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November 22, 2006

Product review: M2Convert for Zune

This past weekend I tested M2Convert for Zune. The software package converts DVDs and multimedia files into Zune-compatible Windows Media Video (.wmv) files.

I tested out the software on a series of family videos that I'd burned onto DVDs. I had created these DVDs with Pinnacle Studio, and they featured menus, chapters, and all the usual DVD features.

M2Convert for Zune is intuitive and takes much of the guesswork out of preparing your DVDs for Zune. Setting up the conversion was straightforward - after inserting a DVD, the few screen options were self-explanatory. You can convert the entire DVD or only specific titles or chapters within it. You can also capture just the audio, if you wish.

Video quality can be set to be High, Medium, or Low. An auto-size option selects the best resolution for the file to be converted for Zune play, which will typically be 320x240. You can override the auto-size by specifying a 320x240 or 320x180 output.

In one test, I converted a 2:07 family video, containing twenty chapters. (Yes, that is two hours and seven minutes. Be forewarned about any invitations from me to come on over to watch family videos.)

Conversion took about three hours, with a small preview window showing the video scenes as the conversion progressed. An 800MB .wmv file was produced, which automatically synced the next time we connected our Zune to the PC.

The video looks great on the Zune's screen. Audio was perfectly synchronized with the video throughout the converted .wmv file.

In addition to DVDs, the product will also convert multimedia files on your hard drive for play on your Zune. It supports popular video and audio formats including AVI, ASF, WMV, MOV, MPG, MPEG, AVC, OGG, MP4, DivX, MP1, MP2, IFO, DIC, MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC.

There are free alternatives available, but for simplicity and ease of use I give M2Convert high marks. It's hard to imagine a more efficient piece of software to rip-and-convert your DVDs, and multimedia files, for playing on your Zune.

The $29.99 package is available from M2 Solutions Inc.. A 14-day free trial gives you full functionality, but imprints a watermark on your converted videos.

Summary:
  Company: M2 Solutions Inc.
  Link: www.m2solutionsinc.com
  Product: M2 Convert for Zune
  Price: $29.99
  Pros:
Ease of use; reliable performance; avoids the error-prone configuration settings of comparable free alternatives.
  Cons:
Price.
  Overall:
There are free alternatives out there, and the $29.99 price might give you pause. But the ease-of-use and foolproof performance of this conversion tool earn it our "Recommended by Zunerama" rating. If you have a library of DVDs you want to play on your Zune, just set it and forget it with this well-designed and solid-performing rip-and-convert tool.

Zune accessory - Recommended by Zunerama

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