Freeware Review: Free OGV Video Converter

These days when most website designers feature videos on their sites, what they would do is first upload the clip onto YouTube and then embed it into their own webpage.  This is a cool option, but recently I decided to take a different route for a number of reasons.  For instance YouTube has the tendency to automatically play a really-short video twice (i.e. double its length by looping it), which I find really annoying.  So as an alternative, I wanted to try a technique which I haven't used in a long time - uploading a video onto my own web-hosting plan and then embedding it into a webpage using normal HTML code.

When using the do-it-yourself method via HTML5, it is recommended that you upload three-different videos - i.e. the same clip but in three different formats.  Those formats would be MP4, WEBM and OGV (aka OGG).  It's very easy to find a software/website to convert a video to MP4, though not so much WEBM.  Also finding an OGV converter can be challenging.  However I did recently come across one, called Free OGV Video Converter, whereas you can convert videos to OGV offline quite simply.

A screenshot from Free OGV Converter.

Free OGV Converter was designed by a Polish programmer named Jacek Pazera.  It has a relatively-simple interface as it serves just one purpose, to convert videos to OGV.  Of course there are other freewares, like Format Factory, which can convert video clips to a number of formats.  But Format Factory - or at least the version I'm currently able to run on my computer - doesn't do OGV.  And I would presume this is because OGV is not a well-known format.

Now the reason it is recommended that self-uploaded videos be in three different formats is because different browsers/devices can play some formats and not others.  So I used this technique for a video I recently uploaded onto GHfind advertising rattan handbags from an online shop called Dede's Closet.  At first my intent was to also feature all three formats on this very post to illustrate what I'm talking about in terms of how some will play and others not.  However Blogger (i.e. YouTube's cousin, which I'm using to host this blog) automatically reformatted the videos, thus making them universally playable:

So I featured the above video on GHfind using HTML5 code whereas the browser would determine which of the aforementioned three formats to play.  On Firefox it is the MP4 that loads.  However when I click the play button, nothing is happening.

On Chrome, the OGV version loads.  And it's playing without any issues.

Then I tried another, less-popular browser called SeaMonkey which, like Firefox, was created by Mozilla.  And it also manages to play the OGV format without any issues.  But the Free OGV Video Converter automatically looped the clip, like I was complaining about with YouTube.  Thus instead of being its original length of 1:33, the OGV is actually 3:05 (i.e. 1:33 x 2).

Meanwhile the Android has not been as friendly.  I opened the webpage in two different mobile browsers - Chrome and TubeMate.  In both cases it is the MP4 that is loading.  But neither one of them are actually playing, although you can hear the audio on Chrome.  However in both cases the player itself features a button whereas you can download the video directly onto your phone.

CONCLUSION

By contrast when you embed a video onto website by first uploading it onto YouTube, it plays on virtually every browser and all modern devices.  That's one of the benefits of utilizing the services of the most-ubiquitous internet company on Earth.

But that being noted, a person may still opt to host a video him or herself using HTML5 as opposed to streaming it from YouTube.  In such cases, the uploader should be prepared to face comparability issues in terms of the clip actually displaying on different browsers.  And as illustrated by the example above they should also take the OGV format seriously, because this is the version which some browsers, even Chrome itself, currently prefers.

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