Featured Freeware: CinemaForge

Quirky but effective, CinemaForge offers up speedy video conversion and creation in a nice-looking package.

This combination video-conversion and creation tool boasts good speed and a nice set of features. CinemaForge's polished interface is both handsome and rather simple to understand, the Tom Cruise of software if he weren't into Scientology.

As a video converter, the application supports all expected formats. You also can choose to accompany any video with audio files of your choice rather than the original sound. When you click the digital-camera icon next to the File Input box, you'll be able to browse your computer for still images to compile a video file. If you choose to perform this action, you can apply a few transition effects, determine the image interval, and add your own music files.

When last tested, CinemaForge still had some problems with audio conversion. The video slide show was generated quickly, but even upping the bit rate didn't help the muddy audio quality. You can tweak certain aspects of your new video, including frame rate and quality. Cropping videos, applying a deinterlacing filter, and uploading videos to the Web are also options. Frustratingly, uninstallation must be done via the question-mark icon on the main interface. Despite the aforementioned quirks, though, CinemaForge is overall a solid piece of software.