Announcing the file conversion API

We’re delighted to officially announce our brand new file conversion API which allows you to integrate file conversions into your apps and projects using a simple REST-based API – check it out now at https://developers.zamzar.com.

1,100+ conversions !

 
File conversion API formatsThe API is launching today with support for 1,100+ different conversions, so whether you need to convert documents such as WordPerfect or MS Publisher into PDFs, videos into animated GIFs or PSD’s into JPG’s we can help. Check out the full list of formats at https://developers.zamzar.com/formats – we support documents, images, videos, audio, eBooks, compressed & CAD files.

 

Simple to use

 
We have designed the API to be simple to use with comprehensive documentation, code samples and support direct from the development team so that you can get up and running quickly – perform complex file conversions in just a few lines of code.

Try it now ! Just copy and paste this code to get a list of all available API formats:

curl https://api.zamzar.com/v1/formats -u GiVUYsF4A8ssq93FR48H:

 

Production ready

 
File conversion API Our services are cloud-based so we can meet your conversion demands, whether you are converting 1 file or 10,000.

The API can scale with your needs, so if your app or website needs a huge burst of file conversions we can handle it, seamlessly.

 

Free to test

 
Signup for a free file conversion API accountGet up and running in minutes by signing up for a free API account (no payment needed), and start converting files immediately.

You can use your test account to convert files for free whilst you are evaluating the API.

Get started now

Happy Developing !
The Zamzar Team.


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Why Fred Wilson is wrong – files aren’t dead


zamzar-logo-18x18Check out our file conversion API – 100s of formats supported


Prominent New York VC Fred Wilson just posted an interesting and thought-provoking retrospective on 2014. He attempted to sum up some of the major trends in tech over the course of the last 12 months, and made some astute observations, such as “cyberwarfare … was the dominant theme of 2014″ and “messaging is the new social media”.

One thing he got wrong though was his assertion that:

“We finally got rid of files. dropbox, google drive, soundcloud, spotify, netflix, hbogo, youtube, wattpad, kindle, and a host of other cloud based services finally killed off three letter filenames like mp3, mov, doc and xls.”

Fred isn’t the first to call time on the humble file – plenty of other commentators, technologists and websites have been sounding the death knell for the notion of files and hierarchical file systems for years – here’s a piece from 15 years ago doing just that. Despite our best efforts to replace them files soldier on, refusing to know when they are beat.

So why haven’t files died out ?

  1. Files make the world go round

    If you peak under the hood of most of the world’s favourite operating systems you’ll find a hierarchical file system trying to break out. Android, Linux, OS X (which is built on top of UNIX) and Windows all use files to manage core system resources, and developers haven’t yet found a better paradigm for managing the complexity of building, shipping and maintaining a modern operating system. The notion of a “file system” even sits at the core of the most oft-quoted filesystem-killer – iOS:

    ios-file-system

  2.  

  3. Your devices use files

    In the last 10 years there has been an explosion of devices which we use to consume content – from smartphones, e-readers, tablets and (now) watches to internet-connected toasters. For these devices to display meaningful content to you (books, films, songs, photos) they use file formats defined by agreed-upon standards. Some of those standards are developed collaboratively between companies, others are proprietary, but their common feature is that somewhere along the line most of them use a “file” as the storage container for your content.

    As we have more devices thrust upon us, so we can expect more standards, new file formats and more files – the rate at which they are developing is speeding up, not slowing down, and there is always a commercial imperative for companies to push for ownership of new standards (despite what they might claim to the contrary in public):

    apple-u2-file-format

  4.  

  5. Even “THE CLOUD” use files

    “WAIT !” I hear you thunder – have you not heard of “THE CLOUD ™” and it’s endless capacity for slurping up data and allowing me to create unique, meaningful content ?

    All of the killer apps that Fred mentions will use files at some level in order to bring you the service they provide. But what’s more interesting is that many of them still surface the notion of “the file” in their interfaces to end users – you can import MP3’s into Spotify, download videos from YouTube and upload audio files to your Kindle. Even Dropbox can’t quite bring itself to kill the file extension yet:

    dropbox-screenshot

    So whilst it’s tempting to think of “THE CLOUD ™” and apps as filesystem killers, they still rely on files as much as any other software of it’s type has done in the past. And many users still value the control this gives them.

What Fred really meant

 

I think what Fred was really getting at was that from the point of view of the average computer user files are becoming less important and less visible.

And it’s hard to argue with that – Most people couldn’t care less what underlying proprietary binary data format their words, videos, drawings and music are encoded in – they just want to be able to find, view and edit their stuff quickly and easily, on any device at any time. Anything that enables that is a “win” from the point of view of most consumers.

