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Zamzar Review

b>My Review: 7

Today I am reviewing a website; they’re called Zamzar (www.zamzar.com) , and they will convert your files from one format to another. (i.e. convert a word document into a PDF, or a .AVI file into a .FLV file.) The name Zamzar is a play on Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. The allusion being that they morph one file into another. Neat.

The thing I actually like best about Zamzar is how dead simple they are. The main home page has the entire User Interface all in one place, in four easy steps:

  1. Browse to your file
  2. Choose what format to convert to
  3. Enter your email address
  4. Click to upload your file and convert

Essentially you will upload your file to Zamzar’s servers, they will convert the file into the designated format, and then they will email you a link to download your converted file. The service is simple and really cool. The turnaround time varies between 20 minues and three to four hours. It seems to depend partly on what type of file conversion you are doing, as well as how much traffic they’re dealing with. Rumor has it that they are adding servers and working to speed up those long delays. The list of file types users can convert from / to is pretty extensive.

A couple of things are lacking here for sure. It would be sweet if they let you convert DRM’d files (like iTunes files) into DRM-free (.MP3) formats. I can understand them wanting to avoid legal entanglements, but it would be cool. Also, I’d like to see an account / upgrade system where you can pay for additional features. Currently you can upload a maximum file size of 100MB, or as many as 5 files at one time that add up to no more than 100MB. They will host your file for 24 hours. I’d like to see an upgrade option that allows for larger file sizes, more files uploaded at one time, and a longer hosting period. I’m told that’s coming in the near future. (~6 months.)

One cool feature is that the service is free. They use an ad model to cover costs and make money. An upgrade option could also allow users to get rid of the ads, though frankly I don’t find it bothersome. It’s still easy to navigate the site and the ads are pretty innocuous.

Another neat feature they added recently is a video file download/converter. Basically, you can plug in the URL for a video (i.e. URL hosted on YouTube), select the format you want the file to end up in (i.e. .AVI, or an video iPod file), enter your email and they will send you a link to download the file. That pretty much kicks ass.

There are a couple of competitors in this space. Media Convert performs a similar function, though I don’t like their UI as much. A new one called Hey!Watch also hit this space recently. A review may be forthcoming, because they sound pretty cool also.

Zamzar is based in London, England and is self and angel funded to date. They are in discussions with several different VC’s for a serious round.

This is a neat website with a useful service. Solid 7 and a hearty round of applause. Yaaayyy.

zamzar_home_page.jpg

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