Get the format right with Ace Video Converter
Freemake Video Converter, Super, XMedia Recode -- if you need to convert videos from one format to another then there are already plenty of excellent free tools available. Do you really need any more? Maybe not.
There are a few developers working on applications which add a little extra functionality to the usual mix of features, though -- and Ace Video Converter is an interesting example.
As often happens these days, the installation process will try to add at least two browser or system addons. They can be avoided, but you’ll need to pay close attention during setup (clear checkboxes, click “Decline” buttons and generally read every page). With that out of the way, though, Ace Video Converter’s clean and straightforward interface appears. Source files can be added in a click or two, destination formats selected from a list (3G2, 3GP, AVI, ASF, FLV, MPG, MP4, MKV, MOV, OGV, SWF, WEBM, WMV), and because the program is essentially a front end for the popular FFmpeg tool, you can be sure the conversions will be speedy and accurate.
The program can also convert videos into a suitable format for more than 40 devices -- the iPhone, iPad or iPod, various Android tablets and phones, the PSP, PS3, Sony Walkman, Xbox 360 and more – just by choosing your preferred profile from a list.
And while by default the conversion process is kept very simple (just choose a format or device profile), if you need to take more control then there are options to choose your preferred video and audio codecs, bitrates, frame rates, output size and more.
If you regularly use another video conversion tool then this will probably all sound very familiar, of course, but Ace Video Converter does have some useful additions of its own.
The program can save the soundtrack of your video as an audio file, for instance. Not just MP3, either, but in a lengthy list of formats (AIFF, AAC, AU, FLAC, M4A, MP2, MP3, OGG, RA, WMA, WAV).
It has a YouTube downloader which actually works. We pasted a URL into Freemake Video Converter and were told it couldn’t find anything, for instance – in Ace Video Converter we had no problems. (Although downloading seemed slow, for some reason. And of course Freemake Video Converter supports a host of video sharing sites, while Ace manages just one.)
And there are some interesting configuration options. You can have the program add the codec name to an output video, for instance. It’s able to organize converted videos into folders according to their format, and if performance is an issue then you can even set the number of CPU threads you’d like to allocate to conversion (or manually add MEncoder parameters, for real experts).
We also had one or two issues with the program. Its Advanced Settings aren’t always clear, for instance (would you know whether “Encode” should be set to 1, or 2?) You can’t create custom profiles to easily save and recall particular groups of settings. And there’s no real local Help at all (clicking Help within the program just takes you to the website Features page).
Overall, then, Freemake Video Converter’s extra polish and functionality means it’s still our pick of the video transcoders.
Ace Video Converter is a likeable tool, though, and if you need its extensive audio support, YouTube downloader and configurability then the program just might be worth a try.