Format Factory: Quickly & Easily Convert Multimedia Files Without the Headache [Windows]

Aaron Couch 11-10-2012

convert multimedia filesWe’ve all been there, some more than others, but at one point or another we’ve all had to convert a file. But whether we knew how to or not, was the question. Sometimes with this sort of thing it’s simply the lack of knowledge of what to use. The other common issue is how to use it. Well now that you’re reading this article, those should no longer be problems that you’re familiar with.


Previously covered on MakeUseOf, Format Factory is a multimedia file converter that supports a wide range of formats. It has an interface that is easy to use and with a little guidance from this article, you will be converting files quickly and easily in no time.


Format Factory provides a nice balance between useful features without being overwhelming. Many times in programs with an abundant amount of features this becomes a problem. However, as you can see with the interface, it is clean, easy-to-use and straightforward.

convert multimedia files

On the right side panel you have a choice to choose to convert all files which you’ve added to various file types. Format Factory supports converting video, audio, pictures, and from ROM devices (DVD, CD, ISO). There’s also an advanced tab that has options to join video or audio files together as well as a Mux (Multiplexer) option.

These are aptly placed as they are more advanced options and likely aren’t used by someone wanting to just do a quick file conversion. However, it’s nice that they’re available. Under the advanced tab there’s also the option to view the media file information.


convert movie files

Format compatibility is a primary concern when looking for a program to convert multimedia files. Therefore, I’ve created a table which displays all of the formats that Format Factory supports.

convert movie files

It’s also important to note that when converting video you can customize the conversion for specific mobile mobile devices. You can access these by clicking “All to Mobile Device” under the Video tab.


convert movie files

There are many other options in Format Factory. You can designate the output folder, set it to shut down your computer or open the output folder.

multimedia file formats

Converting Multimedia Files

After you’ve set up the output folder, you’re ready to start converting. Depending on the types of files you wish to convert and the format you want them converted to, open the appropriate tab on the right side bar and choose your file format that you want to convert to, not its current format.


A window will pop up providing you access to change the output folder, adjust output settings, adding multiple files of specific file types from a certain folder destination, and of course adding files through the Windows Explorer window via the “Add File” button. Do note that you can add multiple files at a time through this option by holding down shift and selecting the ones you wish to convert (this method works for many things you want to select, not just in Format Factory).

multimedia file formats

Some of the tab options will have a slightly different screen than the one pictured above. For example under the “ROM Device\DVD\CD\ISO” tab, many of the options have custom settings different from the basic “add file” window.

multimedia file formats


Other Important Findings To Make Note Of

You’ll notice that there’s a banner of sorts that has cameras on the left and mobile devices on the right with “Format Factory” in the middle. The two images on either side are links, which lead to ads and have no affiliation with the program except to keep it free. It’s the downside of using free software. Also, whenever you navigate through the right side column, there will be ripples in the banner – slightly annoying, but there’s not really a way to disable it and it’s not a hindrance to the program’s performance so I just learned to ignore it.

There are also a few different themes to choose from, which is a nice addition. There are also a lot of languages, so you shouldn’t have trouble using Format Factory in your preferred language. Format Factory also has an automatic update notification. It won’t download and update itself – you still have to download from the website and install it – but it will notify you that there’s a new update available to you. Of course you can manually check at any time by going to the Help menu and clicking “Check new version.”

convert multimedia files


All in all, I feel Format Factory is a great program. There are some programs that focus on converting specific multimedia file types, such as video 5 Easy-to-use Freeware Video Converters Read More , but Format Factory does a nice job in being diverse enough that you can use it for many purposes, not just one. There is email support as well, which is always a plus in the instance that you have trouble that Google can’t help with.

What do you think about Format Factory [No Longer Available]? Do you use it or use an alternative? Are there any uses for it you’ve discovered that weren’t mentioned in this article? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Related topics: File Conversion, Video Editor.

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  1. Lady
    March 15, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Factory format said it needed upgrading. It had all sorts of things in the download I did not want. I marked not to install any of it in custom install .. it did it anyway and loaded me computer with Junk. chromium.. has an unidentified program trying to change my search engine.. And it had a file that set my virus scanner off. I have used this program for years no problem. then this upgrade made a total mess. I think it was a bit much and needs to be stopped.

  2. B Rambo
    March 12, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    When I convert MP4s to MP3s, FF has taken to adding the words FormatFactory to the beginning of the file names. I don't remember this happening in the past, and I find it clunky and distracting when I'm refiling my music. Is there a way to turn this option off? I'd love to hear from someone. (I looked in help, but most of my index seemed to be in, maybe Mandarin? Anyway, not English or characters I was familiar with.

  3. Anonymous
    August 5, 2015 at 5:34 am

    i wish to convert the rmvb to avi. the avi file is to be use at pioneer AVH-165DVD (car entertainment system). i try a lots of output setting but cannot preview. Please advise, tq

  4. Alan Trojan
    May 14, 2015 at 7:06 am

    how can i do the iso to mkv when the iso is not on a dvd but from a file folder?

    • Tobi Cebol
      June 21, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      First... browse/open/extract ISO using the latest winRAR...

  5. Patricia Schirmer
    March 30, 2015 at 3:04 am

    I used Format Factory for long time and found it useful and easy to use.
    My usual input were Mandarin songs to be conerted to mpg.
    Of late, the Format Factory does not accept Mandarin text any more.
    Please advise reason and how to rectify this problem.

  6. Douglas Mutay
    November 8, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I have discovered FF two years ago and since then I have never feel the need to use another converter software.

