How to convert .rmvb to .avi?

This tutorial is obsolete; click here for the updated version.

Is there a Real Player for Mac OS X? Of course, click on the BLUE “Free RealPlayer” button (top-right corner of your screen) to download the free version.

The good news is it’s very easy. The bad news is you’ll need a PowerPC Mac. 😛

What you’ll need:

  1. ffmpegX – It’s a Mac OS X graphic user interface designed to easily operate more than 20 powerful Unix open-source video and audio processing tools
  2. mpeg2enc – Download to your Downloads folder.
  3. mencoder & mplayer – Download and decompress the zip file.
  4. reallibs – Download, decompress the zip, rename the folder as “reallib”, and copy it into /Library/Application Support/ffmpegX. You’ll create the “ffmpegX” folder (cAsE sensitive) if it doesn’t exists.


The first time you launch ffmpegX it’ll ask you to locate three components (items 2 & 3 above). Click on the respective “Locate” buttons to tell ffmpegX where they are. After that, enter your Mac OS X login password (ffmpegX won’t work if your login password is empty.)

Performing the conversion to .avi

First and foremost, the conversion process chokes on non-english path/filename, so rename your 小美媚.rmvb to xmm.rmvb first.

Drag and drop your rmvb file into the “From” well and just click the “Encode” button to start encoding. Do not be tempted to change any settings when converting a .rmvb file. If you want a different output format (iPod’s mp4, mpeg1 VCD, DivX 6 etc), then do so after ffmpegX has converted it to .avi first. Re-launch ffmpegX if you messed up its default settings.

In other words, for a successful run, just drag, drop, and click Encode.

BTW, you can close ffmpegX’s main window after clicking Encode; a new and stand-alone Progress window shows you the progress.

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