30 Must-Have Free Video Apps

From video editing, to watching movies, to converting file formats, these 30 freeware apps will bring your PC video experience into sharper focus.

Ant Movie Catalog
Ant Movie Catalog is a comprehensive organizer for DVD and VHS cataloging. Information is imported from IMDB, DVDFR, Allocine, Cuturalia, and a number of other databases. Stores bitrate, resolution, framerate and size of digital files. Customizable charts and graphs. Tracks loaned DVD and VHS movies.Keep cover art in PNG, JPEG and GIF formats. Sort, find and replace. Export data as HTML, SQL, XML or CSV or print out movie lists for storage.

Aspect is combined aspect ratio, frame size and avi bitrate calculator. Calculate frame size according given aspect ratio. Evaluate aspect errors. Check frame size for compliance with codec. Calculate aspect ratio according given frame size. Calculate avi video bitrate/size and bits/pixel value. Automatically calculate frame size. Adjust aspect ratio for cropped movies. Access unencrypted vob, mpeg2, d2v, png and bmp files.

AVI Tricks
AviTricks is a non-linear, non-destructive AVI video editor with real-time preview. The tree-structure and sub-project approach allow for an unlimited combination of filters and overlays, while rubber-band timeline adjustment gives a smooth blending of video and audio properties to produce a professional result in either AVI or Windows Media Format. It includes a wide range of adjustable effects that can be used separately or in combination.

AVmixer Pro
Neuromixer Pro is a full-featured DJ style video mixer designed for live performance visual artists and musicians. With NM Pro, change playback speed, select playback range, set cue points, forward and reverse on two seperate video banks. Composite in real-time and apply video effects, then output to full screen. An audio fader gives you freedom to mix video and audio independently. Preview the cue audio channel just like a DJ mixer.

Assuming your PVR solution records in MPEG-2, one option is the rather convoluted paring of Comskip and Comclean. Comskip is a command line tool to detect commercials in MPEG-2 video while Comclean is a companion tool for removing the detected commercials. With some careful reading of the directions you can get the process down to a science, but this is definitely not meant for the casual user.

DGPulldown 3:2 pulldown tool for PAL to NTSC Conversion. Encode MPEG-2 at 25fps using progressive encoding. Efficient bit usage reduces file sizes at comparable bitrates. Method does not require audio processing because video speed is unchanged. Processes PAL or NTSC datastreams for 23.976, 24 or 25 to 29.97 fps conversion. Requires progressive bitstream demuxed from audio for accurate performance, typically at 720×480 DVD resolution.

DScaler 4 captures video, processes it, and scales it for presentation on a projector or computer monitor. DScaler implements sophisticated algorithms that work in real-time providing PCs with image quality matched by expensive hardware. Detects and removes 2:2 pulldown (PAL) and 3:2 pulldown (NTSC). Reduces video noise on analog sources. Reducing judder and other video timing anomalies. Automatically calibrating video capture card settings.

DubIt – Add voice annotation and sound effects to a movie or image. DubIt uses a familiar VCR-style recording interface. Record audio in real time while viewing a movie or photo. Import WAV audio anywhere on a movie soundtrack. Edit audio in a movie sound track. Create online training movie clips with voice narration. Make narrated photo slideshows. Supports narration over AVI, BMP, GIF and JPG files. Output movies in AVI, RM, or ASF formats.

DVdate is a utility for processing AVI files with a focus on DV-AVI. It includes a number of processing features including the ability to inlay DV datestamp information, read datestamp and timestamp from DV-AVI, covert between DV-AVI type 1 and 2, export a DV scene list based on timecode, fix framerates of AVI, convert non-DV-AVI to DV-AVI compliant files, extract WAV from AVI and change codec used for playback of files.

DvPlayer controls DV cameras from your PC via FireWire. Manipulate tape with VCR style buttons. View video in fullscreen mode. Video is displayed in proper aspect ratio. Program supports window resize, change of display resolution and recovery from Ctrl+Alt+Del. Copy current frame from clipboard is also supported.

FireANT is an RSS video aggregator and media player that can automatically download media content for you to watch and listen to. FireANT lets you subscribe to any RSS 2.0 feed that supports enclosures by adding the URL of the channel manually, browsing FireANT’s Directory, or search for video on the web using Yahoo! Video Search. Requires major video players like Windows Media, QuickTime and RealPlayer for playback.

FLV player supports local playback of flash video, making it a compelling option for testing files before uploading to a server. It’s not quite on par with the SAPlayer included with the full version of Flash, but is an acceptable substitute considering there are no other options at this point.

Establishes what video codecs are required to play an AVI file. Determines whether these codecs are installed on your system. Isolates problems associated with these codecs. Identifies download induced problems. Shows framerate, duration, aspect ratio, bitrates, AVI structure info, and more. Displays and allows editing of RIFF info; displays hidden ASCII info. Export GSpot information. Built-in database of 350 video and 150 audio codecs.

