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Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate 6.5: Robust, fast, and feature-rich

Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate is an easy and capable ideo conversion utility, but it faces stiff competition from free software such as Freemake Video Converter, as well as pro-level programs such as Sorenson Squeeze 9. At $60, its integrated disc authoring and burning may not be enough to entice users away from the freebies.

Wondershare's interface is wonderfully easy without seeming childish. Drag a file to the program window, select a destination device from the drop-down list on the right, and click on the convert button. There's a large selection of Apple and Samsung devices, a decent selection of Motorola devices, and then...nothing.  Owners of HTC and other brands of devices need to know their format and resolution and select from the list of those that Wondershare also provides.

Video Converter Ultimate can convert multiple videos at once, and preview them all for you while transcoding in small video windows to their left. I found the program roughly equal in performance to the modern competition, though it's not quite as quick with large batches as Sorenson Squeeze 9.

Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate no longer rips commercial DVDs, but it will still author and burn. It's handy to have these capabilities under the same roof. There's a decent selection of menu templates, and you can change the text and background image as well as add your own music to the menu.

You may also download and convert video from the Web. Wondershare provides an add-on for the major browsers, and you can also cut and paste a URL into the program. I didn't have a lot of luck with the plug-in/add-on outside of YouTube, but the program downloaded from a wide variety of Web site URLs emplying Flash video, but not Silverlight.

Wondershare also includes a very capable and smart-looking video player which rivals VLC for features and format support. It actually seemed a bit more stable and bug-free. Alas, it took over all file associations without asking during installation: not a sin, but not polite to be sure.

As I said up front, selling a consumer-grade video converter is a tough row to hoe when there are capable freebies available. But Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate is easy, competent, and fast. There's a free demo (albeit one with watermarks) so give it a whirl--it might just suit your style.

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