February 15, 2008

Cool Tools: Zamzar

Okay, where the hell was Zamzar two weeks ago when I needed to convert some image files? Here all along and no one told me about it? Curse you all.

Need a PDF file converted to doc, html, odt, pcx, png, ps, rtf or txt formats and can’t do it yourself? Want to use jpgs as a Windows icon or a thumbnail? See a video on YouTube that you want to save to your computer in another format? Is it too time consuming to do it yourself (never mind that some of us have incompetence issues)? Zamzar does it for you – it’s a handy little tool which essentially serves as a translator for documents, images, music, video and other formats.

It comes in four flavors: free, basic, pro and business, each with escalating features. The free service gives you 100 MB and 5 free conversions; the pay services offer larger file size and file conversions, online storage, file management, security and customer service. You can use the service online or download a toolbar button (which is incredibly useful when surfing sites and finding files that need to be saved to your computer). Depending on the traffic on the site at any given time, uploads and downloads may take some time – obviously free service users aren’t prioritized as highly so it may take a little while for your files to be completed.

The site’s mascots are big, ugly multi-colored chameleons – very apt, and much nicer than the alternative. The company’s name, Zamzar, is based on Samsa (Gregor Samsa), the name of the character in Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” who transform into a cockroach.

Great service – check it out and let me know what you think.