Audials One 2020 review

Audials One 2020 is a commercial multimedia application for Microsoft Windows systems to record practically anything that you can play on your devices.

To name just a few core features: record music, movies, series, TV content from numerous Internet sources that include popular services such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, and more.

The program is available for $49.90 on the Audials website; a trial version is also provided for users who want to test the application before they buy it.

Installation of the application on Windows devices is straightforward. The program’s main interface may look intimidating at first thanks to the program’s rich feature set.

audials one 2020 home

The program’s main entry points are listed as sidebar entries on the left. There you find options to switch between the various music and video recording options. The list may confuse new users of the application as differences between music and music streaming, or entertainment and video streaming  may not be clear immediately.

New users may want to open the settings of the application on first run to make configuration adjustments when required. The settings icon may be overlooked easily as it is located as a, rather tiny, icon in the lower left corner of the interface.

Settings open in a new window and reveal lots of options to play with. It would go too far to list them all, but here is a short list of important ones:

  • Select UI color scheme, navigational elements and size/language.
  • Manage Radio stations and sources for the program’s “wish” feature (more about that later).
  • Install additional plugins.
  • Configure audio recording and processing, and video recording options.
  • Set output folders and available storage locations.
  • Bonus: Android and Apple iOS applications to record songs and podcasts.
  • Save audiobooks.

Music and Radio

Music and radio playback and recording options make up a large part of Audials One 2020’s functionality. You find four entries — Music, Radio, Music Streaming, and Playlists — listed in the sidebar navigation.

audials one 2020 recording

A click on Music displays music lists, e.g. charts, compilations or related artists that you can explore directly. You end up with curated lists of music that you can play directly in the interface or record.

Note that you may also use the search field to search for artists or songs directly. Just type the name of an artist or song and a list of suggestions is displayed. Select the artist to get the list of albums and songs that the artist or band released in the past. You may then download all that are presented or individual songs to the system.

One example: a click on the Rock charts displays a list of top Rock tracks in the interface. Controls are provided to play songs directly in Audials One or to record these songs.

Recording is straightforward; all you do is click on the record icon to save a track to the local system. Sources that Audials One 2020 supports include YouTube and other video streaming sites, Spotify, Deezer and other audio streaming sites (when connected).

It is easy to record multiple songs using the application. Just hover over the track and click on the record icon for each that you want downloaded to your system. Downloads start immediately and you may download multiple files at the same time.

All downloaded media files can be played locally in Audials One or any other application on the system after the download completes.

Sometimes, it may happen that a song is not provided by Audials One 2020 (this happens when the default sources don’t return it). That’s where the program’s “wish” feature comes into play. Wishing basically means that you tell the program to look out for a specific song to record it when it becomes available.

The easiest way to add songs to the wishlist is to select Wish under Music. There you find add buttons to add any song to the wishlist. The program scans radio stations when you select the fulfill option.

The difference between Music and Music Streaming is that the latter focuses on specific services such as Spotify, Tidal, Napster, or Apple Music. Audials One 2020 supports other sources as well as it can record anything that is played using the device’s sound card.

Radio resembles what Internet Radio recorders offer. The section displays radio stations sorted by genre (and favorites) or country, and you get options to play stations or record music that is played by these stations.

Audials uses a unique filtering system. If you type a band name or song name in the search field and open Radio (or do so while there already), you get a selection of stations that play the band or song frequently.

Other features that Audials One 2020 supports when it comes to recording music and audio:

  • Options to import and export playlists to Spotify and YouTube.
  • Schedule recordings.
  • Record music in original quality (including Ultra HD, HiFi or Master quality depending on service.
  • Options to add covers and lyrics to songs automatically.
  • Support for over 100,000 Internet Radio stations and over 350,000 podcasts.

Video and Entertainment

audials video recording

Audials One 2020 supports video recordings as well. The service states that its customers may “record content off all the top services, including Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu and live streams without losing quality and circumventing DRM encryption”.

