How do I convert a Quicktime file to a Windows Media Video file on Windows 7?

What is the cheapest method?

What is the the best method, regardless of cost?

  • Why wmv? You can use mencoder for avi and mpg output.
    – wnrph
    Feb 6, 2012 at 15:01
  • Any specific reason you need to encode to WMV?
    – IUnknown
    Feb 6, 2012 at 19:07

7 Answers 7


I have found the best way to encode specifically to WMV is to use Microsoft's own Expression Encoder

There are 3 versions one of which is free, see the comparison table on the link above for details.

All three will import QuickTime if it is installed.

I have used all three editions at various times and the built in presets make them the best for WMV conversion in my experience.

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As an aside however, my preference is to encode to x264 in an MP4 or MKV container and for that I use MeGui (open source) which has a somewhat complex workflow but the results are outstanding.

  • Great product from a trusted vendor., with an understandable UI for the video neophyte.
    – mmcglynn
    Feb 9, 2012 at 19:19

Format Factory is the best freeware tool with too many options inside... You can find special settings which you can set the quality of conversion.

  • I tried this based on your recommendation. Unfortunately, the application chokes on larger files (50 MB+) and fails to convert them.
    – mmcglynn
    Jan 12, 2012 at 21:42
  • it's strange because I've been converting big videos like ~700MB / ~1400MB and it works well even I have an AMD Turion X64 that I bought 4 years ago.May be, it chokes because of your hardware configuration?
    – NT.
    Jan 13, 2012 at 17:09
  • I have an i7 with 8GB RAM.
    – mmcglynn
    Jan 17, 2012 at 21:12
  • woooow this is really strange, you have the top processor with 8giga ram...
    – NT.
    Jan 22, 2012 at 9:33

Software I have been using, with high success rate, to convert different video files are:

Mobile Media Converter (Very strong emphasis on this software, meaning I like it better)




MediaCoder is a free video transcoder. I don't usually use Apple's MOV, but I just tested both the MPEG-4 and Sorenson, as you did not specify) to WMV 9 with WMA 9 audio. Other audio formats may fail. The following settings worked (wizard was skipped):

settings image


  • Auto bitrate: 100% ratio
  • Format: WMV 9
  • Auto encoder
  • Auto source


  • Format: WMA 9
  • Auto encoder
  • Auto source

I have successfully transcoded 1.2GB files (MPEG-4 AVI to H.264 MP4) in the past with this program, though MOV may run into problems.

  • Conversion failed with the error code #14.
    – mmcglynn
    Feb 9, 2012 at 15:33
  • @mmcglynn That happened when I selected an invalid audio format, check that? Otherwise, I don't know, sorry.
    – Bob
    Feb 10, 2012 at 0:20

You don't need to download or signup for anything, you can just use Online convert.


The .mov videos format is a proprietary Apple format whose secrets are jealously guarded by Apple. Many Apple codecs have non-Apple implementations which are pretty good, but not perfect, and which normally do not support well the latest developments by Apple.

The only video player that's guaranteed to play .mov videos correctly is Apple's QuickTime.

Luckily, to avoid being locked-into by Apple, there exists a free product that makes available to Windows Media Player or any DirectShow player application all the QuickTime codecs that were installed by QuickTime on your computer : QuickTime DirectShow Source Filter.

With this installed, you can use whatever video conversion product that you prefer to convert QuickTime to WMP or any other format.

  • QuickTime (.mov) is a container not a codec. The available .mp4 container is a version of the QuickTime container see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG-4_Part_14 This doesn't mean that QuickTime Player doesn't suck on Windows. It does.
    – Chealion
    Mar 1, 2012 at 4:45
  • @Chealion: I said "format", not "codec". This container is not exactly the same as mp4 and may also contain proprietary codecs such as Sorenson. I have been bitten several times by .mov files that could not be played by any other player, even ones that advertised .mov capability. The Source Filter is the only solution I know that works every time, as the proprietary .mov format seems to be an evolving target.
    – harrymc
    Mar 5, 2012 at 19:52

There are a multitude of free video conversion software available on the internet that will suit your purpose.

One of these is 'Official Video Converter' [http://www.officialvideoconverter.com]. You cant get much cheaper that Free :)

As for the best method, try a couple out and see what you think however converting compressed video types sometimes reduces quality. So you may want to run a test file first to see if the quality is acceptable.

More options are available from a quick Google search.

  • I was hoping for some first hand advice. I can do a Google search. It is filtering out the results that requires human input.
    – mmcglynn
    Jan 9, 2012 at 20:21

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