Effective Video Converting

key review info
application features
  • Convert video between almost any formats
  • (8 more, see all...)

A friend of mine told me how he once burned his CPU during a video conversion session. He actually had to buy a new computer as the motherboard and RAM were also ruined. The story is not fantastic and the happening really took place (two of our friends already confirming it). He was running a video conversion software on his home computer which had the case opened. In a careless move, he managed to spill a refreshing drink in the case (CPU, motherboard, source) and everything short-circuited.

He has been mentioning video conversion among the fiercest CPU killers ever since. So I guess you should be careful with drinking and video converting at the same time, as results may be a total disaster. AVS Video Converter is by far not as dangerous as my friend and it is actually capable of supplying you the means for transforming the regular AVI format into various other formats compatible with different modern portable video devices like iPods, portable DVD players, PSPs, cell phones etc.

The new marketing strategy adopted by the publisher makes available any of the softwares under the mark to be downloaded for free with a $29 1 year subscription or for $59 for an unlimited subscription. The available tools in there include video related software, audio software, disc burning solutions and data conversion for mobile devices rendering.

AVS Video Converter from Online Media Technologies is an all-inclusive tool designed to convert your video to different file formats compatible with various portable devices. The supported formats available allow you to transform to DVD, AVI, MP4, 3GP, MPEG, MOV, WMV, RM and SWF. The operation is swift and the unregistered version's result will bear the mark of the application right in the middle. That is the only limitation imposed by the publisher to evaluation versions.

The interface is almost inexistent as the application is created for functionality not for aesthetics. In the upper part of the window there is the conversion bar containing all the above mentioned formats. The conversion procedure is extremely simple. First select the format of the output result and input the desired file. As batch conversion is supported, you can add as many files as you want and also select the order to be converted.

To make your work easier, AVS Video Converter works with profiles. These are a set of standard presets designed to work on different qualities for different portable devices. You will find that there are different settings for both video and audio that reflect in the quality of the output result. To give you an example, when converting to MP4 you will find a number of 16 presets, each of them rendering a greater or lower video quality depending on the standard, resolution and audio settings.

There may be cases when the user may want to apply his/her own settings to the video and customize it. AVS Video Converter is equipped with an editing section allowing you just that. You can change the video format (quality), frame size, audio format, file type (depending on the device it is going to run on), framerate, audio channels, resolution etc. The newly created profile can be saved for later use on other conversions or it can replace and already existent one.

For AVI conversion the user can select and configure the video encoder so to his/her own needs. The application comes equipped with a number of codecs to assist you among which there is DivX (version 5.0.5), XviD MPEG-4.

Besides configuring the quality of the resulting video, AVS Video Converter comes with a video editor, located in the top right hand corner of the window. You can apply great effects on the movies coming out of AVS Video Converter. Get creative and apply all sorts of effects on all the video piece or only on part of it.

With the aid of marks applied to the video, you can apply a certain effect only on a small proportion of the movie. The effects available comprise Deinterlace, Blur, Gaussian Blur, Motion Blur, Sharpen, Mosaic, Add Noise, Diffuse or Emboss. For each of them, you have a small amount of adjustment to make, as they are not presets. For Emboss, you get to set the angle degree, the pixel distance and the amount to be applied.

Other editing options allow you to tamper with the colors (invert, equalize, hue, saturation, gamma, grayscale), adjust the brightness, enable the auto-levels and auto-contrast, set the color temperature, etc. Transforming the video lets you flip it, rotate it, display it in mirror, perspective etc.

Additionally, if you want to censor something or simply hide it from view, you can resort to the drawing tools of the application. Lines, rectangles, ellipses, images, text credits and border, they can all be applied to your video. The only trouble I had was with the "credits" feature as I could not adjust the text on the screen in a visible point. However, "text" option can be used instead with great ease.

The preview area will show you how exactly the effect will look on the newly improved video. The effects and changes can be removed from the video with the same ease with which they were added. At the bottom of the Edit window there are two options for exporting the audio track of the video and for exporting the current frame of the file. The audio can be saved as MP3 or uncompressed WAV. The images can be stored as BMP, WMF, EMF, JPEG, GIF, PNG or TIFF.

The Good

AVS Video Converter acted stable and converted all the videos I fed it with. The flexibility of the software allows editing the settings for the output result as well as choosing one of the preset configurations.

The list of effects and settings available for editing the video is amazing. You can practically customize it the way you want it. It is perfect for home use.

The Bad

There are still some matters to be attended. Minor spelling mistakes, updating of the video codecs or a help file (included in the application, not an online one) for the less accustomed users, these contribute to the (de)appreciation of the application. However, the quality of the result is almost as good as the original (no conversion will preserve the same quality).

The Truth

The price is good, the application works fine, what is not to like? Maybe the interface, but what the software loses in aspect gains in functionality and quality. And the five skins available in the software are at your disposal (the "S" button in the top right hand corner of the converter).

The video editor is great and pretty easy to use. Once you got the taste of it, you will get all your videos converted and "effected".

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:

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user interface 4
features 5
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5

final rating 5
Editor's review