Online File Conversion Services

Zamzar, a free online file conversion tool, launched last week. Like a similar tool, Media Convert, Zamzar allows users to upload a file and have it converted into a number of formats.

Common uses for Zamzar include converting PDF documents to Word, iTunes AAC files to MP3, and Flash (flv) files to MP4 for iPod use. Up to five files can be converted simultaneously. The process takes a few minutes – Zamzar emails a link to the converted file when it is done. It worked well in our testing. Note, however, that Zamzar is not able to convert DRM’d files. The maximum file size is 100 MB, but there are no limits on the number of files converted. For more on Zamzar, see Go2web2.

Zamzar has a better interface and design than existing service Media Convert, although we found Media Convert to convert files more quickly in our testing. Media Convert also allows input files to be locally stored or from a URL, saving users an extra step if a file is on the Internet. Also, Media Convert converts the file while you wait, and gives a download link on screen when the process is completed. Since no registration is required, users are not required to give up an email address as they are with Zamzar. However, only files that are 50 MB or less can be converted using Media Convert.

Both services are useful, particularly when converting flash movies (from YouTube, etc.) to MP4 for viewing on an iPod.