Video recording works in the following way:

  1. Select one of the available services listed in the application.
  2. Audials One 2020 displays several prompts in the beginning. It asks which browser you want to use to load the site.
  3. Click on record to start the recording of the video.

All downloaded videos, movies, and TV shows are listed under Entertainment afterward.

The method that the program uses does not rely on APIs or third-party tools as it records the screen; this means as well that DRM is not circumvented by the application which is important when it comes to the question of legality.

Recorded videos may be watched in the application or other tools that support the downloaded format, or converted using the program.

Other video related features:

  • Audials One 2020 supports batch recording to record multiple videos or movies at once.
  • The program may record TV streams in similar fashion.

Closing words

Audials One 2020 is a universal multimedia downloader and converter for Windows. You may use it to record pretty much anything that plays on the device, be it audio or video, to play or convert the downloaded media files, or transfer files to other devices.

New users may need some time to get used to the massive list of features that the program supports, and some options could be explained better or streamlined to reduce the period of adjustment.

All in all, Audials One 2020 is the ultimate media recording application for Windows devices that records anything that you play on the device (and more).

Now You: do you use programs to record music or video?

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Kodi 19 may break some add-ons

The development team behind the media player software Kodi have released the first Nightly build of Kodi 19, codename Matrix, recently. The new version of the application comes with a change that may break add-ons that are available for the solution.

Current versions of Kodi provide add-ons with access to the Python 2 interpreter. Python 2 is about to reach end of life (on January 1, 2020) and the team has worked on migrating to the Python 3 interpreter.

Problem is: the migration may break certain add-ons that either rely on Python 2 functionality or are not compatible with Python 3 for other reasons.

kodi 19

Developers are encouraged to test their Kodi add-ons using the Nightly builds to make sure that they work properly. While active developers may update add-ons so that they may be run on Kodi 19 and future versions of the media player, add-ons that are not in active development anymore won’t become compatible automatically.

The development team wants to involve the community in the process of getting inactive add-ons ready for Kodi 19. Users can report add-ons that don’t work with Kodi 19 currently and developers with Python skills are encouraged to lend a hand in getting these add-ons ready for the new release.

Apart from that main issue, there are others to tackle by the team before the release of Kodi 19:

There are also issues that need core developer knowledge to fix. Since moving to Python 3 there are some difficulties on all Windows platforms in particular. The version of Kodi for UWP (Xbox) does not compile at all, and needs someone to champion it. There are also issues with certain libraries e.g. Pillow, PyCryptodome, cTypes etc., being missing or incompatible versions, so those add-ons that depend on them don’t run and can’t be tested on Windows.

Kodi 18.5 is the official stable version that has been released yesterday. The release uses Python 2 for add-ons and Kodi users can upgrade to it without breaking any installed add-ons.

Kodi users who want to try out Kodi 19 can do so by downloading the latest Nightly build using the official Download page on the Kodi website. Just click on download, select the operating system that you want to download Kodi for, and switch to the “Development Builds” section in the overlay that opens up.

How many add-ons won’t be compatible with Kodi 19 when the new version comes out? It is unclear at this point in time but it seems likely that some add-ons won’t be compatible with the new version when it first comes out.

Now You: do you use Kodi and add-ons? What’s your take on the development?

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Twitch Studio Beta launches for Windows: streaming for everyone

Twitch launched the first public version of Twitch Studio, a new streaming application for Twitch designed to make things easier for anyone, this week.

Up until a few years ago, setting up streams required quite a bit of technical knowledge. Webcam, microphones and devices had to be set up properly and connected to streaming services.

Tools like OBS Studio improved the experience and Twitch hopes that the new Twitch Studio makes streaming available to even more users (to bring them to the Twitch platform).

The application is available for Windows 7 and newer versions of Microsoft’s Windows operating system at the time of writing. The official announcement on the Twitch blog reveals no information on other platforms that Twitch Studio may become available for.

