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I'm looking for a video converter which is able to use existing installed video codecs. There is a serious amount of converting programs using internal codecs, which is great, but this time it's not helpful. The program should run on Windows 7, and if possible, free.

My goal: I would like to edit videos where I will need to edit them in another program, but I would like to retain the original quality by using the Lagarith lossless codec and uncompressed PCM audio. I can't use the existing video because it wants an avi file, with no H.264 codec (I had installed the K-Lite codec pack and used Avidemux to convert the mp4 file container to avi, but then the application will crash after 50% loading progress). I want to avoid converting this video into a lossy format, unless it's perfectly safe to do so with certain settings. The final video is going to be a compressed video anyway, so I don't want to lose any quality before.

I have seen Sony Vegas is able to render videos using external codecs, but it's a way too much overkill, because it costs around 400$ and I don't want to edit it this way. Just a conversion. I have also visited quite a few other topics available here, but all these applications are using internal codecs. I have tested Handbrake, Media Coder, Avidemux, VirtualDub (unable to handle the avi after conversion from mp4 with Avidemux), TEncoder, XMedia Recode, WinFF and Super (built-in Lagarith codec, but can't convert without an error as well).

Thanks a lot in advance!

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So, luckily I found something really great: FFInputDriver, a plugin package for VirtualDub. It adds the functionality to open up a lot more formats, not just avi. And I have seen that VirtualDub is able to batch convert like a video converter, so cool! I'm going to explain every step to convert videos into the Lagarith Lossless Codec:

  1. Download FFInputDriver from the link above. It's the link on their site where it says "Download: VirtualdubFFMpegPlugin_0817.zip (22.2 MB)"
  2. Extract the archive, navigate to your VirtualDub program folder and merge the plugin32 folder with the one from your zip archive.
  3. Start VirtualDub. Now it supports a lot more files than just avi! (please note, although it's called a plugin, it doesn't show up at "Options" > "Plugin-ins") Click the "Video" menu in the main application window, and click on "Compression..."
  4. Choose the Lagarith Lossless Codec from the list, it's visible if you have installed it. Then click "OK".

compression options

  1. Click on "Audio" and "Full processing mode". Click "Audio" again and select "Compression...". Choose "No compression (PCM)"
  2. Open "File", hover your mouse pointer over "Queue batch operation" and click "Batch wizard..."
  3. We are quite close! :) Decide where you would like to save the output files, and drag your conversion-ready video files into the window. It will look like this:

enter image description here

  1. Tickle on "Add to queue" > "Re-save as AVI".
  2. Click on "File" and "Job control...". If you're ready for the conversion, press "Start". Every file is going to be converted into an avi file with Lagariths Lossless Codec and uncompressed audio. Ideal for re-editing!

This is it, with no need for expensive video rendering programs! A small addition: With FFmpeg it's possible to change the file container without recoding the video, for example, into a mkv (Matroska container, it accepts Lagarith). But since others have explained this already, I will link to this. However, I would like to add that there is even a way to add FFmpeg into VirtualDub to save directly for example as a mp4 file. I didn't knew this before as well!

I'm happy with my solution, but there are very likely other or maybe even better ways, so if you know something, please share your knowledge by posting an answer. Thanks, and I hope this will help, especially to those for googling a way to convert videos into Lagarith!

  • Hmm, would you please be so kind and test if you can use a portable VirtualDubMod version together with FFInputDriver: In my tests the plugins don't load – nixda Dec 9 '14 at 18:38
  • Looks like that I have choosen a horribly wrong word for the FFInputDriver. It doesn't appear under plugins, it adds a functionality directly (I'm going to edit this in my post). The portable VirtualDub has started a 64 bit version for me, and I had to merge the plugin64 folder at "VirtualDubPortable\App\VirtualDub64". Before it hasn't loaded a mp4 and flv file, afterwards it did. Rendering was successful as well. Sorry if this isn't the information you are asking for or if my post was too confusing. – Testerhood Dec 9 '14 at 21:06

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