The only free file (audio, video, image) converting program you will ever need.May 2, 2011 89 Email article | Print article
Ask yourself these five questions:
- Do I want to be able to easily convert a video file to literally any video format?
- Do I want to be able to easily convert an audio file to literally any audio format?
- Do I want to be able to easily rip the audio from a video file?
- Do I want to be able to easily convert an image file to many different image formats?
- Do I want to be able to easily rip (video and audio) DVD/CDs?
- Do I want to have the ability to do all this with one file at a time and in batch mode?
If the answer to any of the above 6 questions is “Yes”, then you should keep reading. If you answered “No” to all the questions, get lost (just kidding – please don’t get lost).
Ladies and gentleman, meet FormatFactory:
FormatFactory meet ladies and gentlemen. FormatFactory is a freeware program that will replace all your other converting programs. With FormatFactory you can convert videos -> videos, audios -> audios, images -> images. As an added bonus, you can also rip the audio from video files, and rip music/movie DVD/CDs.
In more detail FormatFactory supports:
- The conversion of the following video formats (input files)…
…into MP4, 3GP, AVI, WMV, MPG, VOB, FLV, SWF and MOV video formats (output files). Also, there are also predefined profiles included for mobile devices, such as an iPod or iPhone, that you can convert to (output files):
Okay so that is not literally *every* video format like I claimed. But I figured it is close enough that you will forgive me for stretching the truth a little bit. :)
- The conversion of the following audio formats (input files)…
…into MP3, WMA, FLAC, ACC, MMF, AMR, M4A, M4R, OGG, MP2 and WAV audio formats (output files). Again I sort of stretched the truth about being able to convert to *every* audio format, but hey, if I did not say that would you be reading this impressive list? :)
- The ripping of audio from the above mentioned video formats (input files) into MP3, WMA, FLAC, ACC, MMF, AMR, M4A, M4R, OGG, MP2 and WAV audio formats (output files).
- The conversion of the following image formats (input files)…
…into JPG, PNG, ICO, BMP, GIF, TIF, PCX, and TGA image formats (output files).
- The ripping of video DVDs (input files) into MP4, AVI, WMV, 3GP, MPG, VOB, or FLV video formats (output files). Also you can convert to the mobile device profiles I mentioned above. (DRM bypass not supported.)
- The ripping of Music CDs (input files) into MP3, WMA, FLAC, ACC, MMF, AMR, M4A, M4R, OGG, MP2 and WAV audio formats (output files).
- The ripping of a DVD/CD (input) into an ISO or CSO (output).
- Conversion of an ISO to a CSO and vice versa.
- The ability to combine any two of the video formats (input files) I mentioned above into one single AVI or WMV video (output files).
- To top it all off, you can do all the converting in batch mode (except maybe ripping a DVD for obvious reasons).
Update: All the above features are for FormatFactory v1.70. Since I the time I wrote this post originally, FormatFactory has been updated frequently and it has a lot more features now. For example, the video joiner supports FLV, MP4, MKV, 3GP, SWF, and mobile devices in addition to WMV and AVI now.
All along the way, you can the ability to control the quality and settings of your output file. For example, you can change the resolution of your output video files; you can change the bitrate of your audio files; you can make the output file high quality but big file size, low quality and small file size, or anything in between.
And for non-English speakers, FormatFactory supports 42 languages:
The *only* con I found with FormatFactory is that it cannot take SWF flash videos as an input (it will take FLV), but you can output as them. Hopefully the developer will add this feature in later versions.
If you are still interested, you can download FormatFactory from the following link:
Officially FormatFactory works on all 32-bit Windows; however 64-bit Windows dotTechies have reported it works on 64-bit just fine.
Update: Take note FormatFactory comes bundled with some crapware. Be sure to uncheck boxes/click ‘Decline’ during installation for this crapware to avoid installation.
Update: This review was conducted on FormatFactory when it was v1.70. FormatFactory has been updated multiple times since then; new features have been added and improvements have been made. Just an FYI.