With so many devices and so many different file formats on each device, getting a video to play on your specific device can be a royal pain in the backside. Whether it’s the Apple TV, iPhone or even Android device, you’ve often got to convert your videos into the format that the device recognises. And if you’re downloading a video from YouTube that you want to put on your device to play offline, this can be a big issue.
That’s where software packages like APowerSoft Video Converter for Mac come in. This application enables you to download videos from various sites (including YouTube) and then convert them easily and quickly to the right format for your device. But, there’s a plethora of other applications out there, so in this review I look at how this one stacks up.
Firstly, downloading and installing is a breeze, just as with most Mac software. Double click on the package installer and follow the prompts. The application will be installed in the Applications folder as APowersoft Video Converter For Mac. Since it starts with A, it’ll probably be somewhere at the top of your Applications folder. If you haven’t bought the software yet you might find the trial version quite limited, but at least you’ll get a feel for what it does and whether you like it, so it’s worth playing with the trial first.
The first thing I noticed on installing the product (and it could be simply that at time of writing I’m only looking at a trial version) is that the Mac version is quite limited compared to the Windows version. This is disappointing. OSX isn’t the fringe OS that it once used to be and the Mac market, whilst not as large as the Windows market is still significant these days. The product webpage talks about editing your video and importing subtitles, but I couldn’t see where this was done in my copy of the app.
However, APowersoft Video Converter for Mac does do what it says on the tin. It converts videos, and it seems to do it pretty quickly too, although my MacBook Pro is all SSD drives with 16G of RAM so your mileage here may vary. Converting a video is very straightforward, simply click on the Converter icon at the top left of the toolbar and then either click the Add button or simply drag and drop your video from Finder onto the Application. Once you’ve chosen the video to convert, choose the output format by clicking the drop down list at the bottom which will bring up an options window with dozens of different formats (which can be sorted by Device, as per the screenshot to the right) – choose the format you want and click the large blue Convert button. When the conversion is done you’ll be able to open it up in Finder and move it to wherever you want – or play it right there if it’s a format that Mac supports.
The convert screen has one nice little feature too – it’ll allow you to play the video you’re wanting to convert in a little ‘mini’ player over on the right. This is handy as it means you can check whether you’ve picked up the right video from within the app itself, reducing the time you need to mess around if you’ve got lots of videos with similar names for example.
The converter also allows you to Burn To DVD but I haven’t tried this option as I currently have no DVD burner on the Mac, although first glance at this feature seems to indicate that you need to download APowersoft’s free DVD creator software to do this.
The video downloader part of the Apowersoft Video Converter For Mac product appears to function well, and works quite similarly to Wondershare’s AllMyTube downloader in that the easiest way to download the video is to navigate to it in a browser, then copy the URL and use the ‘Paste URL’ button to get the application to fetch the download. One aspect where this product seems (at least at first use) to be superior to AllMyTube is that the YouTube videos I downloaded came in as MKV files (which means they’d import into Kodi with no need for conversion at all as Kodi likes MKV format – they would however need converting for AppleTV). I’m not sure if that’s just the particular videos I downloaded, or whether the conversion is happening in place by Apowersoft.
The product also allows you to queue downloads and apply a very basic scheduling algorithm so that you can get the videos downloading when you’re in bed asleep for example. This can be very handy if your bandwidth into your house is limited and you don’t want to spoil your browsing experience during the day for example.
The video I downloaded (just for trial purposes to review the software) came in just fine, and downloaded quickly.
The program comes with what appears to be a nifty little idea but in practise isn’t implemented very well. The idea appears to be that an embedded browser allows you to visit YouTube (or another website that has videos which you wish to download) and browse for the video you want to download – thus eliminating the need for you to switch applications between your browser and Apowersoft. Unfortunately, when I tried it, it automatically detected all the videos on the page and attempted to download them all, resulting in a bunch of duplicate downloads – wasted disk space and wasted bandwidth. I think this option of the application is a good idea, but currently badly implemented. A button beside each video to select which videos you wish it to auto-download would probably be a good idea here. There is the option to turn off Video Detect in the bottom right corner there, but if you turn that off I can’t see any way to easily download the video then.
I’ve just used this program to convert a 5.5Gigabyte file which wouldn’t fit on a FAT32 USB drive (to plug in to my TV) and it’s converted the file about 3 times faster than AVC’s Video Converter – which took 20 minutes to produce a zero byte file. The process was simple, quick and worked and although I reduced the file from 1080p to 720p, the resulting file went from 5.5GBytes to around 600Megabytes – which was my intention.
Steve is a paramedic in Victoria, Australia who is also an ex-IT Consultant and currently uses all manner of MacOS software in his everyday life. So he usually tends to write about his experiences with that. But sometimes he'll write about medical, political or other stuff that might (or might not!) be of interest