Free online file conversion

This morning David Lee King pointed me to by saying “Zamzar is cool”. With a recommendation like that how could I not take a look?

Step one is to go to You may want to look at their list of convertible file types before you get to far.

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Once you’ve decided what file you’re going to convert, just click the Browse button and select your file. (There is an upload limit of 100MB per file.)

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The file you’ve chosen to convert will appear at the bottom of the page. You can remove that file if you choose the wrong one, or add other files to be converted as a batch. (Be sure to only choose files of the same general type, such as video files, as you’ll only be able to have one output file type.)

Step two is to choose which format you want the file converted to from the dropdown list. (This list will populate with only valid conversion formats.)

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Step three: enter your e-mail address, (a link to the converted files will be sent to this e-mail address,) then click the Convert button.

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You’ll then be asked to confirm your choices by clicking OK…

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…and your file(s) will be uploaded to the server for conversion. A status bar will keep you up-to-date with the progress and estimated time remaining of the upload process.

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Once the upload is complete you will be told as such and reminded that the link to the converted file will be e-mailed to you.

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A few minutes later (in my experiences) you will receive and e-mail with a link to the converted file.

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However, this is not a link to the file itself, but to a Web page with the file link. So, do not right-click and select Save as on this link. Just click the link and open the page for your converted file.

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On this page, click the Download Now button to initiate your download and then confirm to your browser that you wish to save this file.

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In this example I converted a Flash Video file (.flv) from YouTube (yes, there are ways to download YouTube videos) into a Windows .avi file. Here are the properties of both the original and converted files.

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Yes, in this case I converted a smaller file into a larger file. However, with an .avi file I can burn it to DVD video and/or play it in Windows Media Player which allows me to view it in full-screen mode. (Neither of which I can do with a .flv file.)

As you can see below, the quality of the converted file is not noticeably different from the original.

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With this one experiment I can say that Zamzar does live up it its promises and should be bookmarked by anyone who might ever need to convert files from one format to another. The only two downsides I can fine is the 100MB limit, which should only be an issue for those looking to convert video files, and its current inability to deal with files from Microsoft Works (something that would be very useful to public libraries.)

2 Replies to “Free online file conversion”

  1. I bookmarked Zamzar days ago, but I haven’t had a chance to really play with it yet. But thanks for this excellent, detailed walkthrough!

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