ArcSoft MediaConverter 4 is an easy-to-use video transcoder that's tailored for output to handheld devices.
Weird interface and spotty DirectShow filters
Is ArcSoft MediaConverter 4 a good purchase? Alas, we're talking close but no cigar. The interface is a tad odd, it lags behind competitors such as Xilisoft in codec support, and it's rather pricey.
ArcSoft MediaConverter 4's interface is for the most part handsome, but the large ATI Stream, nVidia Cuda, SimHD, and YouTube logos are like bad product placement in a movie, distracting. The super-large icons that ArcSoft adds to the Windows right-click context for files it supports menu also look out of place with any version of Windows.
Microsoft standardised the placement of menus and the like precisely so that users didn't have to relearn basic navigation for every single program. This was considered a huge leap forward in user interface design, and most users quietly appreciate it or even take it for granted. ArcSoft's decision to place ArcSoft MediaConverter 4's main menu under a spanner icon on the right side of the main window might seem logical to the designers, but no one else.
There are other placement foibles, but once you've put in the time learning it, ArcSoft MediaConverter 4 is a breeze to use. In most cases all that's required is to click on one of the large icons on the left that specify a destination (iPhone, PSP, Treo, Creative Zen), add files, then click start.
ArcSoft MediaConverter 4 supports a large, albeit not comprehensive, array of file types. These include MPEG, AVCHD and DVD (non-copy-protected) .VOB files, but you'll need Windows Media Player 10 or later installed to handle or output the latest WMV files.
The vendor's website mentions support for Real Media; however, we had to install Real Alternative before MediaConverter would recognise .rm and .rmvb files. This instilled hope that the program was DirectShow-aware, however, it didn't recognise Xiph's OGG Theora codec, so its DirectShow awareness is limited. It also complained that it could not find an MP3 audio decoder for a DivX/MP3 Kingdom of Heaven trailer. Add all that up, and we were less than impressed.
Supported Input File Formats:
- MPEG (.MPG;.MPEG;.MPE;.MOD;.TOD;.DAT;.VOB;.TS)
- AVI (.AVI, .DIVX)
- WMV, ASF, MP4(.MP4;.M4V)
- 3GP/3G2 Video (.3gp;.3g2)
- MOV(QuickTime is required), MTS(.mts;.m2ts)
- OGM, RMVB (.RM;.RMVB. RealPlayer is required.)
- MKV,FLV, DVR-MS, WTV
- WAV,WMA,RA, AAC,M4A,OGG
- BMP,JPG,WMF,FPX,GIF, PCD,PCX,PNG,PSD,TGA,TIF
- 3GP/3G2, ASF, Mpeg4/H.264/MJPEG AVI, MKV, MOV, MP4, MPG(MPEG-1,MPEG-2), WMV
- AAC, M4A, OGG, WMA
- JPG, BMP
- Apple iPhone/iPhone 3G/iPhone 3G S/iPod Touch/iPod video/iPod Classic/iPod Nano/Apple TV
- Sony PSP/PS3
- Nintendo WII/PLAYAN
- Microsoft XBOX 360/Zune
- HTC G1, Diamond
- Nokia N73/N95/N97/5800/E71
- WD TV
- Samsung YP-P2
- Philips SA33xx, SA51xx, SA52xx, SA60xx, SA61xx, SA93xx, MUSE
- ARCHOS 404
- Palm Treo 650, Treo 700W
- Creative ZEN vision M
- Insignia NS-xV17, NS-xV24, Player, Sport player
- iRiver Clix
- SanDisk Sansa view, sansa c100, Sansa e200
NEXT: our expert verdict >>