MakeInstantPlayer is a handy free tool which will convert just about any video into a self-displaying Windows executable file.

And so if you want to share a video clip with a friend, say, you don't have to wonder if they have the right media player or codec. Just use MakeInstantPlayer to convert your movie into an EXE file, and all they have to do is run it: the embedded video should then be viewable on any Windows PC.

The secret to MakeInstantPlayer's success comes in its use of the MPlayer media player engine, which gets embedded into all the executables you create. This is a very powerful player which can handle all the video formats that matter, so it doesn't matter whether you want to share AVI, MPEG, MP4, FLV, MOV or other clips: your MakeInstantPlayer executable will display it with ease.

And, surprisingly, this adds very little overhead in terms of file size. Suppose you want to share a high definition movie trailer with someone, for instance. We downloaded one, a 128 MOV clip, used MakeInstantPlayer to convert it to an EXE file, and this turned out to be only 135 MB; not bad at all.

The program also allows you to tweak the final executable in a few interesting ways. You're able to include any necessary codecs in the file, for instance, as well as customise the executable's icon, or add a custom splash screen (which could be handy for businesses, say if they're packaging a demo video of some kind). But there's no need to get involved in any of these complexities, if you don't want to: just choosing the source file and clicking Preview > Make It! is usually enough to get the job done.

Verdict

Choose your video codecs with care and you probably won't need MakeInstantPlayer very often. It's a clever free tool, though, and an interesting new way to distribute movie clips