kind of programs have swf as an output option, but not as an input option. What's up with that?

  20. Robert_M
    October 19, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Okay, that Hamster is just TOO cute. Should be illegal!!

    :3

  21. Robert_M
    October 19, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Okay, that Hamster is just TOO cute. Should be illegal!!

    :3

    • Jessica Cam W.
      October 19, 2010 at 7:32 am

      It's from their Hamster software website. They got some very good designers!

  22. SiNTAX
    October 19, 2010 at 4:14 am

    I use Freemake myself. Only tried the PSP settings so don't know how good it is all round but for what I want, it's perfect!

    http://www.freemake.com/free_v...

  23. SiNTAX
    October 19, 2010 at 2:14 am

    I use Freemake myself. Only tried the PSP settings so don't know how good it is all round but for what I want, it's perfect!

    http://www.freemake.com/free_video_converter/

    • Jessica Cam W.
      October 20, 2010 at 1:05 am

      MakeUseOf reviewed this recently so click here to see screenshots and more!

    • SiNTAX
      October 20, 2010 at 1:24 am

      Sweet! Confirmed my thoughts on the program. Thank You.

  24. Monimonika
    October 19, 2010 at 2:55 am

    Is there any free converter that can handle swf video files? I found a converter that handles them nicely, but need to pay about $50 to take out the watermark (at least I can rip the audio out for free...).

    For free converters that claim to support ALL the popular video formats, why is swf (compressed)* not included at all?

    *Most swf videos are compressed while the free converters I've tried out that claim to support swf only work for uncompressed.

  25. Monimonika
    October 19, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Is there any free converter that can handle swf video files? I found a converter that handles them nicely, but need to pay about $50 to take out the watermark (at least I can rip the audio out for free...).

    For free converters that claim to support ALL the popular video formats, why is swf (compressed)* not included at all?

    *Most swf videos are compressed while the free converters I've tried out that claim to support swf only work for uncompressed.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      October 19, 2010 at 2:52 am

      I've been looking for one too, but haven't found anything that's free. It'd be helpful if you could tell us what software you've tried so others can recommend additional programs.

    • Monimonika
      October 19, 2010 at 3:07 am

      Okay, let's see:

      The one that I found that works nicely is called "iWisoft Flash SWF to Video Converter". The output quality was pretty good, but the free version puts a watermark on the video. Audio ripping is free. (I'm at the point where I think I can live with the watermark...$49 is just way too much to spend over a smudge in the corner)

      Programs I've tried that claimed to handle swf input:

      Freemake Video Converter = (swf must be uncompressed)
      SUPER © = Error when trying to convert compressed swf
      SWF & FLV Toolbox = not free, but I couldn't even get the demo (watermarked) version to work (but that's most likely because of my stupid compaq notebook rather than the program itself)

      What I don't get is that a lot of these kind of programs have swf as an output option, but not as an input option. What's up with that?

    • Jessica Cam W.
      October 19, 2010 at 7:46 am

      Wow, those are pretty much the ones that I found on forums that supposedly work. How about trying screen recording software like Camstudio (portable)?

    • Monimonika
      October 19, 2010 at 11:04 pm

      Eeeh, I tried Camstudio before but had some trouble with getting a decent output video. Can't remember the details of what I tried, but I switched back to another program I was (and somewhat still am) using.

      "Debut Video Capture Software" is what I currently have and I keep it because it was what worked in capturing a video from NicoNicoDouga that I wished to play on my Ipod but with the comments included. There's noticeable loss in quality when there's a high framerate, but the original video wasn't that high quality in the first place anyway. I think I'll continue experimenting with Debut in trying to get a decent framerate output.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      November 29, 2010 at 1:10 am

      So I just found this free portable converter that seems to take SWF files. Let me know if you have any luck with it!

    • Monimonika
      January 8, 2011 at 11:39 pm

      Hi Jessica!

      Nope, the converter didn't work on the file I wanted to convert. I guess we're stuck doing either of the following:

      1) Learn to love the watermark. (blegh!)
      2) Shell out the $$$. (eek!)
      3) Crappily try to record from the screen. (hunts for a decent free screen recorder...)
      4) Hopefully find a non-swf version of video online.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      January 9, 2011 at 4:24 am

      Oh, sorry! I guess if you're converting the SWF files on a regular basis, 2) might be the best solution, but 4) sounds like what I would do too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *