With so many different formats being used around us, a video converter software program is essential for us to convert a video format to another for certain purposes. If you want to find a powerful video converter or learn how to convert videos, you are definitely at the right place. This is a comprehensive article to introduce you everything about video conversion: the difference between online and desktop video converter, how to choose a suitable converter, the best free video converter, how to convert videos to videos, devices, and audios, etc.

Let’s first begin with why you need to convert videos to MP4, AVI, MKV, MP3, etc.

1. Why do you need to convert videos to MP4/AVI/MKV/MP3 and More?

Make the video compatible with a certain device – The most common reason is that sometimes you need to convert a video format to MP4 or others for playback on a certain device. For example, M2TS is not common and is not supported by all devices, but you can convert it MP4 for playback on any device.

Reduce video size – some video formats like AVI is very large, so sometimes you may want to convert it to a smaller size format for storage. An advanced video converter usually comes with an editor which allows you to trim the unwanted part to reduce the video size.

Share videos – If you want to share your videos to video websites like YouTube, you need to pay attention to the video formats they support. Some video converters can help you convert videos to web optimized video formats.

Extract the audio file from a video – If you love the music or songs of a video, you may want to convert the video to MP3 or other audio formats for playback on an audio player. A video converter usually has the ability to convert videos to MP3, AAC, WMA, etc. for personal use.

2. Free online video converter vs. desktop video converter

There are two kinds of video converters on the market, and they are online video converter and desktop video converter. An online video converter is a web-based video converter that allows you to convert video files or video links to video and audio formats without installing a software program on your computer. A desktop video converter is a software program that needs to be installed on Win or Mac (check top video converters for Win or top video converters for Mac) and that can convert video sources to video/audio formats or even a device format.

Most online video converters are completely free, while few of them ask users to pay money to remove restrictions and enjoy their premium versions. Most desktop video converters are paid software programs, but usually they will provide a free version with limited features.

Compare online video converter and desktop video converter

Obviously, it is easier and more convenient to use an online video converter, especially when there are a lot of free online video converters to choose. Moreover, these online video converters usually can be used as a URL video converter to download and convert videos from YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more (many desktop video converter doesn’t support online video conversion). However, online video converters have many limitations when compared with desktop video converters like DVDFab Video Converter.

First, the supported video size of an online video converter is limited. Online video converter doesn’t support large video files and even those paid converters put a limit on file size. For example, OnlineVideoConverter.com supports Maximum 2.5 GB files and Online-convert.com (platinum version) offers 8 GB file size support per conversion. On the contrary, video converter software programs usually don’t have such limitations and can take care of those large files easily.

Second, online video converter supports fewer video/audio formats when compared with video converter software programs. A desktop video converter also provides some preprogrammed video formats for popular devices. Some of them even support the output of 3D and 4K formats.

online video converter & video converter software

Third, online video converters contain no or fewer advanced tools or options. Online video converters can do the basic conversion work well, but when talking about the advanced options, they are not as professional as video converter software. Video converter software programs usually come with some advanced tools for users to customize their settings and edit their videos.

Forth, the conversion speed of an online video converter relies on your internet speed and the converter’s server condition, while the conversion speed of a video converter program depends on your computer configuration. Usually a desktop video converter is faster than an online video converter. It would be much faster if the desktop video converter can take advantage of the latest hardware acceleration technology.

What factors you should take into consideration when you choose a video converter?

In fact, we believe you have learned some important points about choosing a video converter when we compare online video converter and desktop video converter. Now we summarize the factors that need to be considered here.

the factors you should take into consideration when choose a video converter

* Supported video formats. Please be sure that the video converter you want to choose supports enough input and output video formats.

* The ability to convert large files. You should consider this if you have the demand to convert large files in future.

* Advanced options. If you want to edit the video before you convert, please remember to check if the converter contains the advanced options you need.

* Conversion speed. The fast conversion speed helps a lot. Please remember to test the conversion speed.

* The output quality. You also need to check if the video converter software can output lossless or high-definition video.

* Ease of use. An easy-to-use video converter really matters if you are a novice user in this field.

Considering all of these factors, we here have a recommendation for you.  

3. The best desktop video converter- DVDFab Video Converter

As we said in part 2, an online video converter is not as good as a video converter program in some cases, so here we will recommend you a video converter software program.

DVDFab Video Converter

DVDFab Video Converter is a powerful and versatile video converter software program that can fulfill your conversion needs from many different ways.

