The vast selection of free 3rd party applications available for Mac OS X always surprises people when they’re new to the platform. Among that abundance of software is a collection of free Mac video converters which can cover nearly any situation you could find yourself in.
So you’re sitting there with a video file you can’t use because it’s stuck in a format not recognizable by the editing program you’re using. Bummer, right? Don’t go looking for an expensive piece of software you may only use a handful of times. Instead, take a look at these 6 Mac video conversion tools which are completely free and surprisingly full-featured.
Originally only a DVD ripping tool, Handbrake evolved into more of a universal video converter with its most recent release. Now it can handle pretty much anything you throw at it and then spit it back out in a new format. It’s well-polished, solid, reliable, and just an overall pleasure to use. Yes, I’m groveling so go and check it out.
Version 0.9.3 compatible with Mac OS X 10.5
The great thing about ffmpegX is that it’s based on a large collection of Unix tools which give it excellent power and flexibility, plus it’s wrapped in a simple drag and drop interface. The variety of formats it supports is quite extensive and the level of customization it offers is almost too much. That is, if there was such a thing.
Version 0.0.9y compatible with Mac OS X 10.2
Drag your video clip into the window and export to your chosen format — that’s all there is to it with MPEG Streamclip. If you require some extra control over the final product, there are a ton of options for that too. Is it a pretty program? No. Is it functional? Oh yeah.
Version 1.9.2 compatible with Mac OS X 10.2
If you’re a beginner who’s easily confused by all the crazy settings that flood some other Mac video converters, Prism might be a relief for you. No, it doesn’t offer quite as much format support as competing software does, but sometimes simplicity overrules feature set.
Version 1.28 compatible with Mac OS X 10.2
Sadly, development on iSquint has been discontinued, at least in its current form. The good news is you can still get your hands on this helpful utility and it continues to work great at converting videos for iTunes. Eventually a new version will be released under a new name (it’s in open source development at the moment), but in the meantime you can enjoy all of its current benefits.
Version 1.5.2 compatible with Mac OS X 10.3
Even though FLV2iTunes is quite a bit different than the other programs in this list, I still feel like it deserves a place here. Its name suggests it only supports .FLV files, but that is not the case. It can take a number of video formats and convert them into an iTunes-friendly codec. Not only that, it can import your video directly into iTunes itself after it’s done converting.
Version 0.9.11 compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 (older version supports 10.4)