M4V Main

Featured Review: M4VGear

May 6, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

M4VGear is a piece of software for Windows or Mac that allows users to take their iTunes media out of Apple’s closed-off ecosystem. Let’s say you have a family with iPads and iPhones, and you yourself have an iPhone but an Android tablet, or the other way around. If you prefer to use iTunes for your TV shows and Movies, you’ll know how frustrated it is to have to use only Apple devices to watch this media, especially as you paid for it. M4VGear can convert these files to universal MP4 files, removing all that nasty DRM, while keeping 5.1 Audio and all subtitles, including closed captions. A solution for both Mac and Windows users looking to set their media free, M4VGear can help you take that series of Breaking Bad with you no matter which device you want to use.

Getting setup with M4VGear is fairly simple, all you need to do is download it from their website. It’s certified for the latest version of Mac OS X, Yosemite, and will work with Windows XP all the way to Windows 8 (and presumably Windows 10, as well). Once you have it installed, you just need to drag the TV show or Movie from iTunes into M4VGear.

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Once you have chosen a title to convert, you can go ahead and choose from a list of pre-defined Android devices, but aside from the addition of the Nexus 9 and Nexus 6 the list feels quite dated.

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Either way, an MP4 file is an MP4 file, and there’s no loss of quality here, so a 1080p movie will still be 1080p, so the Universal Android Device could always be a workable option for you. There’s a lot of waiting to get your movie into a usable MP4 file, though.

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This process really did take a long time for me, and to put things into perspective I have the latest Mac Mini with a 2.6 Ghz Core i5, so I’m not using old, lower-end hardware or anything. Still, after a time, the file was converted and able to be played on any device out there. This could have been down to the settings I chose to use, but if you choose “Same as Source for MP4/MOV” then M4VGear can be as much as 20x faster than other solutions available.

For a long time now iTunes has been a thorn in my side. I like to get my hands on legal content, and that’s because I am in the interest of protecting big publishing houses, but because I want good quality content, and I’m willing to pay for it. I often don’t purchase TV programs with the likes of Netflix available these days, but I’m okay with buying or renting a film in high-quality if it’s not on Netflix or such. Where iTunes annoys me is that it has some of the best selections out there, but I have to do what Apple says with it. Yeah, no thanks, I paid for this content and I will do whatever I want with it. M4VGear is a streamlined way to do just that, you can strip out that pathetic DRM from their files and then play it on your Android tablet or smartphone, giving something back that we should always have had; freedom. You don’t have to output to just MP4 of course, there are a number of settings to reduce the file size, output in a different format and so on. The best thing is that you retain all of your subtitles and that brilliant 5.1 soundtrack, too.

Ratings

  • Speed (3/5) – While M4VGear runs fine, the process of converting a 1080p film took a long, long time for me.
  • Theme (4/5) – It looks fine on both Windows and Mac systems and is extremely easy to use with little to no issues in figuring out how to convert a file to a DRM-free format.
  • Features (5/5) – This might take a while, but it keeps your subtitles, your 5.1 surround sound and lets you use these files with whatever you want – including that iPad you have lying around the house.
  • Overall (4/5) – M4VGear is a super-easy to use application that can help set your content free, and allow you to use it wherever you want. All the subtitles and 5.1 surround sound tracks are kept intact, and the files will work on any Android device.

Pros

  • Nice and easy to use on either Mac or Windows machines, it’s basically drag and drop.
  • Lots of options where file formats and such are concerned.
  • Doesn’t destroy subtitles or surround sound, everything is intact when converted to a different format.
  • Finally offers a way to free your content from Apple’s grasp and use it with Android devices.

Cons

  • Took a long time for me to convert a 1080p film on a modern Mac Mini.
  • List of Android devices feels a little dated aside from Samsung devices.

All-in-all, if you’re looking for a quick and easy solution to get iTunes TV Shows and Movies on any Android device, DRM-free, then M4VGear will definitely do that. It’s very simple to use and you can change the file resolution and format if space is a concern and for those watching foreign cinema, subtitles are not touched in any way and cinephiles will be glad to hear that their 5.1 surround sound is still available as well. While it did take me a long time to convert one film to DRM-free Android files, that could have been my hardware. Either way, it got the job done and I’ll certainly use it again. To get M4VGear on your computer, all you need to do is head on over to their website here. M4VGear costs $39.95 for Windows or $44.95 for Mac OS X for the full version tested here and both versions support the latest version of iTunes. If you run both Windows and Mac OS X you can purchase a bundle for $54.95.