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Issue 3.4


Front End Convert Drop 1.1

Issue: 3.4 (March/April 2005)
Author: Scott Griebel
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,676
Starting Page Number: 9
Article Number: 3404
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Full text of article...

Front End Convert Drop by K-werkx Inc. is a software tool for converting various image, audio, and video files to and from a wide variety of formats. According to the website (http://www.kwerkx.com), some of the formats supported are mp4, mov, aiff, wav, avi, jpeg, pict, bmp, and tiff files. As stated in the documentation, &"Mpeg 1 (.mpg) files with sound and picture are not fully supported. Only the video can be converted."& However, this limitation was not tested. There are both Mac and Windows versions of this software. OS 8, 9, and X are supported on the Mac, while the Windows version supports Windows 2000 and XP.

As indicated by the software's name, the intended interaction with the program is to drag and drop media files onto the Convert Drop window. Alternatively, media files can be selected by choosing Open from the File menu. Windows versions allow the user to drag and drop media files onto the application icon, although, for some strange reason, this is not supported in the Mac version.

Regardless of how the user goes about specifying the media file they wish to convert, the program automatically detects the source file type and lists all appropriate target file types. This automatic functionality was very useful. The user can then choose from this list of available conversions formats to create a new media file with a file name of their choosing.

After selecting the file for conversion, the final stage of the process is to select export settings for the targeted file type. For example, if you are exporting to a jpeg file, then options for image quality and color depth are presented. Audio conversions offer options for sampling rate, stereo versus mono, and bit depth. Video conversions have an even wider array of options, including audio and video settings, filters, and effects. One unfortunate thing is that, for any converted type, the export settings have to be set every time a conversion is performed. It would have been much more convenient if default export settings could be set up in a preferences screen for each conversion type.

In preliminary testing of the Mac OS X version, all tasks were successful, including image, audio, and video conversions. The help guide offers sufficient instruction for all conversion types, and includes some very detailed samples.

Besides the inability to convert mpg files, it is disappointing that there is no batch mode processing. The tool would be much more useful and efficient if multiple files of the same file type could be converted with a batch conversion tool.

End of article.