I saw a program River Past’s Audio Convertor is probably the best around and I highly recommend it.)
Claims are all well and good, but how does MediaCoder actually perform? I put it to the test by performing a task that I do often, and one that I cover on this site often: iPod Video conversion. While Videora is free, it is lacking that “easy-to-use” aspect. While I debunked most of the difficulty, there are still a lot of difficult settings to work with in an interface that makes you jump from screen to screen. MediaCoder claims to make the process very easy, so I put it to the test by converted the movie Fearless with Jet Li.
I installed MediaCoder using all of the default installation settings. I noticed Mplayer was installed with the program, which is how I suspect the program does the actual transcoding. Anyway, I opened up the program. The first thing that I noticed that was particularly strange is that it opens up in your web browser, showing a window that is basically asking you to donate. That’s nice. I scrolled down and pressed the button to “Start MediaCoder”. The actual program then started. I right-clicked on the open white area and was presented with a large context menu. The only thing I did was press “Change Output Directory”, and then set it to my Desktop. I recommend you do the same. After that, I simply drug my AVI file into the white area, and an entry appeared. I clicked once on the entry to select it, and then went over to the Devices menu. I chose plug-ins from the drop-down, and finally “Digital Media Player”. Why they call it Digital media player as opposed to iPod Video, I have no idea, considering they have a picture of an iPod in the screen that comes up.
In that screen, I changed the bitrate to 384 kbps just because this was a test and not a real important video for me. The default values would be appropriate for most situations, which is something I like a lot. Then I simply pressed the “Start” button, which I feel was much too small. Despite this, the transcoding process then began. I waited.
About thirty-six minutes later, it was done. I don’t know about you, but 36 minutes of transcoding for a 100 minute movie is pretty good. It’s about the same as Videora with comparable settings. I haven’t tried doing the same movie with both, so I can’t tell for sure if either one is faster than the other. It definitely isn’t slower, though. Anyway, I drug the video into iTunes. Or at least I tried to. It wasn’t working. I then tried to play it in VLC Player and it also did not work. Hmm.
So, I tried to redo everything, and this time I chose to use the H264 encoding as opposed to the MP4. This took longer, at 74 minutes, but still did not work. For now, I have given up on using it for iPod converting. I already know how to use Videora, and at least Videora works. I will try to convert my next Premiere video file with MediaCoder and will update this review. However, right now it seems like the program is a lot more dificult to use than originally stated. I really don’t feel like messing with it now simply because I have other programs that do the same thing and work (Video Cleaner and Videora).