First, it is powerful enough to support various input formats, including MP4, AVI, FLV, AVI, 3GP, WMV, MKV, MPEG, MOV, DAT, RM, TS, VOB, MP3, WAV, WMA, FLAC, etc. For outputs, it supports not only those popular video/audio formats like MP4, MKV, AVI, MP3, M4A, and more, but also those 3D and 4K formats. Yes, it is also a 3D video converter and 4K video converter you cannot miss out. Furthermore, it also includes some presets for portable devices or game consoles like iPhone X, iPad Pro, HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro, Samsung Galaxy 9, Xbox 360, PS3 and more.

All in all, with it you can convert video to video, video to audio, audio to audio and video to device.

Second, DVDFab Video Converter features a fast conversion speed. With the support to the latest hardware acceleration technology, it can process any video conversion task quickly.  

Third, the video converter software comes with many advanced customization tools. It not only allows you to adjust the video and audio parameters like resolution, codec, frame rate, video quality, output size, etc. but also let you edit the videos by using the editing features like trimming, cropping, adding music, adding watermark, adding external subtitles, etc. In addition, it supports batch conversion.

Forth, DVDFab Video Converter can output videos with lossless quality or high-quality you want. Choosing MKV/MP4 Passthrough you can get the video quality that is same with the source video. And if you choose other formats you can choose the high quality option to get a high-quality video.

Fifth, the interface of DVDFab Video Converter is modern, intuitive and clean, so it is easy to be learned by anyone, even if people who never used such a kind of program.

Last but not the least, DVDFab doesn’t put a limit on the input file size, so you can use it to convert any large files you want.

DVDFab Video Converter also comes with a free version, which allows you to convert videos to MKV Passthrough/MP4.Free without spending a penny. Now follow us to learn more about the free version.

DVDFab Video Converter – Free version

The free version is a limited version but it can satisfy your basic conversion needs. Though limited, it still can surpass many other free video converters from many ways.

best video converter software

For outputs, it supports nearly all the video formats except for H.265 and 4K videos. When talking about the output profiles, it gives the MKV Passthrough and MP4.Free choices. Though the output formats are not as many as the paid version, the free version retains many advanced options that the paid version has. With the free MKV/MP4 video converter, you still can choose the audio tracks and subtitles you want, use the batch conversion, change the parameters like resolution (maximum 720p), codec, video, etc., editing the videos by trimming, adding external subtitles, adding text, adjust picture values, etc. The deficiency is a few of the advanced features are not available and the Hardware Acceleration cannot be used.

The following is a table to compare the paid version and the free version.


Free Version

Paid Version

Supported input formats

GP, ASF, AVI, FLV, M2TS, MOV, MP4, M4V, MPEG, etc. (Non-H.265/Non-4K videos)


H.265/4K videos

Supported output formats

MKV Passthrough/MP4.Free

2D Videos: MP4.H.265, MKV.265, MP4.4K, MKV.4K, MP4 Passthrough, MKV Passthrough, MP4, FLV, etc.

3D Videos: 3D MKV.H.265, 3D MP4.H.265 3D MP4.4K, 3D MKV.4K, etc.

Audio: MP3, MP4, M4A, etc.

Convert audio to audio



Output video resolution

Up to 720p

Up to 2160p

Hardware (GPU) Acceleration



Batch conversion



Advanced settings

Some available

All available

Editing features

Some available

All available

4. Convert videos to video formats - MP4, AVI, MKV, FLV, M2TS, TS, WMV, etc.

Convert videos with online tools

Online video converter is easy to use, and usually only several mouse clicks are required to convert one video format to another. Here we take OnlineVideoConverter.com as an example, but the steps of other online video converters almost stay the same.

online video converter

Step 1: First you need to paste the video source link or upload the video file you want to convert.

Step 2: Then please choose the video format you need.

Step 3: Tweak your settings (if there are setting options or advanced options in the online converter).

Step 4: Click the “Start” button to start the process of converting the video format to another.

Convert videos with DVDFab Video Converter

Video conversion is also simple when using DVDFab Video Converter. Just as we said, DVDFab can convert between various video formats, including convert MKV to MP4, MP4 to AVI, AVI to MP4, MOV to MP4, MP4 to WMV, AVI to MP4, WMV to MP4, MOV to WMV, FLV to MP4, AVI to WMV, AVI to MKV, MP4 to FLV, MKV to AVI, VOB to MP4, etc. Now let’s have a look at how to convert videos to videos with DVDFab Video Converter.

