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Convert YouTube Videos to MP4 With VLC Media Player

Solve video format incompatibilites with your portable by converting to MP4


Why Convert From FLV to MP4?

The problem with the FLV format (used by video streaming services like YouTube) is that a lot of portable devices like smartphones, PMPs, and tablets don't natively support it. You can of course download apps for the majority of mobile platforms that allow you to play back FLV files. However, not all portables run on mobile operating systems (like Android and iOS) that enable you to use third-party apps. In this case you'll need to convert to a video format that your portable can handle. The MP4 format is generally the one to go for as it is widely supported and gives a good quality/compression ratio. It is a container format which can be used for both audio and video. There are a range of filename extensions associated with it which you might have already encountered -- two popular examples of MP4 video formats include 3GP and M4V.

We've already covered how to extract the audio from a video by creating MP3s using VLC Media Player. The good news is that you can use this same jukebox software program to convert between video formats too. If VLC media player is already you main tool for playing back media then it makes sense to use this rather than downloading unnecessary software to do the same thing.

To see how to use VLC Media Player for converting FLV files to MP4, follow the tutorial below.

Selecting an FLV File to Convert

  1. Click on the Media menu tab at the top of VLC Media Player's screen. From the options list that appears, click on Open (Advanced). You can achieve the same result via the keyboard if preferred by holding down [CTRL] + [SHIFT] keys and then pressing O.
  2. Start choosing a file by clicking the Add... button in the file selection part of the screen. Browse to where the video files you want to work on are located (on your computer or external storage device). Click a file to choose it and then click the Open button.
  3. Look to where the Play button is (near the bottom of the screen). You'll see a down-arrow next to it. Click on this and then select the Convert option. To do this via the keyboard instead, hold down the [Alt] key and press C.

Transcoding to MP4

Now that you've selected your FLV file, it's now time to convert it to MP4.
  1. Before converting to MP4 you'll need to give the destination file a name. To do this, first click the Browse button. Navigate to where the MP4 file is to be saved and type in a name for it in the file name text box -- also ensure the file ends with the .MP4 extension. Click on the Save button to continue.
  2. In the Settings section, click the drop-down menu and choose the Video - H.264 + MP3 (MP4) profile from the list.
To start the process of transcoding to MP4, click the Start button and wait for the new file to be created.

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