One of the things that really bugs me about using video is all the different video file formats and sizes needed for each device. It’s a crazy nightmare of different standards and sizes.
Even with a cheat sheet it’s not easy to know which video file format and size goes on which device. Why doesn’t someone develop a simple drag and drop, point and click app that does the dirty work while I sit back and watch?
The Converting Video Blues
I’ve been around digital video files for a few decades, Mac and PC. The mess of file formats isn’t getting better. It’s getting worse. The only good thing is that our Macs are blazing fast.
iTunes and iMovie improve the conversion and upload process.
All you need is a finished video clip and you can point and click your way to an upload or sync.
Seriously, wouldn’t it be better if we had a single video file format that would work everywhere?
Yes, but where would the fun be in that? Instead, we have to rely on the ingenuity of Mac app developers to make the complex easy.
Drag And Drop, Point and Click
This is the short story of a little Mac app that could—Permute. It converts media using drag and drop, point and click, simple, easy-to-understand presets.
Permute: permute |pərˈmyoōt|
verb [ trans. ] technical
submit to a process of alteration, rearrangement, or permutation : we wish to permute the order of the bytes.
ORIGIN late Middle English (also in the sense [interchange] ): from Latin permutare ‘change completely,’ from per- ‘through, completely’ + mutare ‘to change.’
So, Permute changes files from one file format and size to another. Drag, drop, point to a preset, click.
That doesn’t look too intimidating, does it. Grab the video file you want to convert, drop it on Permute. Select the specific format or destination device you want, and click the Start button.
That’s it. You’re done. At least, your part is done.
Permute begins churning away converting the file—video or audio—to your selection. It’s a 64-bit, multi-core aware app so it works quickly on modern Macs.
What if you know more about media file conversions than the rest of us in the point and click crowd? You’ll love Preferences.
This is where you can get your Mac geek on.
Preferences are loaded with, well, preferences. You can modify the settings in the pull down menu to change the Bitrate, modify the audio channels, change from PAL to NTSC, modify the maximum Bitrate, and much more.
Permute is almost the best of two worlds.
Simple and easy to use right up front. A little more geeky with options to modify the presets behind the scenes.
There are other options, too. Once a file is finished processing, for example, Permute will play a sound, bounce a Dock icon, put your Mac to sleep. You can also control where the finished file goes before the conversion process begins.
There’s plenty more where that came from. Permute isn’t even expensive. What’s missing? It would be nice to have more detail about each of the destination devices and the various video and audio formats to help with the education process. Otherwise, Permute is well done.