Pros / This software is straightforward and intuitive, and you should be able to use it with no problems.
Cons / It lacks any features outside strict video conversion that could elevate it to a truly useful program. It has to augment its features by bundling itself with a separate video editing application.
Verdict / If all you want out of a Mac video converter is to simply swap out one file type for another, then Prism fits the bill. Anything beyond that requires tools that this software simply doesn't have.
Prism by NCH Software earned a spot in our review of the best Mac video converters, but just barely. This application has the fundamental features we look for, such as the ability to optimize a video file for a smartphone tablet or gaming system. It even comes bundled with a fully featured video editor. However, the user interface feels bare and antiquated. It also lacks some useful features, such as the ability to download videos from the internet, burn converted files to a disc or even sync converted files to iTunes. Had NCH included any of these features, Prism would have placed higher on our side-by-side comparison chart.
The application itself is easy enough to navigate. Along the top of the interface you'll find a ribbon of the software's basic functions. Features like Add Files, Add Folders and Add DVD won't confuse any user. All files loaded into the program are listed in the middle portion of the interface. Selecting a format or device for playback is similarly straightforward. Along the bottom of the interface you have several options for tweaking the new file you want to create. Prism tailors the file to your specifications in an efficient and minimalist manner.
Like all of the video converters for Mac that we reviewed, Prism gives you a list of compatible devices you can optimize a video for. This is good as far as it goes. The list of compatible iOS devices is comprehensive, with the exception of the most recent generation of devices, while its Android offering leaves much to be desired. You can only select Android 480p and Android 720p. There are no device-specific options for Android and no options whatsoever for other types of smartphones such as Windows Phone. The list of compatible gaming devices is also short and omits the most recent generation of devices. You only have the option to convert a file for playback on PS3, Xbox 360, PSP and PS Vista.
Perhaps the most useful aspect of Prism is the fact that it comes bundled with the VideoPad video editor. This is a fully featured, if second-rate, video editor that has more functionality than any of the Mac video converters we reviewed. It comes complete with a timeline, a library of effects and transitions, and the ability to preview exactly what your video creation will look like before you export it.
If you're looking for a Mac video converter with an uncluttered and straightforward interface that performs a single task, then Prism is the program for you. However, if you want an application with more utility than simple conversions, you'll have to look elsewhere.