  7. Tom Bogan
    October 18, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Glad to see this. Have several instances where someone will have a track that they want to use on a different device and this allows me to provide that service to them.

  8. salim benhouhou
    October 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    format factory is my #1 media converter on my PC

  9. Lex Diamonds
    October 17, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I have been looking for something like this forever!!!! I am definitely guilty of "thinking I found that coveted/rare [ insert any file you choose to use in your scenario here]"
    And I open that fully downloaded [whatever], even though it has some strange file format that I have never heard of and..................
    [ insert cricket noise here.................]
    I am downloading Format Factory as I write this very post
    Let's hope I can open the download ; )

  10. Lex Diamonds
    October 17, 2012 at 10:17 am
  11. Sridharan Doraivelu
    October 17, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Thanks that was what I was needing at the moment. Will try this.

  12. Kurt Decker
    October 17, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Just downloaded this program. I can't believe it's free! All the bells and whistles of more expensive "paid" programs but with without the unnecessary drama. The interface is very "intuative" and easy to use.

  13. Anonymous
    October 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    I hope this works...boy do I need one that does...and that a simpleton can understand!

  14. Daniel Wells
    October 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    It doesn't convert .flac, .mp4, or .raw files? That's somewhat disappointing

  15. Jacob Mathew
    October 13, 2012 at 6:09 am

    The interface looks easy

  16. Nara Narusha
    October 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    wow, I want this! Very useful :)

  17. Ashwin Ramesh
    October 12, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Not sure if the DVD conversion works that well...

  18. Mark Smerdon
    October 11, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    This will help me change format of music files that only play with Linux music programs.

  19. Yash Desai
    October 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Seems like its a need to have program

  20. Vivek Agarwal
    October 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    i have been using FF since 2 years or more. Its a very easy converter to convert files and not time taking to convert file with maximum extension support. loving it....

  21. Vishal Mishra
    October 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    i think it's a good software, as of now i use "any video converter" to convert videos, but i think now i am going to use this as it can also convert other types of file, but i wonder, what will be it's size after installations ?!

  22. Olga Stanica
    October 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I use it and I'm very happy with FF. Especially for its way of handling subtitles.

    • ion popa
      October 12, 2012 at 11:02 am

      The way FF handles subtitles has made me consider it. Thanks for mention that.

  23. Sam Kar
    October 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks Aaron. I have used FormatFactory in the past. The only thing I feel missing is a portable version.

  24. Kulwinder Rouri
    October 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    very useful, i have also write a post on it on my blog

  25. Raj Sarkar
    October 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I feel Freemake Free Video Converter is the best. It has got a good UI and also has preset for many devices, so no need to go deep into the settings.

  26. Mac Witty
    October 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Sweet! Will send it to a friend and maybe get some more free time (use to convert his videos)

  27. Anonymous
    October 11, 2012 at 10:38 am

    useful + free...mkv's don't on my computer but now i can convert...thanks man

    • Aditya Roy
      October 11, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      to play mkvs on your pc, update your codecs shaurya.
      its a better solution than converting them.

  28. Norbert Gruszfeld
    October 11, 2012 at 9:50 am

    OK, but nowadays what do you use it for? Most of today devices support many media formats.

  29. Imya Last
    October 11, 2012 at 9:32 am

    And this beauty is free? I need the same tool fot mac.

  30. alavhar
    October 11, 2012 at 8:12 am

    You can actually get this working in linux also, it's my favorite all in one media manipulation tool... this can be installed with wine under linux, it gives an error message when the conversion is over, but it's just a bug, in fact the conversion is successful...

  31. AP
    October 11, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I have read about this app in a newspaper tech review article and really loves this.

  32. Anonymous
    October 11, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Good program, thanks for sharing this.

  33. Eath Chantrea
    October 11, 2012 at 5:15 am

    useful media converter.

  34. Paul Harris
    October 11, 2012 at 4:13 am

    I used Format Factory just yesterday to convert some audio files. They had an extension i had never seen before..... !ut . It wasn't listed as a supported type, but Format Factory converted all of them to MP3
    Great application...

    • Alex B.
      October 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      The !ut extension is used by uTorrent to mark incomplete files. Therefore, your files may not have been completely downloaded when you converted them. You should give them a listen, see if there aren't any parts missing.

  35. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    October 11, 2012 at 4:07 am

    I've used it for years. Take time to get used with the banner but it doesn't hurt. Fast conversion and it does a good job preserving the quality. Highly recommended since it's one-software-for-all-format. You'll rarely need other converter as it supports majority of usual formats you encounter in the internet.

  36. SteVen Farless Jr.
    October 11, 2012 at 2:47 am

    Looks pretty useful!

    • Alex Downs
      October 11, 2012 at 3:01 am

      It is, I've used it over a year or so by now and love it.

    • Harish Jonnalagadda
      October 11, 2012 at 11:36 am

      Yeah one of the best conversion utilities available. And it's free!

    • Harish Jonnalagadda
      October 11, 2012 at 11:39 am

      Easily one of the best utilities out there. Does the job very well, and converts even the most obscure of extensions. And it is free. Incredible.

  37. filepuma
    October 11, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Format Factory is a multifunctional media converter. It supports converting all popular video,audio,picture formats to others.

    • Tristan Bananas
      October 19, 2012 at 3:14 am

      Yep, this program is very good for converting audio, images etc files. But for me, the best program to convert online videos to other video or audio formats should be It is free and with simple UI.