Twitch Studio Beta

twitch studio beta windows

Installation of Twitch Studio is straightforward: just follow the instructions — there are no choices to be made — and wait for the installer to run the program after installation. You need to sign in to an existing Twitch account or may create a new account / connect using Facebook to get started.

Twitch Studio has a guided setup that users may follow. Experienced users may hit the skip setup button to make modifications to the setup manually but new users may appreciate the guided setup as it walks them through the detection and configuration of computer hardware.

Guided setup detects microphones, webcams, the monitor resolution and adjusts settings such as the resolution of the stream, as well as the background layout of the stream (separate for main, be right back and downtime).

Setup features a benchmark test that users of the application may run to make sure that the selected (or suggested) stream quality works well on the device.

The main application interface provides options to start and stop streams, create recordings, check chats and activity feeds, use messaging, or make configuration changes.

twitch studio app

A click on Menu > File > Settings displays additional options that Twitch streamers may configure. The Stream section lists preferences to change the screen resolution, FPS, bitrate and encoder manually or pick one of the available presets.

Recording provides options to change the save directory and recording format (flv or mp4) of streams, audio options to change microphone input and compression, and hotkeys options to map hotkeys to activate certain program functionality using the keyboard.

Closing Words

Twitch Studio is certainly not the most comprehensive streaming solution for Twitch; what sets it apart is that it takes users by the hand to get things set up in no time which makes it an excellent option for beginners who are just getting started. It takes just a minute or so to get everything set up and the first stream or recording is just a click of the button away.

Now You: do you use streaming or recording software?

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Musikcube is a terminal music player for Windows, macOS and Linux

Musikcube is a cross platform terminal based music player, music management application and a music server; it is open source and available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and as an Android app that acts as a client which connects to the desktop server.

Despite being a terminal based program, musikcube is very user friendly. And like most, it is heavily keyboard focused. Fortunately, the command bar at the bottom of the screen displays the keyboard shortcuts that you can use in the current view. The mouse is mostly used for selecting options.

Tip: check out nnn, a Terminal-based file manager which we have reviewed recently.

Musikcube player

Initial Setup

When you run the program for the first time, the settings pane is displayed. The pane on the top left is the file browser that you can use to navigate to your music folders. To add the current folder to your library hit the Space key. The right pane shows the “indexed paths” which is your library management tool.

To remove a folder from the library use the backspace key. The bottom pane of the Setting screen has several options that you can configure such as replay gain, gapless playback, theme selection, server setup, and more.

Musikcube settings

Tip: Go to the Settings > Key Bindings page to view all the keyboard shorcuts.

Music Playback

To play tracks in Musikcube, you have to switch to the library view. You can do this by using the “a” key.  The library has an artist pane on the left and a tracks pane on the right. It displays all of your songs in one place so that you don’t have to navigate from one folder to another. The playback control bar on the bottom lets you control the volume, enable shuffle, repeat, and has a seek bar for jumping to a specific time stamp.

Use Tab (or the arrow keys or mouse) to switch between the artist and tracks panes. Hit enter to play (or double-click) the selected track and use space to pause or resume the song. You can use the keys 1-5 to change the view.

Filter

This is the search engine in Musikcube and categorizes your library by albums, artists and genre. You can use the search bar at the top of the window to find a specific track, artist or album.

Musikcube filter

Tracks

The tracks view is quite similar to the Filter view, except it only displays the songs from your library. It still displays track information such as the track number, total duration and artist though.

Musikcube search

Customization

You can change the theme of Musikcube from the Settings page. Tap the v key to bring up available visualizers such as the Music drop plugin.

Audio Quality

I didn’t find any major difference in the playback quality between Musikcube and Musicbee.Then again, I think that hardware plays more of a role when it comes to quality than audio players if the same files are used to test the quality.

