Guest Post by Elena Vakhromova. Are you a devoted Apple fanboy? Or at-least own an Apple mobile device? Then you should be aware of a small inconvenience most iDevices have: because of the support of few video formats (generally MP4 and H.264) it’s a real pain to play any other videos on them. The universal video playing app hasn’t been offered yet, so lots of people still use desktop video converters to adjust diverse video formats to Apple playback. Let’s have a look at the most popular ones, explore their pros and cons.

1. Handbrake

This is one of the greatest time-tested open-source projects. Although the converter outputs only to MP4 and MKV formats, this is enough to get a video (including DVD and Blu-ray) played on an Apple device. The output options for Apple devices are iPad, iPhone, iPod, iPod Touch, Apple TV, Apple TV2. All settings can be easily customized.

Pros: The biggest plus of Handbrake is that’s multiplatform – it runs under Windows, Mac and Linux. In addition, Handbrake is remarkable for its advanced profile editor which lets customize any video parameters, add multiple subtitles and audio tracks, crop and scale video and much more. Cons: Novice users can experience some difficulties with the interface navigation. Bottom line: Handbrake is perfect for video conversion on Mac and Linux, Windows users have chance to opt for more user-friendly freebies.

2. Freemake Video Converter

This video converter handles over 200 video formats and converts them to Apple devices with the opportunity to customize the conversion settings. The availble presets for Apple gadgets are iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 1-3G, iPod Touch, iPod Classic, iPod Nano, iPod 5G, Apple TV. The app features an inbuilt YouTube converter, so that it’s possible to transfer YouTube video clips to your Apple device.

Pros: The tool is remarkable for its streamlined intuitive interface and the absence of any hidden ads or toolbars. The conversion is fast due to the integrated hardware acceleration technologies (CUDA and DXVA). Thus, you can easily convert DVDs and HD movies for your iPad and be sure that it will reproduce them. There’s also an easy transfer to iTunes media library. Cons: It supports only Windows OS and requires .Net 4.0 Framework to be installed. Bottom line: Freemake Video Converter is ideal for both advanced and novice users who eager to adjust video files to Apple-compatible format.

3. FormatFactory

This is a popular media converter dealing with video, audio and image conversion. FormatFactory is a good freeware to get your videos converted to Apple devices, as it provides MP4 as an output format. However, you need to know your the video resolution of your gadget because there’re no any ready presets for Apple devices available.

Pros: The app has a lot of helpful options – any video parameters may be easily changed, there’s subtitles support with the possibility to change their font and color. Cons: There are some unpleasant bugs revealed with video preview and editing. Only Windows support. Bottom line: FormatFactory is recommended for power users who can easily figure out the needed video parameters. It’s also good for DVD ripping.

4. Total Video Converter (from $29.95)

This paid video converter promises to handle bunches of video formats. Once you added a file, the software offers all possible output variants. Apple devices are presented with iPod, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, a user can choose between MPEG4 and AVC H.264 video codecs. In addition to many advanced features, there’s a handy preview option. Pros: The fact that you pay money for this app ensures the absence of any adware or sneakware in it. The interface is self-explaining. There are many additional tools to customize video parameters, add watermarks and subtitles, change audio tracks, etc. Cons: No critical flaws with the program. Works only under Windows. Bottom line: Total Video Converter is a useful app to have on your PC. Still numerous free video converters offer the same bundle of options.

5. Xilisoft Video Converter (from $39.95)

Another good but paid app which provides a great variety of video conversion features. Outputs video for iPod, iPod Nano, iPod Classic, iPod Shuffle, iPod Touch, iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, Apple TV, Apple iPad, iPad2 and others. The conversion process is easy and fast due to the integrated CUDA and AMD technologies.

Pros: The software supports not only Windows but iPad2 iOS as well, so that iPad2 users can easily customize any video for their gadgets without switching between a PC and Apple device. Cons: Some users complain about low quality of resulted files, though I found no drawbacks with the software. Bottom line: The app caters all you need to customize your videos for Apple playback – if you deal with that type of video conversion on the regular basis, why not purchase Xilisoft Video Converter? This was a guest post by Elena Vakhromova who is a freelance writer and social media marketer. She is freeware enthusiast and enjoys writing about popular and not-so Windows free apps. You can follow her on Twitter @ELV