Saturday, December 19, 2009

HOW TO: Convert Videos for Your iPhone (or Any Mobile Device)

Mashable / November 12 2008  / Doriano "Paisano" Carta / 32 Comments / 104 Reactions

Video on devices like the iPod, iTouch and iPhone look great because of their MPEG-4 H.264 format. The good news is that there are tons of videos that you can purchase from the iTunes store, but the bad news is that you’ll go broke in a hurry downloading everything you want. Sure, some of the videos aren’t much ($1.99 each), but the numbers add up really quickly.

Thankfully, there are a slew of sites and software packages that will allow you to convert just about any video format to the H.264 mp4 format that Apple devices require. Here are the best solutions for converting videos online as well as off. Some will convert any video you have on your local computer while others will only convert videos that you find online. In any case, you will wind up with a video file in the correct format for your Apple or other mobile device.

Sites & Software

ConvertTube is a free service that converts online videos to several formats including the MP4 format that you need for Apple devices. Simply paste the video URL from sites like YouTube(), Google video(), MetaCafe, etc. and select the desired output format.


VideoDownloader is similar to ConvertTube except it doesn’t provide you with any output options. What you see is what you get when you download the video from the services they support: YouTube, Google, BlipTV, DailyMotion and a few others. So, if you can’t download the video .mp4 format, you’ll have to convert it with another separate utility which isn’t a big deal or expense.

Movavi Online Convert is another online video converter that provides the unique ability to download and convert up to five different online videos as one video. You can add all of the URLs and the service will send you an email with a link to download when it’s done. [snip]

Videora offers an impressive suite of tools for converting and editing videos for free. The video files can be avi, divx, xvid, flv, x264, vob, mpeg, DVDs, YouTube, etc. Any of these videos can be converted into the proper video formats (MPEG-4, H.264) that play on the iPhone 3G.


There are many options when you’re converting your videos for your iPhone. Obviously, the better the quality, the larger the file size. Ultimately it’s a personal decision everyone has to make on what’s more important: space on your iPhone or audio/video quality. [snip]

Note: All of the converters are free and appear to be spyware free without any problems. [snip]

Free Studio Manager offers a staggering 20 free audio/video tools. You can choose to download all 20 utilities as one package or pick and choose those you need. There are a few that focus on converting videos for the iPhone. For example, there’s the YouTube to iPhone converter that downloads YouTube videos and automatically converts them to the appropriate iPhone MPeg-4 H.264 format for you. [snip]

... [T]he Video to iPhone Converter which lets you convert any video file that you already possess without needing to download any videos from YouTube or elsewhere. [snip]

Any Video Converter is another free converter for windows that will convert a boatload of formats to iPhone friendly format: DivX, XviD, MOV, rm, rmvb, MPEG, VOB, DVD, WMV, AVI, etc.

Replay Converter is a media converter from Applian Technologies which is well-known for its Replay Capture Suite that includes the converter and several other products. [snip]

Video for Other Platforms

Okay, okay, we won’t ignore you CrackBerry heads. [T]here’s AVS Video for Blackberry that’ll help you convert videos for Blackberry devices.

All of the software packages referenced above were for the Windows OS, so MAC OS users won’t be able to use them. There was a free video conversion tool for the Mac OS from, but they’ve stopped supporting their product. However, it’s become open source on SourceForge, so others might continue the development for this tool for the Mac OS.

How to Copy Videos to Your iTunes and iPhone

After converting all your videos to the appropriate video format for your iPhone, you’ll need to store them on your computer in the right place so that iTunes can do its job and copy the videos to your device. The best thing to do is create a new folder on your system called, for example, iPhone Videos, and copy the newly converted videos to that folder. [snip]



This was just a sampling of the many cool tools out there that can help you download and convert videos into a format that you can use on your iPhone or any other device. In most cases, you can do so for free. However, some of the premium packages and services appear to be well worth their nominal fees when you consider everything they provide. In any case, you can now enjoy any of your favorite videos on your iPhone or other mobile device.

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