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Video Transcription and Converting to .mp4

How to Convert a Video File into MP4 (for free!)

If you have a lot of videos that you want to have transcribed, it can be an idea to compress them into smaller files in order to upload them to your chosen video transcription service. If your videos are especially large (it’s not rare to have videos that are a couple of Gigabytes or more), they may take several hours to upload to your chosen transcription service if they are not compressed. And that’s if they can even accept really large files.

Converting Video

In many cases you will end up having to post hard copies of your videos via snail mail, which not only impacts on your turnaround time, but also means a higher admin cost due to the time it takes your chosen service to convert and upload your video themselves. You could try uploading your videos to YouTube, but if they are confidential and sensitive this may not be a viable option.
One solution is to convert your video file into an mp4 format. This can be done quickly and easily and best of all, the software you will need is free! It’s called Handbrake and in this post I’m going to show you how to use it.

First, here’s the video:


Search for, download and install a copy of Handbrake from Save the where it is easy for you to find (like the desktop). Then open it up!
On the main screen, select Source’ under the File’ toolbar. From here, select Video file’ and then open the video file that you would like to compress.
Once you have selected the video that want to compress, go to Destination’, then File’ and select where you want to save your video (i.e. on the desktop or a designated folder).
Then on the Output Settings’ under Container’, check that mp4′ is selected.
Next, simply select Start’ and wait for your video to convert. This could take a few minutes, depending on the length and size of your video file.
Once your video has been converted into an mp4 format, you can quickly and easily upload it for transcription. Alternatively you can store it on your computer more conveniently without it using up a ton of memory on your hard drive.

Video files come in a variety of formats, but when it comes to universal playability and online sharing, few options are as versatile as the MP4 format. Whether you want to edit your home videos, share clips online, or ensure your content can be viewed across various devices, knowing how to convert your video files to MP4 is a valuable skill set to have as a content creator, tech enthusiast, or even as a casual user.

This instructional guide will walk you through the process of converting a video file into the MP4 format using free software. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can easily convert your videos to MP4, ensuring they are accessible and of high quality.

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Choose a Free Video Converter Software

The first step is choosing a reliable and user-friendly video converter software. There are many free options available, and some popular choices include HandBrake, Any Video Converter, and Freemake Video Converter. Each of these tools offers different features and user interfaces, so you can select one that suits your preferences.

2. Install and Launch the Software

Once you’ve selected a video converter, download the software from a trusted source. After the download is complete, follow the installation instructions. Launch the program once it’s installed and you’re ready to start converting your videos.

3. Add the Video File for Conversion

With the video converter software open, look for an option to add your video file. This is often represented by a button labelled ‘Add file’ or a similar command. Navigate to the location of your video file, select it, and click ‘Open’ or the equivalent command to add it to the conversion queue.

4. Select MP4 as the Output Format

After you’ve added the video file, find the output format options. Select MP4 from the list of available formats. Some software may refer to MP4 as ‘H.264’ or ‘MPEG-4’ in the output format settings.

5. Choose Output Quality and Settings

Most video converter software will allow you to adjust the output quality and settings for the MP4 file. It’s crucial to consider the file size, especially if you plan to share it online or store it on a device with limited space. Generally, a higher quality setting will result in a larger file size.

Adjusting Video and Audio Settings

  • Video Codec and Bitrate: These settings can affect video quality and file size. Keep in mind that higher bitrates will result in higher video quality and file sizes.
  • Audio Codec and Bitrate: The same concept applies to audio. Choose the desired audio codec and a suitable bitrate, depending on your preferences and requirements.
  • Resolution and FPS: The resolution of your video (e.g., 1080p, 4K) will significantly impact the file size. Also, ensure the FPS (frames per second) is set to match the original video or your desired output.

6. Initiate the Conversion Process

Once you’re satisfied with the output format and quality, it’s time to start the conversion process. Look for a button like ‘Start’, ‘Convert’, or ‘Save’. Click this button to begin the video file conversion. Depending on the size of the video and the speed of your computer, this process might take some time.

7. Locate and Save the Converted MP4 File

After the conversion is complete, the video converter software will provide you with a location where the MP4 file was saved. Navigate to this location and verify that the MP4 file is in good order. Additionally, check playback to ensure the video quality and audio are to your satisfaction.

Tips and Tricks

Ensure File Compatibility

Before you start the conversion, verify the software supports the input file format. Common video file formats include AVI, MOV, WMV, and FLV, among others. If your chosen converter software does not support the input format, you may need to use a different program or convert the video to a compatible format first.

Optimize Settings for Quality and Size

Understanding the impact of changing video and audio settings can help you optimize the output file. If you’re concerned about file size, experiment with lower bitrates for the video and audio. Be careful, though; if you set them too low, the video may become pixelated, and the audio may degrade significantly.

Final Thoughts

Converting a video file to MP4 is a simple but valuable process for any content creator or user who wants to enhance their digital media experience. By selecting the right software, understanding how to adjust file settings, and learning best practices for a smooth conversion, you ensure your videos are ready for any platform or device. With this guide, you now have the skills to convert your video files to MP4 like a pro, and it’s all done for free!

Remember to always double-check file compatibility, optimize for quality and size, and to be patient during the conversion process. Enjoy the flexibility and usability that the MP4 format provides for all your video needs.

If you would like more information about video transcription, or would just like to know a little bit more about some of the other services that we provide, please feel free to contact us via email, instant message or telephone at any time.

We provide transcription services, translation services, subtitling services and live captioning services.


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Transcriptionist and Virtual Assistant. View all posts by Samantha