Then again, I believe audio (and video) quality depends on the hardware that you use.

I only tested MP3 and FLAC formats, but the program supports other formats as well. It was very light in terms of memory usage.

Verdict

Musikcube is an excellent option if you want a minimalist music experience.

Note: I had been using an older version of the program (v 0.65) when I began reviewing it. The 64-bit version was only introduced in version v 0.70 which was released about 10 days ago. I tested it for a few days, and the memory usage was about the same. Interestingly the portable version of v70 picked up my library from the older version, even though both versions were in their own portable folders.

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Disney+ does not work on Linux devices

Linux users who plan to subscribe to Disney’s Disney+ video streaming service may have a rude awakening when they are greeted with Error Code 83 when trying to play any TV show or movie offered by Disney+ on Linux devices.

Fedora Linux package maintainer Hans De Goede from the Netherlands decided to try out Disney+ as the service launched recently in some regions including in the Netherlands. Interested users can sign up for a free trial to test the service.

disney plus

De Goede noticed that Disney+ would not work in any of the web browsers that he tried on systems running Fedora Linux. he tried Firefox and Chrome, and both times Disney+ threw the error “error code 83”.

Disney+ Support was not able to assist de Goede. It replied with a generic message stating that the error was known and that it happened often when customers tried to play Disney+ in web browsers or using certain devices. Support recommended to use the official applications on phones or tablets to watch the shows or movies. Other streaming services, e.g. Netflix, work fine on Linux.

A user on the Dutch site Tweakers dug deeper and uncovered the response code that the site returned when a device or browser was used that could not be used to play streams. According to the information, error code 83 means that the platform verification status is incompatible with the security level.

Disney uses the DRM solution Widevine to protect its streams from unauthorized activity. Widevine supports three different security levels, called 1, 2 and 3, which have certain requirements. The supported level determines the maximum stream quality and may even prevent access to a stream if the requirements are not met.

Tip: Android users can check the DRM capabilities of their device with the free app DRM Info.

It appears that Disney set Widevine to a more restrictive level than its competitors. The decision affects Disney+ on Linux devices and on other devices that don’t support the selected Widevine security standard.

Closing Words

It seems unlikely that Disney will change the Widevine security level on its Disney+ platform to enable streaming support on Linux and other devices that support less strict levels only. Mobile users can use official Disney+ applications to stream content which would leave Linux as well as Chromebook customers out in the dust for the most part.

I asked a friend from the Netherlands to verify the playback issue on Linux devices and he confirmed them.

Now You: are you subscribed to any streaming services? How do you access them?

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How to get your YouTube History deleted automatically

The video streaming site YouTube keeps track of every video that a user watches on the site and every search that is made. It uses the information for its recommendation engine that suggests videos to users based on past activity.

YouTube users had two options up until now to deal with the accumulation of data: delete the data manually regularly or pause the data collecting. You can check out our guide on clearing and disabling the search and watch history on YouTube as it explains both options in detail.

Google announced recently that it would integrate new functionality that would allow users to have the activity history deleted automatically. The new functionality is now available but it is likely that most YouTube users don’t know about it.

The main reason for that is that Google did not implement the functionality on the YouTube website but on the company’s My Activity website instead. If you check the options on YouTube, you will get the old “pause” or “clear manually” options only. If you check My Activity, you get the option to configure automatic processes to delete the history and to configure the watch history better as well.

youtube history delete automatically

Here is how that is done:

  1. Visit the My Activity website on the Google website. Either click on the link in the previous sentence to go there or open the main Google website, click on your profile icon and select Google Account > Manage your data & personalization > YouTube History > Manage Activity (under YouTube History).

The page lists two main options to configure the history on YouTube. The left widget displays the current state of history recording, e.g. paused, and options to manage the settings.

youtube watch history

A click on change setting displays options to enable the watch history or search history exclusively on YouTube. Note that this will enable history recording again on the site.

