A client of my company sent me a .mov file with a duration of only 1 minute and 12 seconds, and a size of 600MB. This had to be uploaded to YouTube, which would take ages in its original format, in combination with my slow internet connection. I figured converting it to MP4 before uploading it would massively reduce the file size.
So I went to Google, searched for “convert mov to mp4” looking for a quick solution using software already installed on my PC. Apparently both VLC and Quicktime were supposed to have a built-in converter that should be able to do the trick. Other “solutions” were available in the form of adware/shareware or web-based converters. Let’s just say none of the results on the first page of Google were satisfactorily.
The actual, simple, no-bs solution – Handbrake
Handbrake is a freeware, open-source, no-BS video converter for all kinds of video formats to MP4 or MKV.
- Simply click Source
- Select your .mov video file
- Select a destination.
- Tweak settings as needed. In my case the default settings were sufficient.
- Click Start
- 600MB .mov file converted to 57MB MP4 file without any issues.
The supposed VLC solution
VLC has a “handy” file converter that actually works a whopping 2,3% of the times that you try to use it.
- Open the .mov file in VLC
- Click Media > Convert/Save
- Apparently VLC doesn’t understand that you want to convert the file that you are currently playing. Select the file again.
- Click Convert
- Select a destination
- Click start
- VLC disappears… Has it crashed? No, it just minimized itself. Click the VLC icon in the taskbar.
- Continue working on other stuff while the video is converting.
- Wait for VLC to confirm success.
- Find out that it doesn’t give any.
- Go to the destination folder
- Find out the video only converted halfway through and has no sound.
- Look for better solution.
The supposed Quicktime solution
- Open the file in Quicktime
- Click File
- Find out that you need a paid version of Quicktime to be able to click the Save As menu item
- Look for better solution