Review: GOM Video Converter eliminates video confusion
At a Glance
I like things to be easy, especially when it comes to technology. I like my devices to work, simply and easily, without a whole lot of fuss. That's why I've never been fond of video conversion: It sounds technical and messy the opposite of plug-and-play. But GOM Video Converter ($35, free demo with watermarking) makes video conversion just about as easy as it can be.
This $35 application lets you convert videos from their original format to one that will work on your desired device. And it supports plenty of video formats, including DivX, FLV, MP4, MPEG-1 and -2, VOB, WAV, and more on the input side, and AVI, MP4, WMV, AAC, and more on the output side.
If all of those formats sound like gibberish to you, don't worry. You don't need to know much at all about video to use GOM. As soon as you start the program, GOM asks you to select your output format, and lists your available options by device. You can select Apple, and then a second menu lets you choose a specific Apple device and video quality. Then, you select your Source info, which is the video you'd like to convert. In most cases, this step proceeded without a hitch, allowing me to move on and begin converting the video with a click of the button.
But in a few cases, with videos I'd purchased from the iTunes store, GOM told me I needed a codec to convert the video. It led me to a Website where I might be able to find the codec, but I soon found myself lost in a maze of downloads-none of which allowed me to convert the file. This hang-up is more likely due to Apple's restrictions rather than GOM's limitations, but wandering through the online world of video codecs brought back all of my fears about video conversion, Luckily, this didn't happen often.
When GOM works, it works easily. It converts the video before your eyes, allowing you to monitor its progress and select the output location. I converted a downloaded copy of the Daily Show, had GOM add it to my iTunes library, and synced it to my iPhone in just a few minutes.
GOM also includes the option of downloading GOM Picker, which allows you to download Flash videos from the Web. This is a nice touch if you'd like to save and convert these videos for viewing later.
Overall, GOM is easy to use and not terribly confusing—if you're not converting iTunes purchases. I just wish it were cheaper than $35. That's a lot of money to pay if you're using it only to convert videos for casual viewing.
Note: The "Demo" button on the Product Information page takes you to the vendor's site, where you can download the latest version of the software.