File Format Conversion For Free

Ever find yourself in the position where you “cant get there-ah from here-ah”? You know that you can use that file if only it was in the correct format! Here are a couple of tools that may help. The first is an online file conversion tool – Zmazar (http://www.zamzar.com/).  In Zamzar you upload a file to the website, it does the file conversion and it emails you back the converted file.  Zamzar is one of those “free-mium” services so the limit on the free service is a 100mb file. You can certainly join the service at various monthly charge levels and the more you pay the more services you get.  Zamzar has an extensive list of conversion protocols for documents, images and music (even some CAD programs).

Another choice for file conversion is Format Factory. Format Factory is a free download-able program.  Its strength is in conversion of audio, video, and image files. Format Factory also has tools for working with CD/DVD and ISO image files. One of the things that has been a great boon to me in my schools is its ability to convert to flash format. We are doing quite a bit of short video production these days. The ability to get from whatever format to a flash file allows us to easily pop that video into our school  web pages. You sacrifice a bit of quality with flash, but it is an easily digestible format with most browsers.  We also use a private label Wikispace for in-school projects.  Wikispaces treats uploaded flash files as an image objects so placing it on a wiki page is just like uploading a JPEG and inserting it into the page.  Because it is a free download, Format Factory has become a standard tool on all of our school machines. And apologies to the Mac community, this one is Windows only.

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