Jul 24 2011
Files are the lifeblood of the internet age. Between all the bits and bytes, the digital and analog signals, and the character codes and HTML entities, at the end of the day it all comes down to files. For example, Microsoft Word is a fabulous application, one which people use every single day. But for as wonderful as MS Word is the result of everything it does is stored in a file. This file is like a mini offspring, completely separated from its creator and free to carry its contents anywhere it may end up. The same is true for many other applications people use on a day to day basis. They produce files that store static information in a completely separate container.
But problems can arise with files. Let’s say someone stores information in one file type but then someone tries to open it on a computer that can’t interpret it. A classic example is videos formats. Quite often someone will save a video in one format and send it to someone who isn’t able to view it. This happens if their computer doesn’t have a video player that supports it. At this point all is lost and they usually give up in a fit of rage. Until now.
As it turns out converting files isn’t all that hard. Sure if you’re the original owner you have the option to save it in any file type you like, but end users may need to find a different method. That method is FreeFileConvert– an online file converter which is in fact, free.
FreeFileConvert’s calling in life is simple. Upload a file, select the format you’d like to convert it to, and then download it. Once the file is converted it’s stored online for 12 hours during which time it can be downloaded. My immediate impression was that many similar services have a queue that you get to wait in. In my testing it converted the file right away so that I could download it and get back to what I was doing.
My next observation with FreeFileConvert is the vast amount of supported file types. They don’t just support pictures and various Microsoft Office file types. They include video, audio, compressed files, HTML, and many that I have never seen in my life. Presumably they fit under those broad categories for the most part. What’s more though is you can also include a link to online video services. So if you’d like to download a YouTube or Vimeo video just submit the link. Similar to their supported files they offer a dizzying array of sites you can download video from. In all cases the user is responsible to observe appropriate copyright regulations.
Video downloads from URLs is actually an interesting feature. By nature of being able to view the video online the video must be accessible on the web somewhere. But web developers often take steps to hide the source of video files so people can’t readily download them. It’s kind of like an online espionage game. My understanding is it’s perfectly legal to download them since technically you download them anyway to your browser cache. Incidentally, recovering videos from your cache is a much easier way to find a video’s source file, but it’s not one FreeFileConvert has the option to use. (Sites can’t pull content from other site’s cache, to my knowledge.) Instead they’ve done it the hard way by figuring out where the source files are hidden online for all the major video sites. (I can neither confirm nor deny what I was up to in figuring all this out recently.)
FreeFileConvert is the freest file converter we’ve found to date. You’re free to upload any of the supported files, and free to select any of the file types to convert it to. And then you’re free to download it as well. Beyond being cost effective (and liberating), it’s also one of the more popular services of its kind. Given the broad array of options and in particular their robust video downloading service, it’s a great tool for converting files to a format that works for you.