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Streaming Video: Freemake

Tips and tricks for better quality in Streaming Video

Freemake Video Converter


Freemake Video Converter will rip video from DVD or convert computer video files from one format to another. 

When set to leave video characteristics "Same as Source," the aspect ratio of the input will be reproduced in the output, meaning there will be no black bars in the output, at least so long as there were none already embedded in the input. More frequently, though, the objective will be to reduce the size of the input video somewhat, and this requires caution.

In the example shown below, Freemake has read in the characteristics of a DVD and is ready to begin the ripping process. The red arrow points to the characteristics of the input DVD as Freemake states them. It says that the input is 720 by 480, an aspect ratio of 1.5, but it also says the aspect ratio is 4 by 3, or 1.3333. These are mutually exclusive descriptions.

If new size settings for the output file are to be set manually, the aspect of ratio of 4:3 must be used in order to produce an output file with no black bars. Thus a desired output width of 640 must be paired with a height of 480 (=640/1.333). A ratio of 1.5 would pair the 640 with a height of about 428 (=640/1.5, approximately), and the output file would have black bars.

Having selected an input file and specified an output file type, the program summarizes the settings that will be used and offers an opportunity to override them. Here, the default setting "Same as source" says that most settings will try to retain the characteristics of the input file. Clicking on the blue gear icon, indicated below by the red arrow, allows those settings to be overriden.

The screen for customizing the settings looks like this:

Click on the button labeled "Frame size" to choose a starting height and width close to the desired output values, usually a width close to 640.  This will load values in the Width and Height boxes, and allow those values to be edited. The value placed in the height box should minimize black bars, which usually means respecting the aspect ratio of the input file (it is up to the user to ensure that the entered values have the required aspect ratio).The Adjustment box should be set to Original, unless some kind of cropping is desired. 

There is no way to specify a desired file size, but file size can be reduced by reducing the bit rate. Click in the Bitrate type box to set the value there to "Custom." This will enable the Bitrate box immediately to the right, allowing entry of the custom value.

Audio channels should also be set to 2 (stereo) or 1 (mono), as more than two channels is usually just a waste of file space with online streaming.