I need a good software product that can convert video, between the most popular formats. I searched on Google and found an overwelming offer, some free and some paid; but I am interested in your personal suggestions, something that you use and are satisfied with!
This is something I too had some troubles with. I tried a few freeware versions which often had troubles with audio sync or generated huge temporary .avi versions on the disk.
I won't pretend have much experience here, but I ended up re-capturing the originals via a video capture card and re-encoding via Pinnacle-Studio http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSite/uk/Home/ software which will generate most web-formats and also allow editing and effects. The loss in quality in not so important when a reduced resolution web version is the end product.
The software is often free with some video cards and also with the starter version of Steinbergs CUBase music software.
Hope this helps.
A wide range of formats (audio and video), good compression rates for online media, you can extract audio from video files etc. Once you get used to the somewhat unusual and not too sleek user interface you should find it very useful.
Just taken a look at this - wow! The interface is a little raggy around the edges, but it does the job perfectly.
If you can get the free stuff to work for you that's the best way to go, IMHO.
If you're looking form something a bit more robust however, take a look at Sorenson products. I use Squeeze version 4.3. The feature that I like the most with Squeeze is the ability of it to "watch" a folder. I can drop any video into that folder and get a preset type and format without having to do anything else. Very slick. We actually have a server multi-tasked with this installed for teachers that want to put movies into their Moodle course pages. The output is set to .MPG with very specific parameters for video size and compression. Preserves bandwidth very nicely.
Sometimes you really do get what you pay for.
I've been using it to cut clips for powerpoint presentations and re-encoding video webcast for better quality archives. It's even converted corrupted video that my $500 Vegas package couldn't handle.
I decided to get the superbundle for $80. You get all six packages (audio editor, DVD copy, etc) at a steep discount. I don't seem to get as much use out of the other packages.
Also, I use the Nero that came with my Sony DVD Burner. Like the other post in this thread, I love my Nero! I might eventually buy the full version.