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Easy to use, good results: That's the gist of what I have to say about Pavtube Video Converter ($29, free demo). I used this attractive utility to convert several files to iPod and 3gp format. However, it took the installation of the free Xvid and Quicktime codecs before I could use it.
Pavtube states in the system requirements that you must install Quicktime, however, there was no mention of installing Xvid, which the company lists as supported. That's a minor annoyance at most--anything for which you can install a DirectX filter, it seems this program will convert. Performance was more than adequate, though not as speedy as Cyberlink's Power Director, which I usually employ for transcoding. I've already mentioned that Pavtube Video Converter's interface is attractive. It also prominently displays the most common options such as the output profile (iPod, 3GP, WMV, etc.) on the main page which makes it quite quick and easy to use. There are a couple of settings dialogs, but you shouldn't have to access them very often.
If you head to the company's Web site with wallet in hand, beware that there are a number of single-purpose (e.g., to iPod only) cross-coders advertised there that cost exactly the same. Make sure you purchase this all-purpose transcoder, not a one-trick pony, if you decide to buy. The demo version of Pavtube Video Converter watermarks video with a very prominent Pavtube logo, but it gives you a good idea as to its merit.
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