There are a number of software packages that I always install on a new computer when I’m first setting it up. One of these is a free application called SUPER, which stands for Simplified Universal Player Encoder & Renderer. Basically SUPER is a free piece of software which can be used to convert a video or audio file from one format to another.
While there are of course many packages out there to do this, there are a number of things that I really like about this one.
1. Its price tag – hard to beat 🙂
2. The sheer range of formats it can handle and convert to. These include fairly standard formats such as wmv and mov, but also a number of formats for playing on mobile devices (see image to the right of this text for some examples).
3. While each output format has its own preset audio and video settings, it is possible to tweak all of these should you wish to. For instance, if you’d prefer to have a smaller file size, you can choose lower settings for audio and/or video, or increase these for better quality but with a larger file size.
4. You can also choose to disable audio or video entirely, meaning you can run a video through SUPER to remove the actual video from it and end up with just an audio file (again, in any number of formats such as mp3 and wma), or likewise you can create a video file which has the audio removed from it and just has the video remaining.
5. All of the codecs are built in when you install it, no need to go sourcing or installing extra ones. One install does all.
6. You can drag-and-drop a number of files into SUPER for conversion and it will deal with them in turn, so if you have a bunch of files to convert you don’t have to do them one by one, SUPER can batch convert them.
7. The finished product is usually of a very good standard. I have found on almost all occasions SUPER to do a better conversion job than a number of commercial converters that I have tried over the years.
The main criticism I would have is not in relation to SUPER itself, but to the process of downloading it. It is hosted on a site which contains a number of distracting links to other video conversion software (!) and which makes you go through a number of pages before you finally find the link to download the installer file for SUPER. Fortunately, there is a guide which walks you through this process (available here) and you should definitely follow this if you plan to download SUPER. It is however well worth the trawl if you ever need to convert a video or audio file.