Free the video footage from your digital camcorder by converting it to friendly formats with this free utility
MPEG Streamclip from Squared 5 is a cross-platform video conversion tool for Mac OS X and Windows.
Mac OS has some impressive video conversion tools. Handbrake is a popular choice, combining good looks with DVD extraction tools, while the recently reviewed Miro Video Converter is great for web developers and people looking for an easy-to-use tool.
MPEG Streamclip is a video converter that does many of the same things as Handbrake and Miro, but with a bias towards video producers. Unlike many such tools that are often based on open-source components such as ffmpeg, MPEG Streamclip is built from the ground up by its single developer Stefan Cinque.
While Handbrake caters for DVD transcoding and Miro is aimed squarely at the YouTube generation, MPEG Streamclip supports raw video in DV and some bespoke camcorder formats.
That makes MPEG Streamclip a goodl tool for transcoding raw streams from video cameras to formats your computer can handle, like MOV and MPEG4. It also supports DivX encoded AVI files – useful if you’re dealing with video that’s been encoded on a Windows PC.
Note, however, that MPEG Streamclip will not import high-definition video from camcorders in AVCHD format.
MPEG Streamclip has many export options although the viewer window and adjustments palette are not fundamentally interconnected
MPEG Streamclip isn’t especially pretty to look at. Most of the action takes place in the Movie Exporter dialogue box, where you configure the format of output files. There are lots of options on offer, enabling you to downscale resolutions, specify quality and choose video and audio codecs.
You can also choose to deinterlace video, useful for footage captured from broadcast TV.
If this seems daunting, MPEG Streamclip has presets to choose from.
As the video encodes, you can choose to preview the results. You can even trim down a clip using rudimentary editing tools.
And for users of older video iinterface hardware, the MPEG Streamclip software has been designed to support miroMOTION DC30 video capture cards, along with Topfield TF5000/TF5500 digital satellite receiver.
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