|Posted by Lorraine Nielson on November 11, 2011 at 12:05 AM|
Your guide to the best AVI to MP4 converter software.
AVI is a popular video file format that frustrates a lot of users because it sometimes refuses to play back, even with video players and devices that are supposed to read the AVI format. There's a reason for this: AVI isn't really a video file format. It's a "wrapper" that bundles all of the separate files that work together to make a video file play. These separate files - called codecs - come in many obscure types. Most of the time, the video player on your computer or hand-held device has no problem reading all the codecs wrapped up together into an AVI file. Then along comes the odd codec that your player doesn't recognize, and you get an error message.
The solution is to purchase a software program that recognizes all possible codecs that might go into an AVI file, and use it to convert the AVI to MP4. The MP4 video file format is sometimes called MPEG-4 or just MPEG. With its relatively small file size and simple set of codecs, this format is probably the most reliable video format available today. It plays on the most devices, including all Apple products (iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Mac laptops). Mac's QuickTime player (which is also available for Windows) recognizes MP4 because QuickTime and MP4 are one and the same; QuickTime is just Apple's proprietary version of MP4. And it's just about guaranteed to play back on your computer.
So if AVI is so unreliable, why does it keep popping up all over the place? Because the software to create it is very cheap to develop, and because it supports HD (high definition) video. One of the first places where AVI reared its ugly head was in the Flip video camera. The makers of Flip had a good thing going with their camera, which took great quality video and sold for under $100. When they came out with the HD Flip, they made a good thing even better. The problem with the Flip was that the manufacturers kept the price low by skimping on the software. The Flip's AVI videos looked great, but they were a pain in the neck to transfer to a computer hard drive, and sometimes they wouldn't play back.
Other low-end video cameras followed suit, and before long, AVI format was everywhere. Even YouTube has started accepting it because it wants videos uploaded in HD format whenever possible, and AVI supports HD. Just because everybody else is doing it doesn't mean you should too, though. If you buy an AVI to MP4 converter program and make sure all of your videos are stored in the MP4 format, you'll have a lot fewer problems with videos that won't play, and experience far fewer frustrations.