7 Video Encoding Apps for Mac

At some stage you’ve probably all needed to convert videos between various formats. Whether it’s to make that YouTube video play on your iPod, or to watch something a PC-using friend sent to you in an odd format. This task can often seem time consuming and problematic, but with the right tools is no issue.

Luckily, there is an abundance of applications out there for this very purpose. This roundup covers 7 different Mac apps for encoding video into whichever format you’re after. Some are free and some are not, but all do a great job.

Handbrake

Handbrake

HandBrake

One of my favourite applications for encoding video, HandBrake has a wide range of options for exporting your video out for many different devices. These range from Apple TVs to PSPs, making it fast and easy to convert almost any type of format so that it will play on your iPhone for example.

It doesn’t have a huge range of outgoing formats to choose from if you’re looking for something obscure, but as a completely free application, it’s well worth checking out! It also does an excellent job of encoding video from a DVD.

Our detailed review of HandBrake can be found here.

Price: Free
Developer: HandBrake
Requires: Mac OS 10.4 or later

RoadMovie

RoadMovie

RoadMovie

RoadMovie has a very simple and easy to use interface which looks great. Encoding videos is as easy as drag and drop. Once the footage is in there, you can quickly customize things such as the type of device you’d like to export for.

This app has a very similar selection to that of HandBrake, but again does not allow you a huge selection of outgoing formats if that is what you are specifically after. RoadMovie also gives you the ability to add Subtitles, Metadata, Chapters, and even choose which tracks of the material you’d like to keep in the export.

Price: $25
Developer: bitfield
Requires: Mac OS 10.5.2 or later

DVDRemaster

DVDRemaster

DVDRemaster

Whilst DVDRemaster cannot encode standard video into various formats, it does do a superb job of ripping DVDs to various formats for play on the computer, Apple TV, iPod and even some mobile phones. This is great if somebody gives you a video on DVD that you’d like to backup or watch on other devices like your iPhone.

Upon testing this with a couple of commercial DVDs I owned for viewing on my iPod DVDRemaster was unable to encode these due to copyright protection though.

Price: $39.99 ($49.99 for Pro)
Developer: metakine
Requires: Mac OS 10.4 or later

ffmpegX

ffmpegX

ffmpegX

ffmpegX has a huge range of advanced features packed inside its single interface window, however this app would definitely not be the most intuitive to use. When I tried converting a short clip for my iPod Touch, it did it quickly and without hassle, however it stretched the video, and I could not figure out how to do a ‘letterbox’ to maintain the aspect ratio of the clip.

For those looking for a wide range of export options though ffmpegX looks like an excellent option. With over 30 different target formats, it certainly has the largest selection of all the apps, but the interface doesn’t quite do it for me.

Price: Free
Developer: ffmpegX
Requires: Mac OS 10.2 or later

EasyWMV

EasyWMV

EasyWMV

Don’t let the name fool you… this app is not just for Windows Media Video. By far the easiest to use, EasyWMV makes video encoding an absolute breeze. Converting anything from the native windows format (.wmv) to flash (.flv) and 11 others, EasyWMV allows you to very quickly set up your outgoing format. Whilst rather limited, (Quicktime, Apple TV, iPod, and iPhone) it gives you most of the outgoing formats that the average person will find themselves needing.

EasyWMV also has some useful settings for adjusting video, allowing you to change size, preserve aspect ratio, add a letterbox, deinterlace, and adjust the bit rate.

Price: $15
Developer: Patrice Bensoussan
Requires: Mac OS 10.3.9 or later

QuickTime

QuickTime

QuickTime Pro

QuickTime Pro, an easy upgrade from the standard QuickTime Player that comes shipped with Mac OS X, is one that I’d definitely recommend. One of the best features that QT Pro boasts is its ability to convert video easily. There is a large list of conversion options available, even wmv and flv. And it does a great job. With lots of advanced options included for those requiring them, QT Pro could be the perfect choice for you. I do find that QT Pro is fairly slow at exporting video, although I find it makes up for this in the results it produces.

It should be noted that with the release of Snow Leopard due in September, it is rumored that the new QuickTime X might include all Pro features… so it may be worth waiting if you are planning on purchasing the new OS.

Price: $29.99
Developer: Apple
Requires: Mac OS 10.4.10 or later

VisualHub

VisualHub

VisualHub

VisualHub is unfortunately no longer in development, and because of this I’m not sure if it is still possible to find the full version out there. It is however, a great piece of video encoding software that does its job quickly and easily.

Encoding can be done simply by dropping video in, and then selecting from the 9 main formats which to export to. There are also plenty of advanced features for complete customization of the settings. The interface of VisualHub is very friendly and possibly one of my favourites, so it’s a shame this great piece of software is no longer available.

If anybody is aware if it is possible to find the full version somewhere then let us know in the comments!

Price: N/A – Out of development.
Developer: Techspansion
Requires: Mac OS 10.4 or later

Conclusion

After giving all of these apps a go, I’d have to say that QuickTime Pro and HandBrake are my two favorites for their features and end results. RoadMovie was impressive also, and I loved EasyWMV’s simplicity.

If you’re looking to simply encode a few videos to play on your iPod or Apple TV, you may be interested to know that you can actually do this from within iTunes under the Advanced menu.

Let us know which of these you use, and any others that we’ve missed!