The data seems to back this notion up:

google-trends-files

… or does it ?

soundcloud-netflix-download

youtube-download

 

Ceding control for convenience

 

Most people are prepared to cede control over their content for the benefits of convenience – The rise & rise of the largest consumer Internet companies are predicated on this fact. Facebook will organize your social life, YouTube your videos and GMail your email in return for mining your content to advertise at you. Many users aren’t aware they are making this trade but are happy since their lives improve as a result.

But what happens when Yahoo accidentally deletes all your photos, or your backup provider implodes, or you can’t play that new computer game on Christmas Day, or your [insert app-du-jour] is deadpooled overnight ? Who owns your data then ? Can you even get it out before it gets wiped ?

This is to say nothing of digital obsolescence – It comes to something when the inventor of Powerpoint can no longer open his own files because the software he originally created no longer lets him.

The magnificently brief history of computing has seen wild swings in where your files live – the mainframe ? the minicomputer ? A tape drive ? the PC ? The Netbook ? The Smartphone ? Your USB drive ? Or SD Card ? It would be naïve to think that we are necessarily at the end of that cycle with “THE CLOUD ™” or the latest mobile app.

Recently we have seen the beginnings of a backlash against too much centralisation of data thanks to the privacy issues raised by Snowden – ironically one of Fred’s own investments (DuckDuckGo) is something of a poster-child for that movement. It’s too early to tell where it will go, but the notion that you can still own your own files is a powerful one for many – we haven’t got rid of files yet.


Full disclosure: We provide services to allow business and individuals to convert files to and from 100s of different formats so we clearly have a horse in this race. If you’re a developer we’re just about to launch an awesome API to take away the pain of that process – you should check it out :)


 

Happy New Year !
Chris Whyley – Co-Founder, Zamzar.


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Convert AIFF / AIF files to MP3, WAV, AAC and more – online and free

Convert AIFF and AIF files to MP3, AAC, WAV and more.The Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) is an Apple Mac OSX audio file format, usually denoted by files using either the AIFF or AIF file extension. You can now use Zamzar to convert AIFF or AIF files into a variety of other audio formats using our online conversion tool.

AIFF files tend to be much larger in size than compressed audio files such as MP3, because it is an uncompressed and lossless audio format. This can be useful for preserving audio quality and allowing more rapid streaming of audio files from disk to applications, but filesizes can grow to be large, very quickly. The format tends to appear most often on Mac OSX systems.

If you need to convert an AIFF or AIF file Zamzar now supports conversion to all of the following formats:

  • aac – Advanced Audio Coding File
  • ac3 – AC3 Audio File
  • flac – Free Lossless Audio Codec
  • m4a – Compressed video file
  • m4r – iPhone Ringtone File
  • mp3 – Compressed audio file
  • mp4 – MPEG-4 Video File
  • ogg – Ogg Vorbis Compressed Audio File
  • wav – Windows audio file
  • wma – Windows Media Audio

 

AIFF – A potted history

 
commodore-amiga-a500The AIFF format has a long (and somewhat glorious) history.

Originally developed by Apple Computers in 1988 for the Mac OSX operating system, it was based on the Interchange File Format (IFF) developed by Electronic Arts, which was designed to ease the transfer of data between software produced by different companies. IFF files were widely used on Commodore Amiga systems, most notably for various graphic formats.

According to the official AIFF specification document the new AIFF format was “… the result of several meetings held with music developers over a period of ten months in 1987-88″ – back in the days of an unusually collaborative Apple Computing :)

Happy converting,
The Zamzar Team.

[Amiga image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/quagmirez31/4046472613]


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Free your emails – Convert EML and MSG files to PDF, DOC, HTML and more

Convert EML and MSG files onlineDon’t leave your old emails locked up ! Zamzar now has the ability to convert email files from the popular “EML” and “MSG” file formats into PDF, DOC, TXT, HTML and other formats.

Files which have an .eml extension are email messages which have been created by email clients such as Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird or Eudora. Files with a .msg extension are email messages which have been exported from Microsoft Outlook into a proprietary binary format, which can make them difficult to read if you don’t have the software to open them. You can read more technical details about the MSG format here.

We now offer the ability to convert these files into formats which are easier to share with friends and colleagues, such as PDFs. You can use Zamzar to perform all of the following conversions online for EML files:

  • doc – Microsoft Word Document
  • html – Hypertext Markup Language
  • html4 – Hypertext Markup Language
  • html5 – Hypertext Markup Language/li>
  • jpg – JPEG compliant image
  • pdf – Portable Document Format
  • rtf – Rich Text Format
  • tiff – Tagged image file format
  • txt – Text Document

You can convert MSG files to all the same formats:

  • doc – Microsoft Word Document
  • html – Hypertext Markup Language
  • html4 – Hypertext Markup Language
  • html5 – Hypertext Markup Language
  • jpg – JPEG compliant image
  • pdf – Portable Document Format
  • rtf – Rich Text Format
  • tiff – Tagged image file format
  • txt – Text Document

Go liberate that email !

