XMedia Recode is an audio and video conversion tool that supports just about every format around: 3GP, 3G2, AAC, AC3, AIFF, AMR, APE, ASF, AVI, AVISynth, AU, DVD (unprotected), DIVX, DTS, E-AC3, FLAC, FLV, H261, H263, H264, M2TS, M1V, M2V, M3U, M3U8, M4A, M4P, M4V, MKA, MKV, MMF, MP2, MP3, MP4, MP4V, MPE, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MOV, QT, OGG, OGM, OGV, PVA, REC, RM, RMVB, SVCD, SWF, THP, TS, TRP, TP0, VCD, VOB, WebM, WMA, WMV, WML and WPL.
Compatibility is great, then, and multimedia geeks will also appreciate the fine control they get over the conversion process. You're able to choose the video codec, frame rate, bit rate, GOP length, resolution, aspect ratio and a host of other advanced options. And that's just the start. If you're reducing the size of a video, for instance, XMedia Recode doesn't just apply some random scaling algorithm: you get to decide exactly how it's done, and there are nine options available.
If that all sounds too complicated then there is a simpler approach on offer, fortunately. The program comes with wide selection of profiles that define the best way of carrying out conversions for a particular device or task, and if you choose one of these then every other setting is selected automatically. So if you want to convert a video to play on some Apple device, for instance, you'd choose the Apple profile, then your particular hardware (the iPad is supported), click Add Job > Encode and then watch as your file is created.
XMedia Recode is an incredibly powerful program, then, but it does have one small problem. While the author claims support for five different languages, it's only partly translated from the original German, and the Help appears to be only available in German. This shouldn't be a major issue as it's generally obvious how everything will work, but if you have problems and don't speak the language then it may take some trial and error to figure out any solution.
XMedia Recode is a powerful, effective and highly configurable file conversion tool. The lack of help in anything other than German could be an occasional problem, though