How to Easily Convert Videos to Any Format

Young content creator editing video and converting format on her laptop

Not every online video platform can play every type of video format. That’s why video conversion software exists — it lets you change video format without corrupting your content.

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How to convert videos to any format

In a digital world, you don’t have to be a technical wiz to know how to change video formats. A wealth of both paid and free online file converters will have you cycling through video and audio formats like it’s a competitive sport.

Here is how to change video file types using both paid and free video converters.

  1. Import your original video file. You will need the video downloaded to your computer, phone, or tablet. Then use your platform’s importer tool to get it loaded up for conversion, editing, and eventual sharing.
  2. Edit the video if desired. Converting the file format is a good excuse to edit your video. Perhaps you’ll want to trim its length, adjust the contrast, or boost the audio track. Do this now, before you convert to a new video format.
  3. Select a new file format. Paid and free video converters offer a breadth of video file formats to choose from. MP4 video is currently the format of choice for popular platforms like Instagram, but you can also choose from other options like AVI, WMV, and MOV. You can even turn a video snippet into a GIF file to upload to your meme account.
  4. Select a file size for your newly formatted video. You want to make sure the video you export comes out to a usable size. An ultra-high-resolution unboxing video will make those YEEZYs look beautiful, but it could also end up far too large for most sharing platforms. Your video conversion software can compress the video to make the size far more reasonable. And in many cases, you won’t even notice the visual difference.
  5. Export the video into your new file format. It’s time to export your video in whatever file format you’ve chosen (MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, etc.) so it can spread its wings and fly. And if that format doesn’t work, great news: you can always pick a new video format and do it all over again.

3 Common issues converting a video will solve 

Sometimes the best way to troubleshoot video playback issues is to change video and audio formats. In fact, if you know nothing other than how to change video file types, you may still find you can solve the overwhelming majority of your online video woes. Try video format conversions for the following problems.

  1. Your device doesn’t recognize the video file. Many devices — particularly cell phones — do not always play nice with obscure video file formats. A simple file format conversion can usually solve this problem. Or, if you’re a content creator, you can convert the file before you even post it online, which will spare your users the chore of converting the file themselves.
  2. Your video plays back with distortions. Corrupted video files often play with distorted images and skips. Sometimes they stop playing altogether. Modern video conversion software can sometimes fix this by converting the video file to something different. Some video conversion platforms like Gretech Online Movie Player (aka GOM Media Player) can even track down obscure codecs to restore missing video images. 
  3. Your video takes up too much memory. Some videos look fantastic but their file size is positively huge. You can troubleshoot this in two ways. One is to convert to a video format that makes compressed videos look great (MP4 excels in this function). Another way is to keep your video in the same file format but set your export settings to a lower overall resolution. Your image won’t look quite as sterling, but you’ll get to preserve your video format and have a smaller overall file size.

How to convert a video with Descript

The Descript platform was designed to make it easy to upload, convert, edit, and share videos. You can only convert to and export as MP4, but that’s the most popular and compatible format. Use this step-by-step guide to discover how to convert video files to MP4 using Descript’s powerful software.

  1. Download the Descript App. Once you have a Descript account, you can download and install the custom app for multimedia editing.
  2. Create a new project. From the File menu, select New Project from the dropdown options.
  3. Import a video. You should now be looking at a project window. Importing is as simple as dragging and dropping a file into that project window. Drop your file, and let Descript handle the uploading.
  4. Edit as needed. This isn’t an editing tutorial, but this would be the time to edit the video contents if needed.
  5. Export your video. Since our goal is to convert the video to a new format, we will be exporting it as something else. Go to the File menu and select Export from the dropdown options. Then select Video from your export choices.
  6. Select your parameters. You will be given several parameters to choose from. It is here that you will choose the video format you’re exporting to. Descript’s default is MP4. You also get to tweak audio parameters, video dimensions, and video quality. You can even choose whether or not to include metadata and markers.
  7. Hit the export button. You are now ready for the actual video conversion. Click Export and let the Descript software handle the rest. In moments, you will have your newly converted video file.

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