Happy converting,
The Zamzar Team.

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Convert CR2 files to JPG, PNG, TIFF, PDF and more

Convert CR2 filesA Canon RAW Image (.cr2) file is the go-to file-type for avid photographers using Canon digital cameras. You can now use Zamzar to convert your .cr2 files to other image formats.

If you’ve just splashed out on a brand-new digital camera, have rented one for an important event, or have been emailed files containing the images of your special occasion, it can be frustrating to realise you don’t have the correct image-editing software to open and view your images.

At Zamzar we now offer support for converting .cr2 files into a range of popular image formats, such as tiff, png, jpg and pdf. There’s no need to download any additional software; you can simply convert your files for free online, quicker than you can get everyone to say “cheese!”

The .cr2 format is a RAW image format that stores data taken directly from a camera’s sensor. This file type offers the best quality-to-size ratio, and allows for detailed post-processing of an image. It also avoids the image quality loss that can occur with other more common file formats like .jpg and .png. However, with .cr2 files the image isn’t readily viewable, meaning that specific software is needed in order to view and edit the pictures. This is fine if your camera came with a RAW software package, but not so simple if you’ve purchased your camera second-hand, have borrowed or rented one, or have been sent photos in the .cr2 format by a friend. If this is the case, simply use Zamzar to convert your .cr2 files to any or all of the following formats:

  • bmp – Windows bitmap
  • gif – Compuserve graphics interchange
  • jpg – JPEG compliant image
  • pcx – Paintbrush Bitmap Image
  • pdf – Portable Document Format
  • png – Portable Network Graphic
  • tga – Truevision Targa Graphic
  • tiff – Tagged image file format
  • wbmp – Wireless Bitmap File Format
  • webp – Lossily compressed image file

If you’re a budding photographer wanting to progress beyond simple point-and-shoot cameras, cameras that save images in RAW format are a great choice, allowing you to experiment freely and edit images later. If you’re confused by all your camera’s different picture styles and filtering options, or find you keep forgetting to select the correct options for that all-important shot, simply save your photographs as .cr2 files. That way, you can relax in the knowledge that you can edit your images later and correct any issues at that point – something that’s often not possible with images saved as .jpg files.

With Zamzar’s free online file-conversion tool, there’s no need to purchase or download specialist image-editing software for .cr2 files. Anyone with access to a camera that saves images in RAW format can view, share and print their photos.

Happy snapping !
The Zamzar Team.


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Convert AI files to JPG, PNG, GIF, PDF and more

Convert Adobe Illustator files with ZamzarAdobe Illustrator (.ai) files are widely used by web designers for developing artwork and graphics for webpage designs … but if you haven’t splashed out hundreds of dollars on Adobe Illustrator it can be a pain to open or view them.

Not any more ! Zamzar now provides support for converting .ai files into a variety of common image formats (GIF, JPG, PNG & more) online and for free.

The AI file format is a proprietary format developed by Adobe for saving out files from its popular Adobe Illustrator program. Files tend to be single-page, vector-based drawings composed of paths connected by points. They are commonly used for logos and also print media, and as AI files are saved in this vector format they can be resized without losing image quality. Some graphics programs can open AI files, but they can rasterize the image, meaning that they will lose the vector data when converting the image.

Zamzar now allows you to convert AI files to all of the following formats:

  • bmp – Windows bitmap
  • gif – Compuserve graphics interchange
  • jpg – JPEG compliant image
  • pcx – Paintbrush Bitmap Image
  • pdf – Portable Document Format
  • png – Portable Network Graphic
  • tga – Truevision Targa Graphic
  • tiff – Tagged image file format
  • wbmp – Wireless Bitmap File Format
  • webp – Lossily compressed image file

… which means you can avoid this:

Adobe Illustrator file - email

Happy converting,
The Zamzar Team.

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Zamzar and Heartbleed

TL;DR: We’re happy to report that after auditing our services Zamzar has not been affected by the Heartbleed vulnerability. Read on for more info …

heartbleedTwo days ago on 7th April 2014 a major security vulnerability – CVE-2014-0160 (nicknamed “Heartbleed”) was announced.

This bug has the potential to affect any site which runs “secure” HTTPS traffic (usually identified by the little padlock you see in your web browser).

Current estimates put the number of affected sites at half a million, with renowned security expert Bruce Schneier calling it “Catastrophic” … On the scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11.

Our response

 
We run HTTPS services here at Zamzar for our business customers, as part of our efforts to keep your files and data secure, and were naturally concerned when we heard about this issue. We’re happy to report that after auditing our services Zamzar has not been affected by the Heartbleed vulnerability – We do run the software which can be affected (OpenSSL), but the version we run – 0.9.8 – does not have this bug.

