State of affairs: You’ve obtained an audio or video file that’s both in a format unsupported by the machine you propose to play it on—an iOS machine, conventional iPod, or your Mac, for instance—or in a kind that you just’d want to not use (massive AIFF or WAV audio information, for instance). There are scads of utilities you need to use to transform media information (and a few of them aren’t
marketed by spammers), however what would possibly you employ whenever you need one thing transformed shortly, with out a variety of fuss and hassle, and that prices nary a nickel? Strive these on for measurement:
Audio and video
OS X Lion An working system? Sure. Amongst Lion’s new options is an Automator trick that lets you simply convert appropriate media information proper from the Desktop. Management- or right-click on an AIFF, WAV, CAF audio file or .mov, MPEG-4, and H.264 video information and select “Encode Chosen [Video/Audio] Information” from the Providers menu on the backside of the contentual menu pop-up. A small window seems the place you possibly can select your encoder settings.
For audio information you’ve gotten these choices: Excessive High quality (128kbps, 44.1kHz, AAC), iTunes Plus (256kbps, 44.1kHz, AAC), Apple Lossless, Spoken Podcast (ABR, 22.05kHz, AAC). Regrettably there’s no possibility for changing information to MP3. For video information your decisions are 480p (640 by 480 H.264), 720p (1280 by 720 H.264), 1080p 1920 by 1080 H.264), Audio Solely, and Apple ProRes (decision the identical as supply file). Observe that the encoder received’t upscale films so in case your film is already encoded in 480p decision the upper decision settings do you no good.
Choose the choice you need, click on the Proceed button on the backside of the window, and your file is transformed. By default it’s saved to the identical location because the supply file, however you possibly can change that by unchecking the Identical as Supply File possibility and selecting a brand new location by way of the window’s pop-up menu.
Automator If the earlier possibility sounds good to you however you possibly can’t use it since you haven’t upgraded to Lion, there’s nonetheless hope. Snow Leopard’s Automator contains this identical functionality. You merely need to create a workflow for it. Like so:
For audio conversion, create an Utility workflow and string collectively these two actions (discovered below the Music heading)—Encode To iTunes Audio and Import Information Into iTunes. From the Setting pop-up menu within the Encode To iTunes Audio motion, select the encoder you wish to use—Excessive-quality, iTunes Plus, Apple Lossless, or Spoken Podcast. From the Vacation spot pop-up menu select a spot for these transformed information to be quickly saved—a Transformed folder you’ve added to your desktop, for instance.
Within the Import Information Into iTunes motion, select New Playlist and enter Automator Transformed. Save your workflow as an utility and place that utility on the Desktop. While you subsequent wish to convert an audio file (no Ogg, FLAC, or Home windows Media information allowed) simply drop it on high of this workflow. Your file shall be transformed and added to the iTunes playlist you created.
Changing video information is an identical operation. Level your browser to
macosxautomation.com and go to the
Providers downloads web page. Obtain the Film Providers and set up them as soon as downloaded.
Launch Automator, once more select an Utility workflow, and create a workflow that incorporates these two actions—Encode Media (discovered below Motion pictures) and Import Information Into iTunes (discovered below the Music heading). Within the Encode Media motion, select the encoder you’d like to make use of from the Encoder pop-up menu (Apple TV, iPod/iPhone, Pc, or Cell) and a vacation spot. Identify and save the workflow and place it on the Desktop. While you want a fast video conversion, drop a video file on to the applying you created. It will likely be transformed and added to iTunes.
After all you don’t have so as to add the information to iTunes. You possibly can skip the second motion altogether in every of those workflows and easily save the transformed information to a folder of your selecting.
iTunes You’ve in all probability observed that iTunes does a variety of issues. Amongst these lot of issues is media file conversion. Drag a appropriate file into iTunes—AIFF, WAV, MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless, or .mov, however not Ogg, FLAC, or .avi—and you’ll convert it to a format appropriate with the iPod, iOS units, and the Apple TV. To do this, choose the media you need and make your choice from iTunes’ Superior menu—Create iPod Or iPhone Model, Create iPad or Apple TV Model, or Create audioformat Model. To pick precisely which audio format seems on this final command, open iTunes preferences and within the Common tab and click on Import Settings. Within the window that seems, select the encoder you wish to use from the Import Utilizing pop-up menu. Within the Setting pop-up menu beneath you possibly can fine-tune the encoder by altering its bit fee.
AppleScript When you can convert information inside iTunes, with a well-placed AppleScript inside iTunes, you are able to do extra. Doug Adam’s AppleScripts for iTunes is the place to go for such useful scripts. His
Convert And Export script, for instance, lets you choose a number of audio information in your iTunes library after which simply convert them to an iTunes-friendly format (AAC, AIFF, Apple Lossless, MP3, or WAV) after which save the transformed file to a different location in your arduous drive.
Others Frequent contributor Kirk McElhearn has lately visited audio conversion instruments in his
Methods to Convert Audio to Different Codecs. In it he supplies hyperlinks to different instruments together with
XLD for changing FLAC and Ogg Vorbis information.
Vox is one other device for audio conversion value your consideration.
We’ve written fairly a bit in regards to the free
HandBrake, however virtually all the time in regard to its DVD-ripping capabilities. Immediately’s HandBrake can also be an excellent video converter. To transform your video launch HandBrake and within the navigation window that seems, choose the video file you wish to convert. Then expose the sidebar and select the machine you’d prefer to convert the video for—iPad or Apple TV, for instance. Click on Begin and your video is transformed.
HandBrake has a few benefits over the Lion Automator and iTunes strategies. The primary is that it will probably convert video information not natively supported by the Mac OS. You possibly can, for instance, convert .avi and .mkv information. It additionally lets you batch course of information. Simply choose a file you wan to transform and click on the Add To Queue button on the high of the HandBrake window. Then add another information you wish to convert, utilizing this identical Add To Queue button. While you’re prepared, simply click on Begin. HandBrake will set about changing all of the information within the queue.
Video Monkey Chris Marrin’s free
Video Monkey ( ) is one other Macworld favourite for changing film information. Simply drag the films you wish to convert into its window, select a tool to transform it for from the Convert To pop-up menu, choose a desired high quality utilizing the High quality slider, allow the Add To iTunes possibility if you happen to’d like that to occur when the conversion completes, and click on Begin.
Don’t be taken in
As I hinted earlier, the Web is choked with media conversion purposes. You’ll routinely discover these items linked to in questionable discussion board posts and even less-believable shareware and “critiques” websites. Don’t be taken in. If such a utility incorporates a very generic “field” and garish interface—and also you’re requested to pay between $30 and $50 for it—you’re usually one of many dozens of spam-promoted merchandise that slap a poor interface on Unix and QuickTime instruments that underlie the Mac OS. And why hassle when, for the value of your subsequent breath, you possibly can have a free device that will get the job completed?