Creating or editing a video is one thing, but getting it onto the player of your choice is another. It might be a PC, Mac, or something more portable, like an iPod or Sony PSP. One application that specialises in video conversions is Movavi’s VideoSuite, where even the company’s name describes how to move from Quicktime .mov files to Windows .avi ones. It’s cheaper than most of its competitors, so what do you get after you download a copy?
Unlike regular video editing applications, like Adobe Premiere, Corel’s Ulead VideoStudio and Avid’s Pinnacle Studio, Movavi VideoSuite is a looser collection of utilities. Each of these can be run from a start-up screen and they’re designed to convert, capture, edit, split, send a video message and burn a CD or DVD. The applets have clearer, more spacious screens than their rivals, partly because of this separation between tasks and partly because the Movavi programs are not as feature-rich.
The first icon on the start-up screen shows the program’s roots most clearly. The Convert applet specialises in taking individual video files or complete CDs or DVDs and converting them from one format to another. As a source file it can take an avi, various mpeg types (including mpeg4), Video CD and DVD, wmf, asf, Mobile Video and of course, Quicktime .mov.
On the output side, the program offers all the above, but also specific support for iPod, iPhone, Sony PSP, a good range of mobile phones, Pocket PC and even the Zune player, if it ever reaches the UK.
We performed a few timings to see how long it takes to convert from .mov to avi, iPod, PSP and Pocket PC. Movavi’s converter performed well and is noticeably faster than free converters such as RER MOV. Starting with an .avi version of the same video, conversion was faster still, peaking at over 1MB/s when converting to a PSP-compatible file. The quality of the output videos was also good. There were some slight artefacts in the iPod version, but nothing that’s going to worry any but the most fastidious viewer.
Following the process of video creation through chronologically, the first thing you do is capture video. The capture utility is simple in the extreme and relies on the capture facilities of your video card or hardware grabber. It’ll work with mini DV cassette or webcam, but there’s no scene detection and you’re limited to .avi as the capture format.