How to Convert AVI to MP4 in 5 Easy Steps

Converting video files from one format to another is a common task for anyone working with digital media. This guide will teach you, in simple steps, how to use the free VLC media player to easily convert your AVI video files into the more widely compatible MP4 format.

Overview: AVI to MP4 Conversion

Before we dive into the step-by-step instructions, let me quickly summarize what we‘ll cover:

  • What AVI and MP4 video formats are
  • The benefits of converting AVI to MP4
  • How to download and install VLC media player
  • Walkthrough of using VLC‘s conversion tool to change AVI files into MP4
  • Additional tips for customizing conversion settings
  • Solutions to common video conversion issues

Follow along below and you‘ll be converting your AVI videos to shareable MP4s in just minutes!

Comparing AVI and MP4 Specifications

To understand why you‘d want to convert AVI videos to MP4, let‘s visually compare some key technical specifications.

FormatVideo CodecsAudio CodecsMax ResolutionCompressionFile SizeCompatibility
AVINumerousNumerousNo limitNoneLargerModerate
MP4H.264, HEVCAAC, MP34K UHDHighSmallerNearly universal

As you can see, while AVI offers greater coding flexibility and maximum quality, MP4 has better compression and wider device support. Converting to MP4 shrinks an AVI‘s large file size while maintaining high visual quality.

Step 1: Getting VLC Media Player

VLC is a free, open-source media player for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and more. It handles nearly any audio or video format thanks to built-in codecs and conversion tools.

To download VLC:

  1. Go to
  2. Click the download button for your operating system
  3. Open the installer file once downloaded
  4. Follow the setup wizard prompts
    • Leave settings at default unless you have special requirements
  5. Launch VLC after setup completes

That‘s all there is to it! VLC offers advanced features beyond just playing media too. Now let‘s look at converting video…

Step 2: Using VLC‘s Convert Tool

With VLC open:

  1. Click Media in the top menu bar
  2. Select Convert / Save from the dropdown

This opens the conversion module window. Time to add the AVI file next…

Step 3: Adding Your AVI Video

  1. In the conversion tool, click Add on the bottom left
  2. A Windows Explorer folder pops up – Find and select your AVI file here
  3. Click Open to add it to VLC‘s playlist queue
    • Repeat to queue multiple AVI files for sequential batch converting!

Step 4: Choosing MP4 Output Settings

Near the bottom of VLC‘s conversion tool, specify output details:

  1. Set Profile to Video – H.264 + MP3 (MP4)
  2. Click Browse under Destination to choose where to save the converted MP4 file
  3. Click Save

We want H.264 video with AAC audio encoded into an MP4 container.

Step 5: Starting AVI to MP4 Conversion

You‘re all set! Hit the Start button and VLC will now convert the AVI file(s) into MP4 format.

The conversion speed varies based on source video length and computer performance. As a benchmark, it usually takes about 1/3rd the video‘s run time.

Sit back and let VLC work its magic!

VLC converting animation

Customizing Output Quality

VLC‘s default MP4 output settings work well, but you can optionally customize:

  • Video Bitrate – Higher = better quality but larger file size
  • Audio Bitrate – Usually 128kbps AAC is plenty
  • Check Fast Decode if converting many files
  • Other advanced video and audio settings

Finding the optimal bitrates for quality and size is take some trial-and-error testing.

Fixing Common Conversion Issues

If you run into trouble converting AVIs to MP4, try these troubleshooting tips:

  • Update VLC to the latest version
  • Check input file for corruption issues
  • Adjust output bitrate settings
  • Reboot computer and test with fresh restart
  • Rename problematic source video files

Post a comment below if you have any other conversion questions!

Converting Audio Files with VLC

Beyond video, VLC can also convert between audio formats like MP3, FLAC, WAV, and more.

The process is the exact same, except you add audio files instead of video when converting. Super handy!

So for all your media conversion needs, VLC has you covered.

I hope this guide has shown just how easy it is to convert your AVI video files into more portable MP4s using VLC…

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