We take our responsibilities to customers very seriously, which is why we conducted a full audit of our services on the same day that this bug was announced, on the 7th April 2014.

Other sites

 
If you use other services and software, please be aware that they could still be vulnerable to this issue – you can check whether they are by using a number of tools to test for the Heartbleed vulnerability (although, please make sure you have permission first):

Given the severity of this problem – passwords can be stolen, sessions hijacked, traffic and files spied upon – you should be asking the other websites you use what they are doing to fix the problem.

Patching your own sites

 
If you run your own web servers for customers you should check to make sure they are not vulnerable – If they are you should upgrade to a fixed version of OpenSSL as soon as possible by using your operating system’s package manager (e.g apt, yum or up2date) or by downloading and installing the latest release from OpenSSL.

Conclusions

 
We take the security of your data very seriously here at Zamzar, and will work hard to protect it on your behalf. If you have any questions or concerns about this or any other issue please do shoot us an email at info@zamzar.com.

Thanks,
The Zamzar Team.

Convert NEF files to JPG, PDF, PNG, TIFF and more

We’re always looking to add new conversions to our list of available formats and we can now add NEF to that list. You can now convert your NEF files to JPG, PDF, PNG and TIFF using Zamzar, online and for free !Convert NEF to JPG, PDF, PNG and TIFF

NEF (the Nikon Electronic Format) is a camera image format, developed as Nikon’s version of the RAW image format.

Raw image formats are intended to capture as closely as possible the characteristics of the scene being photographed, and to preserve as much detail as possible. The downside is that filesizes tend to be huge, and we want to make it as easy as possible to convert those RAW images into smaller, more portable image formats as quickly and easily as possible.

We’re pleased to announce you can use Zamzar’s free online tool to convert your NEF files to any of these formats – PNG and JPG probably offer the best compromise of quality vs filesize.

  • bmp – Windows bitmap
  • gif – Compuserve graphics interchange
  • jpg – JPEG compliant image
  • pcx – Paintbrush Bitmap Image
  • pdf – Portable Document Format
  • png – Portable Network Graphic
  • tga – Truevision Targa Graphic
  • tiff – Tagged image file format
  • wbmp – Wireless Bitmap File Format
  • webp – Lossily compressed image file

Happy converting,
The Zamzar Team.

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Convert WebM files to AVI, FLV, MP4 and MPG amongst others

You can now convert WebM files to AVI, FLV, MP4 and MPG using Zamzar, online and for free !Convert WebM to AVI, FLV, MP4 and MPG

WebM is an open, royalty-free, media file format designed for the web, developed by Google and others and based on the VP8 video codec. Video is at the core of the web experience and an open video format was needed, free from the normal patent regulations that come with many other formats – hence WebM. WebM video files play directly in your web browser using HTML5 – for instance Google now offers WebM videos as part of its HTML5 player within YouTube.

We’re pleased to announce you can use Zamzar’s free online tool to convert your WebM files to any of these formats. We also support conversion the other way too – if you need to convert any of these formats into the more open WebM format.

  • 3gp – 3GPP Multimedia File
  • 3g2 – 3GPP2 Multimedia File
  • aac – Advanced Audio Coding File
  • ac3 – AC3 Audio File
  • avi – Windows video file
  • flac – Free Lossless Audio Codec
  • flv – Flash video
  • gif – Compuserve graphics interchange
  • iPad – MPEG-4 (H264) Video File
  • iPhone – MPEG-4 (H264) Video File
  • iPod – MPEG-4 (H264) Video File
  • mp3 – Compressed audio file
  • mov – Apple QuickTime Movie
  • mp4 – MPEG-4 Video File
  • mpg – Moving Picture Experts Group File
  • ogg – Ogg Vorbis Compressed Audio File
  • wav – Windows audio file
  • wmv – Windows Media Video

Let’s help spread the WebM file type !

Flash RIP

Happy converting,
The Zamzar Team.

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Convert XPS files to BMP, JPG, PDF and TIFF amongst others

Convert XPS to BMP, JPG, PDF and TIFFYou can now convert XPS files to PDF using Zamzar, online and for free !

The XPS format is an alternative to the PDF file format for Microsoft platforms only, created using the “Microsoft XPS document writer”. If you are on a non-Microsoft operating system such as OSX or Linux it can be helpful to convert these files to something more useable such as a PDF file.

We’re pleased to therefore announce you can use Zamzar’s free online tool to convert your XPS file to any of these more convenient formats:

  • bmp – Windows Bitmap
  • gif – Compuserve graphics interchange
  • jpg – JPEG compliant image
  • oeb – Open eBook File
  • pcx – Paintbrush Bitmap Image
  • pdf – Portable Document Format
  • png – Portable Network Graphic
  • tiff – Tagged image file format

This means you no longer need to be tied to Microsoft !

Microsoft Lock In

Happy converting,
The Zamzar Team.

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