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Video Codec Conversion with VirtualDub


June 13th 2004
February 23rd 2009

There are several shareware and freeware applications that allow you to convert between codecs and video formats - one such tool is Avery Lee's VirtualDub. VirtualDub is a free program under GNU General Public License.

  1. I opened an existing AVI file from my hard disk in VirtualDub by choosing the File | Open video file... option.

  2. VirtualDub shows a preview of the AVI video - actually two previews (see screenshot). Your two previews could be side by side or top and bottom. I could now use VirtualDub's advanced features to choose a segment of the video, but for now I just want to convert the codec of the entire video.

  3. Now, choose Video | Compression. This will open the 'Select Video Compression' dialog box where you can choose any of the video codecs installed on your system.

    If you need to distribute your video, or include it in a presentation that has to be distributed, choose a common video codec like Cinepak or Intel Indeo (see screenshot). Click OK.

  4. Choose File | Save as AVI... and choose a name and location for the output video file.

  5. VirtualDub starts saving the new video output file with a new codec applied (see screenshot).

VirtualDub does so much more than what you learnt in this basic tutorial -for instance, you can select a segment within the video file to save as a new video file. You can also combine separate video files and resize videos. Search Google and you'll find so many VirtualDub tutorials.

Having said that, I had problem opening DV AVI captures in VirtualDub - and VirtualDub is best at converting codecs within AVI video files. If you need to convert other video formats, you should look at another program.


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