MPEG StreamClip review

The Mac OS has some impressive video conversion tools. Handbrake’s a popular choice, combining good looks with DVD extraction tools, while the recently reviewed Miro Video Converter (Christmas 2010) is great for web developers and people looking for an easy-to-use tool. MPEG Streamclip is a video converter that does many of the same things as Handbrake and Miro, but with a bias towards video producers.

While Handbrake caters for DVD transcoding and Miro is aimed squarely at the YouTube generation, MPEG Streamclip supports raw video in DV and bespoke camcorder formats. That makes it an ideal tool for transcoding raw streams from video cameras to formats your Mac can handle, like MOV and MPEG4. It also supports DivX encoded AVI files – essential if you’re dealing with video that’s been encoded on a PC.

MPEG Streamclip isn’t pretty to look at. Most of the action takes place in the Movie Exporter dialog, where you configure the format of output files. There are lots of options on offer, enabling you to downscale resolutions, specify quality and choose video and audio codecs. If this seems daunting, there are presets to choose from.

As the video encodes you can choose to preview the results. You can even trim down a clip using rudimentary editing tools.

OUR VERDICT

Free, powerful and a must-have for video makers, MPEG Streamclip has one big flaw – it’s damn ugly. If you can live with the thrown- together interface, it’ll do a great job for you.

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