The second widget controls an automated process that will delete the history based on your preferences. The default is set to “keeping activity until you delete it manually”. Click on “choose to delete automatically” to configure auto-delete for the YouTube history.

youtube delete history automatically

Only two time intervals are provided: 3 months or 18 months. If you select one interval, Google will delete information about watched videos or searches automatically based on the selected interval.

Google notes that recommendations get better the longer the history is kept.

YouTube uses your history to remind you what you’ve watched, avoid recommending already watched videos, and improve your recommendations. These benefits improve the longer you keep your history.

If you select three months, Google will delete any activity that is older than three months. The configuration page lacks any other options; there is no option to set a custom interval.

There is no need to configure the automatic deletion of the history if you paused it already and deleted the past history (check out our linked guide above as it explains how to do that).

Closing words

The new automatic deletion setting is not flexible enough to be of good use. Three and eighteen months may work for some users but many would probably prefer different intervals or a custom option.

Now You: What is your take on the new option and Youtube’s recommendation system?

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ScreenToGif screen recorder update brings usability improvements

ScreenToGif is a popular screen recorder for the Windows operating system designed to record part of the screen on Windows. The program’s name may suggest that it can save recordings as animated gif files only but that is not the case.

Ashwin reviewed ScreenToGif in July 2019 and I suggest you check out his review for an overview. Only this much: ScreenToGif is an easy to use screen recorder; all you need to do is download the portable or setup version of the program and run it directly or after installation.

The interface is streamlined for ease of use, and it takes just a handful of click to start a new recording. The application displays a frame on the screen that you may resize to adjust the recording area accordingly. The recording is loaded in the built-in editor which allows you to make light edits to the recording before saving it to the local system.

Tip: check out other recorders such as InstagifferQGifer, or GifCam  that we have reviewed in the past.

One of the new features in the latest version of ScreenToGif is cursor following which moves the recording frame based on the position of the mouse. You had to move the recording area manually in previous versions if you wanted to record a different part of the screen.

Mouse following is not enabled by default. Open the program settings and check the option under Application > Screen Recorder to enable it.

cursor following

ScreenToGif reminds you that you need to set a shortcut key to disable mouse following. The step sems mandatory and you are taken directly to the shortcuts section of the options to set a shortcut for enabling and disabling mouse cursor following.

Note that you cannot use the mouse to interact with the buttons of the recording frame anymore as it moves away automatically. Use the shortcuts F7 to start a recording and F8 to end it.

There is also a noticeable delay when the recording frame moves on the screen based on cursor activity; this has no effect on the recording but it takes a second or so for the frame to reappear at the new position.

automated tasks screentogif

The developer added several task automation options to the application. You may access these in the options under Automated Tasks. A default task to highlight mouse clicks is already listed there and you may add other tasks with a click on the plus icon.

The three new tasks are shadow, which adds a drop shadow to the recording, progress, which adds a progress overlay, and border, which adds a border overlay. Just select any of the tasks from the add listing to customize it and save it so that it is executed automatically by the screen recorder. You may reorder automated tasks in the menu.

ScreenToGif 2.19 includes several other features like the ability to disable the looping of playback in the editor or a new slider for transparency in the color selector tool.

Closing Words

ScreenToGif is a useful straightforward screen recorder for Windows. It is ideal for quick and short recordings but since it supports formats other than gif, may also work for larger demo videos.

Now You: do you use a screen recorder on your systems?

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How to clear and disable the YouTube Watch and Search history

The video streaming site YouTube keeps track of your activity on the site. If you are signed in to an account, it keeps a record of all videos that you watched, all your searches, all comments, and community activity including live chat and makes these available to you.

The site uses the activity records for several purposes including its recommendation system; Google may use the activity to improve other Google products as well as it notes on the activity management page on YouTube. If you watch a lot of football, travel, or food videos, YouTube will recommend these videos more so than other video types to you when you visit the site.

