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[Free & Open-source] 2021 Best Video Transcoders for Windows and Mac

Video transcoding is the process of converting a video file from one format to another, for example, MKV to MP4, HEVC to H.264. It help us play videos on different devices, players, platforms, editors, etc. without compatibility issues. If you need to convert a video format, you need a video transcoder. Here we picks the 2021 best video transcoders that are free and open-source for Windows and macOS.

Best Free Video Transcoder 2021
Best Free Video Transcoder

Best Free Video Transcoders 2021 - FREE WinX Video Converter

OS: Windows 10 (32 & 64 bit), 8, 7, and earlier

FREE WinX Video Converter is one of the top free video transcoding software. It has 370+ video audio codecs to transcode videos among virtually all video formats, including Multi-track MKV, HEVC (H.265), H.264, M2TS, AVCHD, MOD, MP4, MOV, AVI, WMV, MPEG, FLV, VOB, 3GP, etc. 420+ preset output profiles make it easy to transcode videos to iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android Samsung, HTC, Google Nexus, Kindle Fire, Sony PSP, PS4, Xperia, Microsoft WP8, Xbox, Surface Pro, etc.

Free Download for Win 7 or later
Free Download for Mac OS X 10.6 or later

For Windows and Mac only. If you are a mobile user, please click here.

Pros

  • It supports transcoding videos at HD resolutions, including HD 1080P, 2160p 4K and 4320p 8K.
  • It supports hardware-accelerated video transcoding using Intel QSV and Nvidia CUDA/NVENC. About 5x faster 4K/HD video transcoding speed than other free transcoders.
  • It offers editing features like resize, crop, trim, cut, merge, video/audio parameters adjustment, and more.
  • Download & transcode online videos to popular formats/devices at one go.
  • It supports batch conversion.

Cons

  • It doesn't support DVDs.
Best free hd/4k video transcodinng software
FREE WinX Video Converter

HandBrake

OS: Windows, Mac and Linux

Handbrake is a popular free and open-source video transcoder which is best to convert videos into MP4 and MKV. It uses a variety of video encoders to freely transcode videos to H.265, H.264, H.265 MPEG-4 and MPEG-2, VP8, VP9, and Theora. There are built-in presets for a couple of devices like iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android, etc.


Pros

  • HandBrake is able to convert VIDEO_TS folders and rip unprotected DVDs to MP4/MKV.
  • HandBrake comes with multiple setting options.
  • Handbrake supports H.265/H.264 hardware-accelerated transcoding using QuickSync.

Cons

  • The output container formats are very limited.
  • It is complicated to set some setting options.
Best Open-source Video Transcoder
Handbrake

FFmpeg

OS: Windows, Mac and Linux

FFmpeg is free and open-source video transcoding software that uses command lines to handle videos. It's able to do pretty much everything video-related, including decoding, encoding, transcoding, muxing, demuxing, streaming, filtering and playing. It supports a wide range of encoders and decoders to help convert videos to any format you need (see FFmepg codecs).

Pros

  • Excellent support for codecs and filters.
  • Supports almost all the video and audio formats.
  • Hardware-accelerated encoding and decoding supported.
  • It supports videos, audios, subtitles, and images.

Cons

  • It requires steep learning curve.
Best free Open-source Video Transcoding software
FFmpeg

VLC

OS: Windows, Mac and Linux

VLC media player includes a video transcoding and streaming wizard. You can easily use VLC to transcode videos into H.264, VP80, H.265, MPEG-2, WMV, DIV3, MPEG-4, iPod, DivX, Android, YouTube, and several more. It's the best free video transcoder for those who just want to convert a couple of videos. It's not a good idea to use it to transcode large-size or HD/4K videos as it may take quite a long time.

Pros

  • It's easy and handy to use.
  • Convert video/audio, sync subtitles, filter video/audio and apply other effects.
  • Hardware-accelerated decoding is supported.

Cons

  • Poor support for videos in 4K or higher resolutions.
  • Limited video codecs and formats available.
  • No options to edit or control videos.
Best free Open-source Video Transcoder Windows 10
VLC

Avidemux

OS: Windows, Mac and Linux

Avidemux is a free and open-source software for non-linear video editing and transcoding multimedia files. You can use it to transcode videos from most files to AVI, FLV, MKV, MP4, HEVC H.265, H.264, VOB, and more. The best part is, it's able to encode videos to DVD. The main difference betwen Avidemux and other video transcoding freeware is that Avidemux lets you edit the video and then encode it.

Pros

  • It's easy and fast to use.
  • Edit features like split, merge, crop, shift, filters, denoise, resize, etc.
  • Convert videos to DVD.

Cons

  • The GUI is quite basic and hard to understand.
  • Limited video codecs and formats available.
Best free Video Transcoder Windows 10
Avidemux

MediaCoder

OS: Windows 10, 8, 7, and earlier

MediaCoder is a free video transcoding software that will convert among most audio and video formats. A wide range of video/audio codecs supported. There are built-in profiles for popular devices, online websites, and broadcast services. It's another free video transcoder that is able to rip physical discs. It's useful to direct capture from camera, input from streaming and storage media.

Pros

  • H/264/H.265 GPU accelerated encoding using QuickSync, Nvenc, and Cuda.
  • Ability to rip BD/DVD/VCD/CD.
  • Rich set of transcoding settings and various filters.
  • Fast speed and good quality.

Cons

  • Its interface is outdated and intimidating.
  • Additional features are available in the premium edition.
Best free video transcoding software 2021
MediaCoder

Xmedia Recode

OS: Windows 10, 8, 7, and earlier

MediaCoder is a free and open-source video transcoder for Windows 10 that is able to convert almost all audio and video formats. It supports a wide range of video formats including H.264, H.265, MKV, MP4, MOV, FLV, WMV, SWF, QT, MP3, and more. It also accepts DVDs that are not DRM-protected. It's one of the best video transcoding software for fast and simple video reformatting.

Pros

  • Have all the filters that Handbrake has, including deinterlace, stablize, rotate, crop, pad, and more.
  • Support non-protected DVDs.
  • Tons of hardware specific presets.

Cons

  • The video transcoding speed can be slow compared with other tools.
Top Video transcoding software Windows 10
Xmedia Recode

Convert.Files

In addition to free and open-source video transcoding software for Windows and macOS, there are tons of online video transcoders. Here we also recommend you the site Convert.Files. It supports more than 300 video formats for free.

Pros

  • No need to install files to local drive and no memory capacity is occupied.
  • It can also convert videos, audio formats, images, documents, etc.

Cons

  • It supports videos up to 250 MB currently.
  • Online video transcoding relies on network connection.
  • Video transcoding speed cannot catch up with that of desktop software.
  • No technical support is offered.
  • Batch video conversion is not supported.
Best free Online Video Transcoder
Best Free Online Video Transcoder

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

kistent

Kistent Waung twitter icon

Graduated from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, she employs herself in IT related content creation (since 2013) and happens to perfectly combine her major (computer & science) and her gusto (writing). She's seasoned at offering video audio conversion workarounds and always passionate about new trends, from hot HEVC, 4K to the new AV1 codec.

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