Although Windows Media Video (WMV) files have their place, they’re nowhere near as supported as the MPEG4 (MP4) format. Fortunately for anyone who’s sitting on a batch of WMV files, there are a wide array of great video converters available today with support for all sorts of video formats.
To convert WMV files to MP4, all you need to do is use one of our favorite converters listed below. Some are offline, others are online and you’ll be able to select a number of different settings for your output file, but the end result will be the same: a streamlined MP4 file which can be played on just about anything.
Handbrake seemed on its last legs back in 2006 when the software’s initial creator, Eric Petit, dropped off the face of the Earth, but development carried on with the help of a few ambitious folk who were driven to update and revise the existing software for a changing world. The open-source video converter now boasts one of the most expansive software packages for ripping and converting video files for playback on a number of popular devices and platforms. The interface is sleek and well-designed, if a little intimidating, offering a variety of customizable, borderline-advanced features that take a bit of getting used to before you can really capitalize on their capabilities and intuitive uses. The HandBrake guide and forums are always available if you need help without having to spend ample time fumbling with the program.
Other noteworthy features include an abundance of video editing tools for splicing, adjusting framerate, adding subtitles, and assorted video effects, all of which can be viewed in a live preview window. Experienced users can even queue multiple encodes for quicker batch processing and expedited results sans tedious manual input. Handbrake simply can’t be topped when converting files to MP4 or MKV format, but it also isn’t for beginners unwilling to learn the software. In late 2016, a new version of the software, 1.0.0, was released with completely redone presets, including new presets for the latest mobile devices, new MKV presets, and VP9 video encoding.
MediaCoder is a capable program loaded with terrific conversion features. The interface, though bewildering at first glance, is relatively straightforward once you learn your way around, offering a boatload of customizable features for converting video to a specified output format of your choice. Whether you want to batch process a number of AVI files to MPEG or compress files for a reduced memory footprint, MediaCoder can handle it.
You’ll find additional settings for modifying the output –including the ability to convert video to grayscale, quarter-pixel, cartoon, or high-quality mode — as well as bitrate adjustments for both the audio and video components of your file. Speed and resulting quality are grade A with quick conversions and an emphasis on maintaining the original quality across formats.
MediaCoder is an exceptional piece of software, but it’s geared more towards the tech aficionado instead of the first-time user trying to make a zippy conversion. But if you prefer to focus on the details and your primary interest is in quality and low-loss transfers, MediaCoder is a safe bet (plus, it now comes in an iPad edition for mobile users).
The only real issue we came across with the latest version is download servers could be particularly slow. The application isn’t huge, so it’s not the end of the world, but if you’re in a hurry, open a few download links to find the fastest server for you.
It’s important to note that iSkysoft iMedia Converter Deluxe is indeed, a paid product that requires some investment to use. You can use it for a year for $40, or you can buy a single lifetime license for around $60. That’s not exactly cheap, but you get a full video conversion app in return, and we mean full. The software offers support for more than 150 formats, with free, continual access to updates for any future formats as well. Online video support includes YouTube, Facebook Video, Vimeo, and VEVO, while devices range from HTC and LG support to Apple TV and Xbox.
If you want to try the app out, there is a free-trial version, but you’ll be restricted to converting only one-third of your chosen video.
Editing tools, as you may expect, are both far-ranging and competent. You can add whatever metadata you wish, crop video, trim edges, merge videos, rotate shots, and more. If you don’t like the look, you can also change brightness, contrast, and saturation. If you’re working on a truly impressive production, you can also change the volume, add effects, and put in subtitles — all with powerful acceleration and lossless techniques designed to speed up conversions without losing any data. On the professional side — and for a price — this is one of the best converters for high-quality production available.
Cloud Convert (web-based)
Not everyone wants to download a stand-alone application to fulfill their video converting needs. Luckily, Cloud Convert is one of the best online tools for simple file downloads and conversions. The free-to-use site lets users select files — ranging from FLV and MLV files to 3GP and MPEG4 – from their Google Drive or Dropbox account, or drag them directly into the browser window from their desktop. The entire conversion process takes place in the cloud, and output settings — like aspect ratio, codec, bitrate, and resolution — can be tweaked from the web app’s sparse interface prior to converting the files. Cloud Convert will email you the resulting file, but it can also drop the file into your Google Drive or Dropbox account if you prefer.
The web-based service lacks the feature set and speed of standalone programs for Windows and MacOS, but it’s proficient in converting a range of files without deviating from its intuitive interface. Batch converting and folder monitoring help users tackle larger projects without messing around with more complicated software.
Clip Converter (web-based)
Clip Converter was one of the first online converters, and it remains highly accessible and efficient. The free website handles MP4, 3GP, AVI, MOV and MKV formats. You can typically download video files at the highest resolution available, or less if you’re worried about space, but audio is limited to 320 kbps, or the highest quality available. Options for converting files into mono or stereo are included, as are the convenient option to embed ID3 v2 tags. There’s built-in support for YouTube, Vimeo, and other popular video sites, which makes the software ideal for social media purposes.
Performance is remarkably solid, often converting video files in less than 30 seconds once you insert the URL for your desired video into the dark-grey entry field. The interface is a bit outdated and conversion options are restricted to a select few, but navigating the site is self-explanatory, and the web-based software doesn’t require additional software downloads or leave a heavy footprint on your computer. However, like any free piece of software on the web, you’ll have to endure advertisements and the occasional browser timeout.
The video component of Clip Converter houses options for converting files to FLV, MP4, MOV, and more than 20 other popular formats, with additional options for changing the screen size, audio quality, bitrate, and other minor adjustments. Furthermore, you can use the search function in the top-right corner of the page to quickly check if Online-Convert is capable of making your desired conversion. There’s also specific converting options for just amount every device imaginable.
While most users will experience little trouble uploading and converting video files, the site does require you to opt for a premium membership if you need to upload a file larger than 100MB, or simultaneously convert four files at once. Nonetheless, the site is stable, relatively devoid of ads, and provides a wide variety of format options without requiring you to download additional software or unwanted browser extensions. Plus, what other site on our roundup includes a hash generator.
Updated 01/25/2018 by Jon Martindale with new screenshots and recommendations.