You may be asking:
* How do I convert videos to my Zune player?
* How do I put videos on my Zune?
* How do I put movies on my 8gb Zune player?
* How do I get DVDs onto my Zune?
The Microsoft Zune player is one of the best handheld multimedia devices today. It is probably the only media player out there actually giving Apple’s iPod a run for its money. With the Zune, you not only enjoy your favorite MP3s, but also the latest innovation of Microsoft that lets you play videos while you are on the go.
However, you need to understand that the Zune will only play a specific video file format. This means that your average MPEG-1, MPEG-2,DivX, MOV, QickTime, MP4, and AVI video file format will never play on your Zune. So, if you want to play your favorite videos on your Zune player, you may want to get a software program that will be able to convert your computer video files to the video file format that Zune can play.
If you would like to convert unprotected movie DVDs to Zune format, there are many video conversion products that are capable of converting DVD video to a format that can be played on the Zune. Many of these products are general purpose toolkits. They can convert almost any kind of video to almost any other format, but the number of different options they offer makes the process a bit complicated.
Some conversion tools perform the conversion in two stages. They rip the video to an uncompressed video (usually AVI format) and then convert the AVI video to the Windows Media WMV format used by your Zune. This takes twice as long, and also requires a lot more disk space, since the AVI file produced by the first stage of the conversion is much larger than the final output.
With only a couple of clicks, a Zune Video Converter can convert movies and video straight to Zune Video format then move them directly to your Zune.
There are dozens of programs available, making it hard for the die hard Zune consumer to know which one they should spend their hard earned money on.
You should look for a program with:
#an easy to use interface
# a fast conversion rate
# that produces good audio and video quality
Here are reviews of the Top 3 Zune Video Converters
To make your life easier, here are reviews of the 3 best programs on the market.
1. Cucusoft Zune Video Converter DVD to Zune Suite
CucuSoft Zune Video Converter Suite is an excellent, easy to use yet powerful set of tools that allows Zune users to put videos and audio from virtually any media format onto their Microsoft Zune players. This really is a must have piece of software for the die hard Zune fan!
The package includes two powerful tools: DVD to Zune Converter, which will encode your DVD into mpeg-4 video file format, and Zune Video Converter, a very accurate mp4 encoder application that can convert almost any media format.
Regarding input, Zune Converter Suite supports DVD movies of almost any kind as long as they are not right-protected (most original DVDs and video games). MP4 and WMV formats are fully supported. DVD to Zune Converter also allows choosing both subtitles and audio tracks (English, French, Spanish, etc.) independently. The other application in the suite (Zune Video Converter) lets you perform conversion on almost any video file: AVI, DivX, XviD, MPEG, WMV, and QuickTime MOV video files are fully supported, as well as Realmedia files (RM, RMV).
Zune Video Converter Suite also allows for extracting audio-only clips in MP3 format.
Output format can also be easily customized, with the defaults set at H.264 video format (up to 768 Kbps, with a size of 640×480 %u201CTV Size%u201D at 30fps), or MPEG-4 (up to 2.5 Mbps, 480×480 at 30fps).
Additionally, the suite allows creation of split resulting video files by DVD chapters, as well as the usual video cropping modes (4:3, 16:9, etc.) Unluckily, only Zune-compatible files can be produced (i.e. not capable of producing, for instance, MOV or RM files).
The conversion rate is extremely fast even with default options, and the program even lets you watch your movie while you are converting it to fit your Zune.
Ease Of Use * * * * *
The easy-to-use interface makes this suite extremely easy to use for both beginners and advanced users alike.
Ease Of Installation And Setup: * * * * *
CucuSoft Zune Video Converter Suite is installed like most Windows programs: double click to open the installer, then follow the on-screen instructions and you are done. The program has a very quick installation process and like most new software installer, you do not need to restart your computer.
Quality Of Copy * * * * 1/2
The Zune Converter Suite performs a really good conversion job. The quality of the resulting pictures depends of course on the capabilities of your own system; but even under the minimum system requirements, the Zune Converter Suite produces nice quality videos.
As with most video to Zune converters, the lower the speed, the better the resulting output, and vice versa.
The CucuSoft Zune Video Converter Suite takes first place on my list. I recommend it especially for the non-techy Zune consumer.
2)DvdXsoft Zune Video Converter Suite
DvdXsoft DVD to Zune Converter is a great application designed to fulfill the conversion needs of every video and music lover. An outstanding conversion speed and an impressive quality of results are the main advantages of this program making it appealing to novice users as well as to DVD-ripping experts.