HDTVtoMPEG removes commercials from HDTV video recorded via PVR. The software converts HDTV MPEG2 transport stream files to standard MPEG2 video files compatible with media player apps, DVD player apps, and editable in video converters like FlaskMPEG.
Home Security Video System

ImageToAVI converts a group of images files to AVI video. The video can be viewed on your PC or imported into a DVD authoring program to create DVDs. With this program you may choose to create video for DVD, SVCD and VCD (both NTSC and PAL supported). Add audio for background music or background image to frame stills. Customize display time for images. Supports BMP, JPEG, and GIF.

Jahshaka realtime editing and effects System. Powerful media desktop with enhanced UI. Powerful non-linear editor. 2D and 3D animation effects. Node based compositing. 3D model support. GPU accelerated keyer. GPU color corrector. Web-based asset browsing. Video paint. XML project files. Private file sharing. Visual Media ‘openlibraries’ for plugin based expandability of all 3D, GPU, shader, audio and media file formats.

Media Catalog Studio Lite
Is your music and video file collection growing out of control, making it impossible to find anything? Fight the problem with Media Catalog Studio, a handy software application for classifying and tracking media files or CDs. This database is capable of identifying media files on any storage devices – hard-drives, floppies, external drives, CD and so on.The program supports MP3, WMA, APE, OGG, WAV, AVI, MPG, WMV and Audio CD files.

MediaCoder is a universal audio/video batch transcoder, combining many audio/video codecs and tools from the open source community into an all-in-one solution, capable of transcoding between formats. Device conversions, ripping tools, audio extraction, and more. Support for AVI, MPEG, MP4, PMP, H.264, XviD, DivX, MP3, AAC, WMA, FLAC, APE and WAV.

MediaInfo is an audio and video codec and tag identifier for finding which application or coded iis required to playback a specific media file. MediaInfo provides details about a both video and audio details, including an tag information. Links are provided to Web locations for download of most video codecs and applications. File data is exportable in a variety of formats including CSV, text and HTML.

Easily join (combine) all popular audio and video formats into a single merged file. Formats supported include MP3, WMA, WAV, OGG, AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and WMV. Optionally include audio tag information for combined output audio files. Settings are available for bitrate, frequency, channels, VBR, and WMA profile for audio; and AVI audio and video codec, MPEG bitrate, frame rate, size, and WMV profile for video, providing complete output control.

MPEG4 Modifier
Modifies a MPEG4 video (XviD, DivX) without re-encoding (aspect ratio, userdata, packed bitstream removal, and interlaced field order). The video must be in an AVI container, and OpenDML isn’t currently supported. There’s also a command line version just for unpacking which is available for operating systems other than Windows.

RealAnime is a video converter for DivX files and other formats. Add a file, tweak the settings and start your encode. RealAnime encodes multiple files or single projects. Primary codecs are x264 and aacPlus v2, with support for XviD, RealVideo 10, AAC HE, AAC LC, Vorbis and MP3. The app also supports multi-track wrapper formats like OGM, MKV and MP4, letting you choose which parts of any video to keep.

swf2avi is a freeware tool to convert or batch-convert Flash movies (swf) to bitmaps, bitmap-sequences (bmp, jpg) or videos (avi).

Video2Photo captures frames from a video source (DV camcorder, Webcam, live stream) or video file (AVI, DivX or MPEG). Play your movie within the application and select individual frames to extract. Choose to apply effects or processing options to all or selected frames, including color corrections, cropping, old photo effect, and more. Exported image as still images, HTML galleries, Flash, or AVI.

Video mp3 Extractor
Video mp3 Extractor is easy to use tool to extract audio from Video AVI, ASF, WMV files. Output audio file is mp3, and you can listen extracted audio with your mp3 player without any additional conversion or modification. Video mp3 Extractor provide simple and fast method to rip audio from video and save as MP3.

Video Thumb
VideoThumb views any webcam/video source in a small thumb-sized window above your systray. Version 2 no longer runs on VFW but on DirectX9, so it’s faster, better and more! Select any device at any format, display it in a window, fullscreen or in desktop mode! You can select another video device/size/format from the tray menu. Double-click to show, double-click to hide. Specify width/height/position with shortcut.

VirtualDubMod is a video capture, editing and processing utility for Windows. It has batch-processing capabilities for processing large numbers of files and can be extended with third-party video filters. VirtualDubMod ads MPEG-2 support to the base configuration of VirtualDub, in addition to native support for MPEG-1 and BMP.

VLC Player
VLC Media Player is a highly portable audio and video playback application for a wide range of formats including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MP4, DivX, MP3, OGG, OGM, DVD, VCD, and a number of streaming protocols. VLC player also acts as a server to stream unicast and multicast media. Numerous subtitle methodologies are also supported.

YAMB is a graphical interface for MP4Box, a command line MP4 multiplexer and editor. YAMB will create, split and join MP4 or 3GP files containing video streams with M4V, CMP, h.264, h.263, AVI, MPEG, VOB, OGG, and QCP, as well as many compatible audio streams. Supports SubRip, GPAC, MicroDVD and TeXML subtitles, as well as OGM and GPAC chapters. YAMB extracts audio and video from most streams. File information is viewable in YAMB.