Hands-on: Two free video-to-iPhone converters

Videora and Free Video to iPhone Converter are both freeware apps that execute basic conversion for the iPhone format. Which shines brighter?

iPhone

There's no shortage of video-to-iPhone converters on the market, but these two freeware contenders do a more-than-decent job of making individual files iPhone-ready. Don't expect much interface gloss or batch conversion with either. However, both apps quickly produce workable iPhone videos without much fuss.

Free Video to iPhone Converter tells it like it is. The rough 'n' ready app takes up minimal screen space and memory. Browsing for links and converting quickly is easy, since there aren't too many additional tabs or buttons where you can get lost. There is, however, a useful function for trimming videos before converting them.

Videora is a larger and busier, app by Red Kawa. On the plus side, Videora lets you format videos for iPhones and three flavors of iPods, including the iPod Touch. You can also browse for and convert YouTube videos online. Videora's multiple tabs and settings let you control advanced encoding and conversion details; it can also pop the finished product straight into iTunes (download,) which can in turn autosync to your iPhone.

Step-by-step prompting (which you can step down or turn off) is useful for walking you through the process, but the double-pane interface adds confusion and superfluous steps for an essentially simple program. The end product was just as good as Free Video to iPhone Converter, but took far more clicks and doesn't have the added advantage of trimming a clip. Dragging a file to the iTunes library is hardly a hardship, though Videora's autoload feature is still a convenient perk.

I currently prefer Free Video to iPhone Converter myself, though Videora will appeal to those further up the power user scale.

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