When I am looking to create a video presentation or a tutorial video that I want to share with others, a video file would typically suffice. However, this path might not be the best option, particularly if I want to pair the aforementioned video with interactive content and I want a self-contained playback window without the ability for any user-intervention. Also, depending on the codec you use, there is no guarantee that the video will play back on another PC without extra software, like VLC or a codec pack.
RAD Video Tools
Today, we are going to look at a product called RAD Video Tools, which can take any standard video file and convert it to a Windows executable. Clearly, the advantage to using this tool is the fact that you don't need to provide special codecs or additional software, as they are self-contained programs which include both the player and movie combined into one. This can be quite useful for distribution on physical media and the web.
First, download and install the freeware RAD Video Tools package for Windows.
Start RAD Video Tools and point the application to the directory containing the video for executable generation. At this phase, we will need to convert the source video to a .bik, Bink format as an intermediary step before finally outputting to an EXE file. Click the "Bink it!" button located on the bottom-left hand corner of the window to begin.
From here, you will determine your compression levels for both the video and audio streams contained within the source video. For all intents and purposes, the defaults are perfectly fine unless you have a special scenario, such as limited disk space. Click the "Bink" button to commence the render process.
At this stage, the Bink encode process can take anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour, depending upon the length and resolution of your video. Once finished, close the dialog box.
Select the newly created Bink output of your video file and click the "Advanced play" button at the bottom of the window.
Now this is the fun part. This is where you get to customize every aspect of what will become your self-contained movie player executable. Select the options that you desire and then click the "Play" button to test your settings. If you are satisfied, click the "Make EXE" button to proceed.
Specify your output filename here as well as the target platform. Unless you have a specific reason to change, I recommend keeping the compile option on Win 32. Click the "Compile" button to generate your executable.
That's it! Simply fire up your newly-minted EXE movie file! You can share this with anyone and it will play right away without the need to install any software.
An avid technology writer and an IT guru, Matthew is here to help bring the best in software, hardware and the web to the collective consciousness of TechRepublic's readership. In addition to writing for TechRepublic, Matthew currently works as a Customer Success Professional for Ultimate Software in Santa Ana, California.