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How to convert files without installing new software

There are still more file formats out there than most of us know what to do with. Online Convert is a great Web app that lets you convert audio, video, images, and other kinds of files without installing software.

When you're faced with an unfamiliar file format and just want to hear that track, watch that vid, or read that e-book now, you may have your work cut out for you. There are plenty of file converters out there, but they require download, installation, updates, and an understanding of how they work. Online Convert aims to clear away all those requirements and make it easy to shift files from one type to another. Here's how to use it:

  1. Point your browser to Online Convert.
  2. Choose the kind of file you want to convert and the file type you want to use from the drop-down menus. (You should be taken to a separate page automatically, but you may need to click Go.)
    Step 2: Select the type of file to convert.
    Step 2: Select the type of file to convert. Rob Lightner/CNET
  3. You have two options for selecting files to convert. You can either click Choose File to browse your local files, or enter the URL of an online file you want to convert.
  4. Change the optional settings, if you like, then click "Convert file" to start the process. The file is converted in the background and then downloaded automatically to your default download folder.

That's it! Online Convert is a great resource, and while it can't yet handle multiple files at once, it can make life much simpler for quite a few users.

Here are some more file conversion tricks:

Thanks to ghacks for the tip!