Video Conversion with Simple Theora Encoder

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 02, 2008

In keeping with Sam's recent post about video editing tools, let's talk a little about encoding your videos.

I typically use an iMac to do most of my video editing and have found that most Mac-centric applications are pretty good at exporting to a wide range of formats. Sadly, .ogg isn't one of them. Though you may not have much call to convert your video to this format often, when you must do it, finding a good Mac app to get the job done isn't easy.

I've tried several different options, including a free QuickTime plugin, but I've had the best success with a tiny open source app called Simple Theora Encoder. It's only 87 MB, and installs quickly on Mac OS X 10.4 or higher.

To use, just open the dialog box and click "add" to bring up the Mac's Finder menu. The Encoder can convert multiple files at once from several different formats, including .avi, .mov, and mp4. Click encode, and that's all there is to it.

A status bar in dialog box will keep you posted on the encoding progress and let you know when your files are ready. I've converted at least six files this way, and each one has worked without a hitch.

Simple Theora Encoder is a true bare-bones app, to be sure -- but it gets the job done quickly and effectively.

What open source video conversion tools work best for you?