Format Factory is a free, multi-purpose media converter with a solid set of conversion capabilities for multiple audio, video and image file formats, but also other useful functions such as CD/DVD ripping. Moreover, its user interface makes file conversion the easiest task in the world. Format Factory is truly one of those tools designed to make our lives easier and provide one solution for pretty much all file conversion needs.
Format Factory’s install package is only 40 MB large and the install process itself is simple, smooth and finishes in a matter of seconds. Still, be careful when advancing through setup windows as when the install is done you will be prompted to add the Ask Toolbar and change your browser’s homepage to Ask.com. Other than that the installation is uneventful and you’ll be ready to use the program in no time.
Concerning system requirements Format Factory is compatible with all versions of Windows starting with 2000 and requires 112 MB of free hard disk space for the installation folder.
Format Factory’s interface allows you to see at first glance all the available functions and advance gradually into specific tasks. The main categories (Video, Audio, Picture, ROM Device DVD/CD/ISO and Advanced) are displayed in the left column while the main area shows detailed information about the conversion process. When choosing one of the main options, you will be presented with related tasks.
For example when you choose Video a sub-menu will appear with all of the supported video conversion actions such as All to Mobile Device, All to MP4, All to AVI, All to 3GP…etc. Selecting any of those will open a separate window where you can set up the conversion process (add files/folders, select output folder and settings) and hit the OK button when you’re done. Then, the settings window will close and all of the selected files will show up in the main area of the program and you’re ready to start the conversion process.
The interface is indeed very intuitive and it allows pretty much any type of user to benefit from all of the program’s capabilities. As a free program, Format Factory’s GUI displays adware but it does not hinder the user in any way.
Besides file conversion, Format Factory has a few other useful features such as CD/DVD ripping and ISO file creation and compression. Additionally, by accessing the Advanced option has a Video joiner, Audio joiner and a muxing function.
- Small, stable program.
- Supports conversion from and to a wide variety of file formats: MP4/3GP/MPG/AVI/WMV/FLV/SWF (video), MP3/WMA/AMR/OGG/AAC/WAV (audio), JPG/BMP/PNG/TIF/ICO/GIF/TGA (images).
- Intuitive, easy to use interface.
- Supports 60 different languages.
- There is adware present during the install process and within the program’s interface although it does not obscure its functions nor does it cause annoyance when using the application.
It’s hard to find a media converter as versatile as Format Factory, but if you don’t feel it’s the right solution for you, we advise you to take a look at Handbrake, Exact Audio Copy, Freemake Video Converter and Media Coder.
There may be file formats that are not supported by Format Factory, but in terms of versatility this tool is hard to beat. As long as you’re looking to convert popular file formats, this application stands as an accessible solution for doing that in a painless, straightforward process.