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How to Convert WMV files to AVI or MOV with Freeware Programs

written by: theinkandpen (Robert Mullon)•edited by: Christian Cawley•updated: 3/20/2009

If you need to do some video-editing work and are stuck with a .wmv file, this article will show you how to convert windows media video to other formats.

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    The Windows Media Video format is useful for its small size and because the data compression is optimal for streaming over the internet. However, the format isn’t often supported by editing programs and it can be difficult to add effects such as transitions or fade-outs in Windows Movie Maker. In such cases, it is better to work with formats such as .AVI, MPEG or .MOV which is easily edited with Quicktime.

    Converting .WMV to other formats is easy and you can do it with freeware programs which offer as much customization as commercial products. You can also use one-click conversion if you feel you are overwhelmed with the many options available; such as adjusting frame-rate, aspect-ratio and ultimately determining size and quality.

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    WMV to AVI

    A good freeware program available for video conversion is AVI&WMV, which will allow you to convert the WMV format to AVI and also convert many of the popular video formats into WVM. You can also batch-convert more than one file by dragging and dropping, and the conversion times are relatively fast.

    To convert using this program:

    1) Download and install from the link given.

    2) Start the program and select ‘WMV to AVI’; this is either done via the ‘Convert’ drop-down menu or from the options given in the user interface.

    3) Go to ‘Video’ at the top of the window and select ‘Add Video’ from the drop-down menu.

    4) Once everything is ready click on ‘Convert’ from the user interface.

    There are of course other programs available which are equally as useful for converting between the two formats. One such program is Free WMV to AVI MPEG Converter which also allows you to convert ASF, a similar format.

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    WMV to MOV

    You can convert to MOV format, should you need to do so, with the unimaginatively titled (but still great) MOVtoWMV. The program is similar to the ones listed above and will allow you to convert both ways (MOV to WMV and WMV to MOV) with one-click and at decent conversion speeds. Converting to MOV is also useful when you wish to add audio to your video with minimum fuss, which means as quickly as loading your MOV file into Quicktime and adding an audio track. This is also true with Windows movie maker but you might prefer the MOV format.

    Conversion with MOVtoWMV:

    1) Install and launch the program

    2) Click on the ‘WMV to MOV tab’, on the top

    3) Click on ‘Add WMV video’, the white icon with the green cross

    4) Once ready, click on ‘Convert WMV to MOV’, third icon from left, and wait for it to finish.

    That’s it! All you need to convert the WMV format into the following video formats without paying a penny.