HandBrake for Mac is a program that lets you convert multiple types of video files into MP4 or MKV format, while specifying other output characteristics, as well. This interface may not seem overly intuitive at first glance, but even inexperienced users will get the hang of the controls quickly.
Customization options: When you're setting up to convert a file, you can choose to optimize it for the Web, for a large screen, or for the iPod 5G. You also have the ability to add chapters and subtitles to your videos, and you can select the file format you'd like for the finished video, as well.
Preview window: Once you've completed a conversion, you can preview it in a separate window to make sure it's what you had in mind. This allows you to go back and adjust your settings before you save the new file or burn it to a DVD.
Unattractive interface: The interface of this app is very plain, with many technical-looking input areas when you can add files and specify output preferences. Once you get used to using it, you'll be able to find your way around with little trouble, but initially it can be a little off-putting.
Slow conversions: Conversions through this app weren't terribly speedy, and they often took longer to complete than the clip took to run. While this doesn't need to be a huge drawback, you should know to plan for it.
HandBrake for Mac is a convenient free utility program that's definitely worth checking out if you often have the need to convert files into MP4 format. It produces good quality videos with little fuss once you get the hang of the interface and get your timing down.