Avidemux

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CNET Editors' Rating 5.0 stars

Spectacular

Average User Rating stars

out of 182 user reviews

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  • 4.0 stars

    "A VERY powerful video converter and editor!"

    February 11, 2010  |   By flanjerka

    Pros

    Converts between MANY video types. Many useful video and audio filters. Works relatively fast. Great DVD (vob file) ripping from HDD. Completely FREE.

    Cons

    User interface, though clean and simple, is confusing. If you don't understand video and audio codecs, sampling rates and file formats, you may have problems using this program. Educate with Google and it's a snap afterwords.

    Summary

    This is a VERY powerful video editor and converter. When I first downloaded Avidemux, I got a little frustrated trying to understand how to use it, but I Googled and was able to find help online very easily. Once I understood how audio and video codecs work, I had no problem ripping a DVD vob file into multiple formats, including AVI with Xvid and AAC encoding, Mpeg and MP4 files and flash (youtube) flv files.

    One thing I misunderstood, you MUST copy the DVD's largest vob file from the DVD disk to your local harddrive BEFORE Avidemux can "index" it for use. If you try to index the vob file on the DVD, the program throws a weird not-easily-understood error message because it can't WRITE to a DVD. Perhaps the software coders for Avidemux could make the GUI a little more straight-forward... For instance, there are two "Save" buttons that look exactly the same, but one is a "Save your work as a Avidemux project" button and the other is an "Export your video to a media file" button. Change the "export" button so that it actually appears different than the "save project" button, guys! Also, when a user tries to "index" a DVD vob file directly on the DVD disk (which cannot be written to), a message like, "Please copy the vob file to a local harddrive" would be MUCH more useful than "couldn't open file." Also, the "Video" and "Audio" settings in the main window aren't clearly labeled. I spent quite a while thinking that those settings related to the DVD vob I was IMPORTING, when they actually relate to the file format I was EXPORTING!

    The extensive video filters greatly help with the distortion that can occur with converting interlaced DVD video, particularly when fast movement occurs. There are several filter "presets," such as "DVD res" that are combinations of common filters to make your work easier for you. You can also "crop" a video image with "transform" filters (handy for removing black-bars from 16:9 video) and of course trim or cut sections out of the final video and even "save" your filter presets for later use. Output files can be scaled down to any size, even distorted, flipped and ripped in reverse!

    This is a GREAT program, VERY powerful, but you have to be patient to understand how to use it! If you're willing to take 10 minutes to actually learn how to use the program and how video and audio codes work, it's awesome. If you need something more user-friendly, you might have to shell out $50 for a paid program.

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