Everyone who watches videos on a PC has at least heard about VLC as it's not only the most popular player available, but also one that offers an impressive amount of features without asking for any money in return. Mostly known for the fact that it can play pretty much every media format out there without requiring additional codecs, VLC can perform quite a few very interesting tricks that not many people know about. For example, it can convert and compress videos.
Yes, I know that video converter isn't the first or even second thing that you think about when you install VLC, but why download additional third-party utilities when you already have an application perfectly capable of seeing this task through? Even though I will admit that VLC isn't as straightforward as a full-time video converter, it does offer a whole lot of customization options and it even embeds batch conversion capabilities.
To access this feature launch VLC, then click the Media button from the top left corner and select the Convert/Save option (or simply press Ctrl + R). In the new window that opens up, use the Add button to select the file(s) that you want converted, then choose Convert from the drop-down menu in the bottom-right corner. Now, simply select the desired format from the Profile section, choose the location and the name of the output file and click Start. Support includes AVI, MP4, WMV, TS, ASF, MPEG and other video formats as well as MP3, FLAC, AAC, OGG and other audio formats.
If you're someone who needs more advanced options, you have those too: you can choose the encapsulation that you want, select the desired video and audio codec or overlay subtitles directly over the output file. Furthermore, you can customize the bitrate, quality or frame rate of the video, modify the resolution and even add filters to the output file by choosing them from a comprehensive list including sepia, sharpen, motion blur, etc. Of course, shrinking and lowering the quality of the output file effectively means that you can also compress videos from the same menu.
In case you found this short guide interesting, you should know that these aren't the only not so hidden tricks of VLC. The tool can also do a lot of other interesting things such as streaming or downloading media content from the Internet, adding watermarks to videos, recording the currently playing video, the feed from your webcam or the action from your screen, replacing the Windows wallpaper with a video one and more.