VLC Media Player is not just a great tool for playing videos; it can do a whole lot of other things like convert videos between different formats. You can convert between a wide range of supported video files using the player. It works great for most formats and codecs but there are a few issues and the conversion feature is not the best but it still works for most of us. Using it, we can easily swap video types. For example: Convert from AVI to MP4.
You no longer have to search for those .avi to .mp4, .flv to .mp4, .wmv to .avi, .ogg to .mp4 converters. You also shouldn’t be paying for video converters or use the ones that apply watermarks. As we all know, VLC is totally free without any limitations. It works great with most video as well as audio files. As we have seen before, it can also download video streams or audio streams.
Here is how you convert video using VLC Media Player:
- From VLC menu bar click on Media > Convert/ Save [Shortcut: CTRL + R]
- Open Media dialog box is opened. Click on the Add button to browse for the files that you want to add. Then click Open.
- Leave the rest as it is and then click on the Convert/Save button or just hit enter in your keyboard
- In the next dialog box, conversion options are displayed. The options are:
- Convert: Make sure this radio button is selected as you want to convert your file.
- Display the output: Play/show the output in the player as the conversion happens.
- Deinterlace: Check this option if you are converting from interlaced video formats example: 1080i, 720i formats displayed in televisions.
- Profile: Select your desired target file type. Since we are converting a video, select a video format like H.264 with MP3 audio and MP4 container. You can select advanced video and audio codec combinations from the Edit selected profile or Create new profile button but this isn’t usually required.
- Dump Raw Input: This will keep all the file sizes the same, only changing the file format. Don’t select this option.
- Select a destination filename, the one that is converted and saved. Hit Browse, select a location, give a name like final and click on Save.
- Then press on the Start button to begin the conversion.
- The file position timer of VLC will start to increase/move like a progress indicator. Once it reaches the end, you will know that the conversion has completed.
- Your newly converted media file will be saved.
Video Format and Containers Supported
By default, VLC Media Player supports video conversion to the followin range of video formats and containers:
- H.264 video format in MP4 file container
- H.264 video format in TS file container
- Dirac video format in TS file container
- MPEG video format in TS file container
- Theora video format in OGG file container
- WMV video format in ASF file container
- DIV3 video format in ASF file container
- MPEG 1080p/720p video format for TV/device in MP4 file container
- DivX video format in AVI file container
- SD video format for iPod in MP4 file container
- HD video format for iPod HD/iPhone/PSP in MP4 file container
- SD low and high video format for Android in MP4 file container
- VP89 VIdeo File in Webm container
*Note: Containers are responsible for the file extension. Example: MP4 container would mean that the file would have *.mp4 file extension. You can also create new media profile with your own combination of video and audio formats. It is explained in the profile section of step 4 of the tutorial above.
Why Convert Video Formats?
- To reduce size of the videos while maintaining the quality.
- For use of standard formats which are widely popular.
- For use in special devices like television and video players that support certain formats only.
- For ease of sharing with others.
- To import in video editing software which only supports a limited number of formats.
- For support in mobile devices like iPhone, iPod, Android devices, Windows phone and others.
For those of you who have problems with getting it to work, here’s an alternative way for converting any video to MP4.