The days of shooting home videos only on a big family video camera are gone. Now we're all shooting videos on phones, on compact digital cameras, and on Flips, Bloggies and sports cameras like the GoPro.
Not all these cameras shoot video in a file format that will play nicely on your big-screen TV or let you send it to your mobile phone to take with you to show friends and family. So you need a tool to convert your files into a format that more systems are happy to play with.
One of the best free converters around is HandBrake, available on both Mac and Windows. Point it to any file and then tell it what kind of file you want when it's finished. It even lets you choose from a list of options like iPhone or Apple TV so you don't have to learn what the difference between an M4V and MOV is.
HandBrake will also let you turn DVDs into video files so you can turn your physical disc collection into something you can call up on a digital player anytime you like.