Convert videos with DVDFab Video Converter

Step 1: Download and install DVDFab 11 on your Win/Mac. Here we will give the Win steps only but the Mac steps will keep almost the same.

Step 2: Open DVDFab 11, go to Converter module and click the “+” button on the main interface to load the video you want to convert.

Click the “+ Add from Local” button you can load the video on your Android or iPhone directly. Just you need to follow the instructions on the pop-out window to connect your phone with your DVDFab.

Click the “+ Add from Online” button you can download videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and then convert them to other formats. For more details about downloading videos, please go to the 7 part of the article.

Here we will load an MP4 video file from our computer.

best converter software to load video files

Note: You can load two or more videos here and then merge/combine the videos together.

Step 3: Navigate to the profile library on the top left corner of the main interface, and then click Format > Video > General/Filter to select a video format.

If you click the Filter, you can check the 3D/4K option to find the 3D/4K format you want.

Here we will choose the general MKV format.

the powerful converter app to select a video format

Step 4: Now you can customize your videos from many ways. The video title is changeable and the audio tracks and subtitles are selectable. For advanced customization, you can click the “Advanced Settings” to customize your settings and click the “Editor” icon to edit the videos.

click the advanced settings to cusomize your video

You can alter the video/audio parameters on the Advanced Settings panel. When all the settings are done, please click the “OK” button.

alter the video/audio parameters on the advanced settings panel

On the editing panel, you can see that DVDFab is also an MP4 trimmer for you to trim the video. Of course, you can also rotate videos, crop videos, add texts and images, add subtitles, etc. Please remember to click the “OK” button when all is complete.

video editing

Step 5: Go back to the main interface and select an output directory to save the converted video. And then click the “Start” button to start the process of converting the MP4 video to MKV.

5.  Convert videos to devices – iPhone X/8/8 Plus, iPad, HUAWEI Mate, Samsung, etc.

Generally online video converters don’t provide some presets for you to convert a video to a device directly. However, DVDFab Video Converter provides many of such presets for you to choose. It can be used as an iPhone 8/8 Plus video converter, iPad video converter, HUAWEI Mate video converter, Samsung video converter and more.

The steps of converting videos to devices are nearly same with those of converting videos to videos in Part 4. Just at the step of choosing a profile, you need to click Device to find the device you want to convert to. And since all the parameters are set according to the specifications of the device, you do not have to change the parameters on Advanced Settings panel later. 

convert videos to devices

If you select the output directory as the Mobile Device, a window will pop out to show you how to transfer the converted video to your device after the conversion is complete.

how to transfer the converted video to your device

6.  Convert videos/audio to audio formats - MP3, AAC, AC3, AIFF, APE, FLAC etc.

You will find that most online video converters offer the options to convert videos to audio files. DVDFab Video Converter can also be used as a video to audio converter to convert any videos to

MP3, AAC, AC3, WAV, FLAC, M4A, and more. It is a professional MP3 converter to convert audio files to MP3, MP4 to MP3, MOV to MP3, FLV to MP3, AVI to MP3, WMV to MP3, etc. To convert video to audio with DVDFab Video Converter, you need to choose Format > Audio to find the audio format you want.

convert videos/audio to audio formats

If you want to trim the video (audio) file to get an audio clip, you can first choose a video format and use the video trimmer on the editing panel to trim out the unwanted part, and then choose an audio format to output the trimmed audio clip.

7.  Convert YouTube/Instagram/Facebook/Twitter videos

Some online video converter to mp4 allow you to download and convert videos from websites like YouTube to the video formats you want by pasting the video URLs. This feature is very useful because many video websites don’t provide a download button for us to download videos.

DVDFab offers a more powerful feature to download and convert online videos. By clicking the button “+ Add from Online”, you will enter the interface of DVDFab Video Downloader, the downloader to download videos from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Instagram, TED, Xvideos, YouPorn, PornHub, etc. Pasting the URL and then the download will begin. After the download is complete, you can import it to Converter module for conversion.

more powerful feature to download and convert online videos

video downloader

8.  Conclusion

Now that you have read here, you must have learned all the things about converting videos to another format, including how to choose the right video converter and how to make conversions. Although online video converter is more convenient to use, desktop video converter like DVDFab Video Converter comes with more powerful features. You do not have to make a decision now, just please try them and then decide which one is the best one for you. Good luck!