How to Convert Video for Portable Devices

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Converting Video to Play in Portable Devices

Any Video Converter
Any Video Converter

Video lovers have a lot of options these days for watching movies on the go. Smartphones, tablets such as the iPad, media players and even portable gaming systems such as the Vita or old PSP allow folks to get their portable video fix from just about anywhere.

Depending on what format your videos are in, however, getting them to play on a specific device can be easier said than done. Fortunately, video converters offer a way to tame your rowdy, incompatible formats so they can play on your device of choice. Here is a simple tutorial to help guide you through the conversion process.

What you'll need for this tutorial:

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Downloading the Converter

Any Video Converter download page
Any Video Converter

For the sake of simplicity, I chose to use the free version of Any Video Converter for this tutorial. It's like getting the cost benefit of a freeware program along with the stability and polish of a paid program.

The free version doesn't have all the features of the paid version but it pretty much can do all the conversions you need minus the hit to your wallet. It can also process a ton of video formats, which is a plus.

From the official site, you'll have the option to download the Windows version, which now supports Windows 10, or the Mac version. For the Mac version, click on the "For Mac" tab on the top of the page. (This tutorial is based on the Windows version.)

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Basic Video Conversion

Any Video Converter
Any Video Converter

AVC has gone through some changes since this tutorial was first published. The latest version now lets you quickly convert videos in three easy steps. First, just the video or videos you want to be converted via the upper left tab then choose the output format you want on the right side. Once you've picked the format you want, click on the convert button.

If you want to have a file that will work on just about every player out there, your best bet is to convert your file to the MPEG-4 format, also known as MP4. MP4 is like the de facto format for portable video players. It's supported by the iOS devices, Android smartphones, and other players.

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Adjusting Your Conversion Settings

For more advanced conversion, you'll notice that you have the option to convert to dimensions such as 480p. That basically denotes resolution and "aspect ratio." If you're unfamiliar with the term, think of it as the "shape" of your video. Older, standard definition televisions, for example, use a narrower 4:3 aspect ratio, typically in 480p resolution. Newer, high-definition televisions, on the other hand, use a wider 16:9 aspect ratio in 720p, 1080p or even up to a higher resolution, 4K.

Ideally, you'll want to keep your source video's original aspect ratio so you don't find yourself viewing movies with messed up proportions. Converting a 4:3 video into 16:9 will make people and objects look fat. Converting 16:9 into 4:3 will result in a video with disturbingly tall and skinny characters. To recap: box-shaped videos are 4:3; wide videos are 16:9.

Normally, you'll want to pick the resolution that matches the device you'll be viewing the video in. Otherwise, you can pick a higher resolution such as 720p and 1080p, which are the standard for today's smartphones and tablets. Just keep in mind that the conversion will take longer and the file size for your converted video will be larger when you use a higher resolution.

From this point, all you need to do is copy the converted video from your save location on into your mobile device or player and you're good to go.

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YouTube and DVDs

Any Video Converter
Any Video Converter

The latest version of AVC also lets you burn videos into DVD or download vids from YouTube. To download a YouTube video, just use the URL menu and paste the address of the YouTube video you want to download. To burn a copy of a video you own on DVD, just click on the Burn DVD tab and use the Add Video menu to pick the video you want.

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