Multimedia applications on Mac and Windows computers don’t always make it easy to save or export files in a format that any computer can open, so if you find yourself with a file you’ve downloaded but are unable to open, or if you create a file that isn’t in the correct format for sharing with your classmates, you will need to use a media converter.
Becoming familiar with these tools is an important part of developing digital literacy because it broadens the range of media you can use to communicate.
Note: If the file in question is an audio file you created that is not in mp3 format, first make sure you followed the instructions on the appropriate handout under the Working with Audio category, as those handouts explain how to export mp3 files out of GarageBand and Audacity. If you used an audio app that cannot export files in mp3 format, then you’ll need to use a converter.
Option 1: Download and use a media file converter
- Download FLV Crunch, which is free, stable, and easy to use. The interface is pretty ugly, but it gets the job down. It will convert almost any type of audio or video file into almost any other format you might want.
- Download Flip4Mac from the Apple web site, which will add components to your existing version of QuickTime Player that will allow it to open new media file types.
- Download and install the free Windows version of Apple’s QuickTime Player. If necessary, also download the helper app described on this page, which will enable QuickTime for Windows to play a wider range of files, including m4a (audio), mov (video), and m4v (video) files made on a Mac
- Download AnyVideoConverter, which is free and easy to use.
- Koyote Free MP3 to WMA Converter (downloadable app reviewed and tested by CNET)
- WAV to MP3 Encoder (might be helpful if you can’t get Audacity to export mp3s)
- Switch Plus Audio Converter
Option 2: Use a Web-Based Converter
This might also be of interest to some of you: FreeRIP . It won’t convert your audio essay, but you can use it to extra audio off your music CDs and import it into your computer.
Option 3: Contact me
If you have no luck with the options above, contact me for additional suggestions, but give yourself plenty of time to do this before the assignment is due! Tell me what application you used to create the file and what file format it’s in (i.e., what extension the file name ends in, such as .m4v, .wma, or whatever). I may be able to convert the file for you, but please do NOT send it to me by email as the file is likely to be too large for me to receive over my home internet connection. You may share it with me on Google Docs instead.