Recommendations are not everyone’s cup of tea on YouTube as the site may — and usually does — recommend inappropriate content or content that is of no interest. We have showed you how to remove individual channel recommendations on YouTube, how to block recommended videos on YouTube, and how to block endscreen video recommendations on the site in the past.

Apart from visiting the site without signing in to a YouTube or Google account, you may influence recommendations by deleting individual searches or watched videos, clearing the watch history or search history, or by pausing the activity trackers on the site.

Checking your YouTube history

youtube watch history

Note that you can only check the history if you are signed in to an account on YouTube. Visit the following pages on YouTube to check the account history:

YouTube may change the URLs; to get there manually click on the menu icon in the top left corner and select the history item from the menu.

The Watch history provides a chronological view of all watched videos. Videos are displayed with their cover thumbnail and a play indicator.

You may delete individual videos by hovering over them with the mouse and selecting the x-icon next to the video thumbnail. The page lists options to clear the entire watch history and to pause the watch history.

Clearing resets the recommendation engine on YouTube and new recommendations will be based on your viewing activity from that point forward. You may also pause the watch history which prevents YouTube from recording it in first place.

While that won’t prevent you from getting any recommendations, Google does note that you “may see fewer recommendations” across Google products. Note that pausing won’t remove the previous watching history.

search history youtube

The Search history page uses the same layout for the most part. YouTube displays previous searches conducted on the site and you may delete individual searches right then and there.

A click on “clear all search history” removes the entire history of searches. You may also pause the recording of searches with a click on “pause search history”. Note that doing the latter won’t remove the search activity that is already on record on the site.

YouTube provides activity lists for comments, activity on community posts, and live chat as well. You may get options to edit and/or delete these but there is no option to pause the recording as it requires active user input to leave these.

Closing Words

YouTube users who like to stay signed in, e.g. to manage subscriptions, may delete records of individual videos that they watched and searches that they did on the site. Some may prefer to disable the recording of the activity entirely to reduce the number of recommendations on the site.

Now You: what is your take on the quality of recommendations on YouTube?

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SimpleScreenRecorder is a user friendly video capturing app for Linux

Video recording tools can be complex for many users. Besides requiring users to configure plenty of options, they often make use of technical terms such as bitrate, fps, codecs, sample rate and formats.

There are some solutions for users who are just getting started and those who want a simple app that makes configuration and recording a breeze, and one of them is called SimpleScreenRecorder.

SimpleScreenRecorder review

SimpleScreenRecorder is a user friendly video capturing app for Linux

The interface of the program is, simple? Jokes aside, the app has almost no learning curve and makes things easy even for users who are just getting started.

There are 4 recording options to choose from:

  • Record the entire screen
  • Record a fixed rectangle
  • Follow the cursor
  • Record OpenGL

Record the entire screen captures the fullscreen when selected. The second option “Record a fixed rectangle” allows you to record a particular area of the screen. There are a few ways to select the area: the easiest one is the select window option. Select it and click on the app window that you want to record. The select rectangle option lets you use your mouse to draw a rectangle on the screen and anything that is inside will be recorded.

You can also manually enter the screen position values (left, top, width, height) to select an area that you wish to record, though isn’t as easy as the other two options.

The profile option is used to save your settings; so if you want to record a video with similar settings, you might want to save that to a profile. SimpleScreenRecorder can record the cursor which is useful if you’re making tutorial videos.

The application can record the audio as well which means that you can use it to record games but also microphone input. If you have multiple sound cards, you can select which one should be used as the audio source.

Follow the cursor is an interesting option as it records a portion of the screen around the mouse cursor based on width and height that you set.

The OpenGL option is used for recording game videos and a script-injection method is used for this.

SimpleScreenRecorder video capturing app for Linux

Once you have selected the recording mode and configured settings, click on Continue. This will take you to the output settings and you may select from various output profiles.

