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Media players Reviews
15,097 Reviews

ArcSoft MediaConverter 4 review

$59.49 (around £41)

Manufacturer: Arcsoft

Our Rating: We rate this 2.5 out of 5

ArcSoft MediaConverter 4 is an easy-to-use video transcoder that's tailored for output to handheld devices.

ArcSoft MediaConverter 4 is an easy-to-use video transcoder that's tailored for output to handheld devices.

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:

  • Video:
    • 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
  • Audio:
    • WAV,WMA,RA, AAC,M4A,OGG
  • Image:
    • BMP,JPG,WMF,FPX,GIF, PCD,PCX,PNG,PSD,TGA,TIF
    • RAW(.erf;.arw;.sr2;.mef;.dng;.crw;.cr2;.nef;.raw;.orf;.dcr)
  • Supported Output file formats:
    • Video:
      • 3GP/3G2, ASF, Mpeg4/H.264/MJPEG AVI, MKV, MOV, MP4, MPG(MPEG-1,MPEG-2), WMV
    • Audio:
      • AAC, M4A, OGG, WMA
    • Image:
      • JPG, BMP
  • Supported Devices:
    • 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 >>

  •  

    ArcSoft Media Converter 4 Expert Verdict »
    Windows XP (SP2 or above)/Vista 32-bit & 64-bit/Windows 7 32-bit & 64-bit
    Intel Pentium IV 1.6 GHz or equivalent
    50MB free hard drive space for program installation
    512MB RAM (1 GB DDR RAM recommended)
    32-bit color display at 800x600 or above
    DirectX 9.0c or above
    • Overall: We give this item 5 of 10 overall

    When it does work correctly, which is the majority of the time, ArcSoft MediaConverter 4 is fast and produces nice output. However, with free alternatives such as Windows Media Player and iTunes available, as well as the only slightly more expensive Xilisoft Video Converter Ultimate, with far more comprehensive codec support, there don't appear to be any cigars in sight.

    There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
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