Use Zamzar to convert files from your Desktop !

We’re excited to announce that we just launched three new applications which allow you to convert files right on your desktop !

  • Dropbox Converter – Convert files to various formats directly within your Dropbox account.
  • Hot Folders – Monitor folders on your desktop & automatically convert files to other formats.
  • Zamzar Bash – Convert files directly from the command line.

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Using the Zamzar API

These apps all build on top of our powerful file conversion API which allows you to bake file conversion into your application using a tiny amount of code and  a simple REST API. Our API supports the conversion of 100’s of formats and is cloud-based to scale with your needs, whether you’re converting 1 file or 100,000.

We have made the source code for all these applications publicly available, so you can grab it, and build your own apps and tools on top of it (for both commercial and personal use).

Thanks to Michael Walsh and Joe Anderson for their efforts in developing the code for the Dropbox Converter and Hot Folders respectively, building on their initial efforts at our York University Hack Day.

Happy (desktop) converting,
The Zamzar Team.

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Building a file conversion app in a day

We recently challenged students at the University of York to participate in a one-day hackathon. Their remit was simple: design and build a file conversion app that uses the Zamzar API . A few hours later, the students demoed their six fantastic applications, and the winning apps were announced.

What did the students build? Who won? Read on to find out…

The Apps

In most cases, students opted to solve a problem that they had faced themselves. This was immediately apparent from the first app, GIF-T, which turns a bevy of related photos into a short montage video and wraps it up with a (virtual!) bow and gift tag. When we asked about the inspiration for their app, the developers stated that they had grown tired of receiving hundreds of similar photos from weddings, birthdays, or particularly infamous trips to their local pub. Powered by the image-to-video conversions provided by the Zamzar API, the developers of GIF-T were able to build a simple prototype and wireframes for their final application in just a few hours.

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Three of the applications focused on making file conversion extremely straightforward for everyone. These included a Dropbox plug-in which allowed “hot folders” to be used for automatically converting files from one format to another, a browser plug-in for converting archive files from unusual formats (we’re looking at you WinRAR) to something more commonplace, and a UNIX command for converting files as part of a shell script.

Meanwhile, a trio of students experimented with combining file conversion with natural language processing in their automated illustrator app. The goal here was to analyse a story (in plaintext), use an image search engine to select appropriate illustrations for the story, and combine the end result into an eBook using the Zamzar API. The developers demonstrated their application using Alice in Wonderland as a source text.

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The final app was the excellent and bewildering Cat Meme Generator, which combined Web 3.o design sensibilities with the ability to generate cat-related memes. We’re not quite sure why this app exists, but we’re glad that it does.

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The Winners

Although we were thoroughly impressed with everybody’s efforts, we awarded prizes to our favourite three apps:

The plucky winners took home prizes, and we came away thoroughly impressed with how much can be achieved with a few hours work. We’ll be releasing the source code from some of these applications in the coming days on our GitHub repo so you can extend and reuse the code in your own applications.


If you fancy replicating the successes of the University of York students, why not sign up for a free Zamzar API account today?

 

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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We’re improving Zamzar …

Our rocket scientists have been working hard to make Zamzar better for you over the past few months.

Here’s a quick rundown of the things we’ve been fixing in recent months.

If you’ve noticed any other bugs, or want us to improve anything else with the service please let us know.

Conversions

  • PDF to JPG – In some cases we noticed that very large files (500+ pages) were failing to convert.
  • Keynote to PPT – Some Apple Keynote presentations had issues when being converted into Microsoft Powerpoint.
  • DOCX to DOC – Some larger .docx files were failing to convert correctly to the .doc format.
    Note: We’re still aware of an issue whereby some files with a non-Latin alphabet fail to convert. Our engineers are working to fix this.
  • PDF to XLS – A bug in our conversion process caused a number of these conversions to fail. We’ve now fixed this to improve conversion success for these files by over 40%
  • PUB to PDF – Files with very long filenames were failing, an issue which we’ve now fixed.

Video conversions

    We fixed an issue which had been preventing video file conversions from the popular video sharing website at GodTube. Yay !

    Notification Emails

    • Delivering to your inbox – We’ve improved the way we send email notifications for conversions so that less of them end up in your spam folders.
    • Look & Feel – In some email providers (most notably Yahoo Mail and AOL Mail) Zamzar conversion emails looked wonky. We’ve now tidied them up to look all nice and shiny.

    Happy converting,
    The Zamzar Team.

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    Convert csv to xlsx, ods to xlsx, wks to xlsx, xls to xlsx

    Convert files into the .xlsx format using ZamzarWe’re broadening our support for Microsoft Office formats, and you can now use Zamzar to convert any of the following formats into Microsoft’s .xlsx format – an increasingly popular spreadsheet format introduced in MS Office 2007:

    • csv – Comma Separated Values
    • ods – OpenDocument spreadsheet
    • wks – Microsoft Works Spreadsheet
    • xls – Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet

    We hope this conversion will be useful to those of you who receive documents in these formats from colleagues and friends who need them returned in the .xlsx format.

    Happy converting,
    The Zamzar Team

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    Convert Visio files (vsd) to pdf, jpg, png, html and more

    Organised chaos

    We’re pleased to announce you can now use Zamzar to convert Microsoft Visio (.vsd) files into a variety of different formats.

    Visio is a popular diagramming program for Microsoft Windows which can be used to create simple visual representations of complex data, from business processes to network topologies.

    Visio may be good, but not everyone has it. We hope this new conversion will be useful if you want to share your creations with others who don’t have Visio installed – you can convert .vsd files into pdf documents or images rather than send round Visio files.

    In fact Zamzar now allows you to convert .vsd files into any one of the following formats:

    • bmp – Windows Bitmap
    • gif – Compuserve graphics interchange
    • html – Hypertext Markup Language
    • jpg – JPEG compliant image
    • pdf – Portable Document Format
    • png – Portable Network Graphic
    • tiff – Tagged image file format

    So, what are you waiting for ? Go Miscrosoft Visio converter crazy today – release those diagrams !

    Happy converting !
    The Zamzar Team.

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    Convert documents into speech … yes speech ! (doc, pdf, txt and more to mp3)

    Convert documents to speech with ZamzarWe’re constantly looking to innovate at Zamzar, and we’re delighted to announce the launch of an exciting new conversion – You can now use Zamzar to convert documents into the spoken word !

    We think this feature will be particularly useful for our visually impaired users, many of whom receive documents from friends and colleagues in formats that are difficult for screen readers to access. We also hope this will come in handy for anyone who wants to listen to documents, emails or pdf files on the go – All files are converted into the mp3 format, making them ideal for listening on portable music players such as the iPod.

    The full list of supported files which you can convert into mp3 is listed below:

    • doc – Microsoft Word Document
    • docx – Microsoft Word 2007 Document
    • odt – OpenDocument Text Document
    • pdf – Portable Document Format
    • pub – Microsoft Publisher
    • txt – Plain Text document
    • wpd – Wordperfect Document
    • wps – Microsoft Works Document

    Just click to try out Zamzar’s document to speech magic right now, or hit the play button below to hear the text of this post spoken out loud !

    Happy converting !
    The Zamzar Team.

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