SimpleScreenRecorder can save the videos in MKV, MP4, WebM, OGG and other video formats and choose from H.264, VP8, Theora among several video codecs. For audio, you can pick from Vorbis, MP3 and AAC or other audio codecs and set the bit rate. You can optionally set the timestamp to be displayed in the video as well. Select the folder that you want to save the video in and name your video.

There is one final screen, the actual recording screen. You can use this to watch a preview of the selected area to get an idea of what it looks like. And if it’s not to your liking, you can go back and start over. When you’re ready, hit the start recording button or use the default hotkey, Ctrl + R. You can change it to use Shift/Alt/Super (Windows key) and any alphabet key of your choice.

SimpleScreenRecorder for Linux

You can pause, cancel or save the recording at anytime. The information panel displays the total duration of the video, the input/output frame rate, size, bitrate, file name and file size. Do remember that this is a basic app which means that it does not feature a video editor.

Closing Words

I would say SimpleScreenRecorder is just as user-friendly as Windows’ Snipping Tool. Of course when it comes to video tools, there are a more options to configure but don’t let that put you off.

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Video Combiner: join multiple videos on Windows

Video Combiner is a free portable software program for Microsoft’s Windows operating system that you may use to merge multiple videos easily.

Windows users have plenty of options when it comes to the joining of video files on the system. From using the command line to join multiple video files to third-party programs like Cute video Audio Merger or Vidiot.

Video Combiner is a third-party program that is dead easy to use and still very powerful. It accepts many popular video formats as input and may turn these into a single output format.

You may run the portable version of the program directly after you have downloaded and extracted the archive it is supplied as.

To get started, drag & drop video files into the program window to add them to the process. You can click on the add button as well if you prefer to use a file browser to add video files.

video combiner

Video Combiner supports a large number of input video formats including mp4, avi, mkv, mpg, mov, or flv. One of the greatest strengths of the application is that it accepts different formats; you can add mkv, mp4 and mov files and all of them will be merged into a single output format that you select during setup.

A click on the up and down arrow icons moves the selected video in the list; this is useful if video files are not in the desired order.

The main output options are displayed at the bottom of the interface. There you set the desired output format for the merged video, the screen size and other options.

The screen size setting supports different presets including fit max width, fit min width, or  min width & min height, but also a custom size that you need to enter manually. There is also an option to scale videos which ensures that there won’t be any black bars in the output video.

Video Combiner retains the original display aspect of every video by default and that may result in black bars if the input videos had different aspect ratios.

The bitrate is set to default when you start the program but it is unclear what it is set to. You may change that to other presets or a custom bitrate instead.

The two final options enable full CPU acceleration on 64-bit systems and let you change the output directly.

video combiner merge videos

Video Combiner supports multiple output formats including mp4, mkv, ts, vob and avi. You can pick any of those.

A click on the combine videos now button starts the merging process. The length of the process depends on several factors including the size and length of the selected videos, their format, and the output settings.

Experience

I ran a few tests with several sample video files to test the application. It worked well with single video formats and multiple video formats. The size of the output was usually larger than the size of the input files; four mp4 video files that had a size of about 140 Megabytes were turned into a 240 Megabyte file by the application when I used the default output settings (mp4, fit max height, default bitrate); the output file size dropped to about 140 Megabytes when I switched to fit the minimum height instead.

It may be necessary to test several settings before you find the right one that suits you best. The conversion process was quick but it certainly depends on the input files and output settings as well as the system you run the software on.

The program can be useful to combine multiple video files, e.g. all episodes of a TV show or Holiday videos that you want to combine to create a merged video out of them.

Closing Words

Video Combiner is dead easy to use: just drag & drop some video on the program window and hit convert. Inexperienced users may have some difficulties understanding settings such as bitrate or even output format, but there are only a few and the online help explains most of them.

Now You: Do you use video programs on your devices?

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