The dvdXsoft DVD to Zune Converter is able to process many types of DVD discs, including some of the more “tricky” ones that cannot be ripped by other applications. It generates highly compatible MP4 files, which will work perfectly with any Zune player.
The first feature to be noticed is the extremely fast DVD to zune conversion. The dvdXsoft DVD to Zune Converter boasts one of the fastest conversion rates.
This application is also smart: it implements several conversion and error correction algorithms automatically, ensuring very high quality resulting videos with a more than decent size/quality relationship. This program leads the industry in audio and video quality.
The dvdXsoft DVD to Zune Converter can take any kind of DVD disc as an input, running smoothly and efficiently on every single one of them. It can produce files of many formats, including MPEG-4, Xvid and the H.264 video format.
Experienced users will greatly appreciate the list of different resolutions, audio and video bitrates, frame rates and audio frequencies available.
The dvdXsoft DVD to Zune Converter features an attractive interface, consistent with other applications from dvdXsoft.
Ease Of Use: * * * * *
The dvdXsoft DVD to Zune Converterhas a nice, simple yet powerful interface that can be used by anyone without any previous DVD- ripping experience. Just a click and the process begins: no bells no whistles. This makes this application highly recommended for first-timers!
Ease Of Installation And Setup: * * * *1/2
Installing the dvdXsoft DVD to Zune Converter into your computer is a breeze, as the setup process is pretty similar to any other software installation process under Windows.
While testing, I experienced a small problem on only one of my trials. An analysis reported that it had nothing to do with the application itself, but to a hardware problem.
The only negative aspect of this program is that it is not lightweight and so it consumes more resources than other programs in the industry.
Quality Of Copy * * * * *
Outstanding. The resulting videos just cannot be enhanced, they are perfect. Whichever format you choose for output, the dvdXsoft DVD to Zune Converter gets the most out of it.
The dvdXsoft Zune DVD video converter is 2nd on my list. I recommend it especially for consumer especially for superior audio and video quality.
3. PQ DVD to Zune Video Converter Suite
PQ DVD to Zune Video Converter Suite combines two great tools: the PQ Zune Movie Video converter and the PQ DVD to Zune converter, into a single all-in-one software package.
All Zune fans will find these tools to be very efficient and easy to use. A very fast, amazingly high quality conversion and a great set of features make this package one of the finest ones available.
The PQ DVD to Zune video converter suite fully supports hardware video accelerator cards, which is especially useful at playback time.
Both included programs (PQ DVD to Zune converter and PQ Zune Movie Video Converter, which are also available separately) are fully compatible with the latest high resolution format (H.264 HQ, MPEG-4 encoding.)
The program can make MP4 Zune-compatible videos from a number of sources, including DVD-video discs and several types of files, including Tivo, XviD, DivX, Video for Windows AVI files, Windows Media (WMV) files, MPEG video files (MPG and MPEG), VCD and SVCD (DAT) files, Realmedia video (RM and RMVB), QuickTime, and MOV files ideo format.
The suite also supports the DTS Surround and Dolby sound specifications, and is capable of converting most popular audio files into Zune audio.
This program boasts an ultra high speed process. The PQ DVD to Zune Video Converter Suite is one of the fastest converter suites available in the market. The manufacture claim that the package is able to rip a DVD into Zune video format up to 4 times faster than any other application; after various tests, I definitely agree that this program has an extremely fast conversion rate.
The user can select the audio and subtitle tracks, choosing from several different languages.
Ease of use: * * * *
A relatively simple, attractively designed user interface and strategically placed controls makes the PQ DVD to Zune video converter suite one of the simplest packages to use for the beginner, without sacrificing any of the features that advanced users just love to find on a Zune converter software package.
Ease of Installation and Setup: * * * * *
The PQ DVD to iPod video converter suite autorun disc starts the installation program automatically upon insertion, and the whole setup process is finished in a couple of clicks.
Quality of copy * * * *
The PQ DVD to Zune video converter suite is able to produce very high quality Zune videos.
The software implements native support for several CPU multimedia extensions, such as SSE, SSE2, 3DNow! and even MMX. By taking advantage of this, the resulting Zune video quality is as high as it can be.
The PQ DVD to Zune video converter Suite places 3rd on my list. I recommend it for the Zune consumer who is especially interested in a very fast conversion rate.