FAQ

Frequently asked questions

This page contains answers to common FAQs - if you can't find an answer to your question here check out our documentation which has a useful "Getting Started" guide.

Getting Started

File Formats

Using the API

Billing

Your Account

Security

Support

FAQ Answers

What is the Zamzar API ?

The Zamzar API is an online file conversion API. It allows you to easily convert between thousands of different file formats regardless of what platform or device you are on.

As a REST-based HTTP API it is simple to integrate into any mobile, web or desktop application, giving you the power to convert from and to a myriad of file formats, be they documents, images, videos, audio, e-Books, compressed or CAD files.

Why should I use the Zamzar API ?

Our API provides an enterprise class file conversion service at a fraction of the cost of trying to develop, maintain or license one yourself.

We can scale up or down with your needs - whether you convert 1 file or 10,000 as a cloud-based service we can match your needs.

Our API is designed for developers and is easy to use with comprehensive documentation. We have been converting files online since 2006 for thousands of happy customers so you can trust us to do the job well.

Why not just convert files myself ?

Managing file format complexity is hard. What happens when Microsoft release a new incompatible Office format ? How do you ensure your users can view their files on any device at any time ? How do you standardise on a single format when customers and suppliers send you multiple different types of files ?

Some people try to manage this with a variety of costly tools and homegrown scripts - We can solve all of these problems for you with one simple to use API.

How do I get started ?

Just signup for an account and then read our documentation to begin integrating the Zamzar API. We offer a quick-start guide to get you up and running with your first conversion in minutes.

What is a conversion credit ?

Every conversion costs at least 1 credit, and every account comes with a certain number of bundled conversion credits - Bigger plans come with cheaper credits as you are buying in bulk. When you perform a (successful) conversion we debit your credit balance. Conversions that are more intensive to process can cost more credits - our formats page has all the details. Bigger input files can cost more as well - see our bandwith section for more information. Unused credits are not rolled-over to the next month.

Are there any bandwith limits ?

Yes - The first 50 MB of any input file is included in your conversion cost. Every 50 MB increment after that will cost more credits - e.g. a "2 credit" conversion with a 120 MB input file will cost 6 credits.

Can I test the Zamzar API before signing up for a paid account ?

Absolutely. Our Test account does not require credit card information and you can upgrade at any time. All accounts come with a "sandbox" mode which allows you to test conversion jobs at no cost as you develop and integrate with the API. The size and number of files you can convert are limited, but realistic conversions are still performed.

What platforms can I use the Zamzar API on ?

You can use the API on any platform or device which has an internet connection. All requests to the API are sent over HTTPS, so whether you are on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android or even an internet connected Amiga 500 you can use the API.

What programming languages can I use the Zamzar API with ?

You can integrate the API with any programming language with a network stack capable of sending and receiving data over HTTPS. In practical terms this covers almost all modern languages, whether that is C, C++, C#, Erlang, Haskell, Java, Javascript, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby or Scala to name but a few. We use cURL examples in our documentation as that is installed on most systems by default and is very easy to get started with.

Can I use the Zamzar API in a mobile app, desktop app or website ?

Yes - you can embed calls to the API in applications and services that you provide to customers. Provided the device has an internet connection you can use the API on mobile, desktop or web. You should be careful to secure your Zamzar API keys though, to ensure that no one can misuse your account.

What file formats do you support ?

We support over a 1000 different conversions, including the following input formats.

For a full list check out our formats page:

  • Documents - DOC, DOCX, EPS, ODP, ODS, ODT, PDF, PPT, PPTX, PS, PUB, RTF, TXT, XLS, XLSX
  • Images - BMP, EMF, GIF, JPG, PCX, PNG, PSD, TIFF, WEBP, WMF
  • Video - 3G2, 3GP, ASF, AVI, FLV, M4V, MKV, MOD, MOV, MP4, MPG, RM, TS, VOB, WEBM, WMV
  • Audio - AAC, AC3, FLAC, M4A, M4R, MP3, OGG, RA, RAM, WAV, WMA
  • e-Books - AZW, AZW3, CBC, EPUB, FB2, LIT, LRF, MOBI, RB, TCR
  • Compressed - 7Z, CAB, LZH, RAR, TAR, YZ1, ZIP
  • CAD - DWG, DXF

And many more.

Can you add support for format "X" ?

We are always looking to broaden the range of formats that we can support. If you have a particular need for a format which you don't see in our list of supported formats then get in touch and we will see whether we can add it.

Can you make PDF's editable ?

Yes - Provided the PDF is not scanned then you can use the API to convert it to a .DOC, .RTF or .TXT file to make it editable.

Can you compress the size of my video or image ?

Probably - If you choose a format with a better compression ratio than your input file then you can potentially reduce the size of a file, but the trade off is usually a loss of quality or fidelity.

How do I get an API key ?

Just signup up for an account. We automatically create a key for you, and you can add more on your account management page.

Can I test the API without being charged ?

Absolutely. Our Test account does not require credit card information and you can upgrade at any time. Also, all accounts come with a "sandbox" mode which allows you to test jobs at no cost as you integrate. These jobs are limited in number and filesize, but real conversions are still performed.

What limits does the sandbox have ?

The sandbox allows you to test your code by submitting conversion jobs to the Zamzar API without using up your paid credits. There are limits on the size of files you can submit for conversion though - 1 MB or below, and on the number of sandbox jobs you can submit per month - 100. If you need more sandbox credits please let us know and we may be able to arrange a temporary increase.

Do you offer any Software Development Kits (SDK's) ?

Sorry not at this time. We are developing them though, and will post more details on our GitHub account when they are ready. If you beat us to the punch let us know and if you'd like we can share your work with the community.

How do I upload a file to convert ?

Our documentation contains comprehensive instructions on how to upload a file to the API for conversion.

How do I download my converted file ?

Our documentation contains a section on how to "Retrieve the content of a file" which explains how you can use the API to download a converted file, or a previously uploaded input file. Alternatively you can always use the dashboard to download files using your web browser.

Do you offer a desktop client or web application ?

Sorry we don't provide any sample desktop or web applications, but we do offer file conversion services at http://www.zamzar.com to showcase what the API can do.

How long does it take to integrate the Zamzar API into my application ?

Not long - using our quick-start guide you can be performing your first file conversion within minutes.

Will the Zamzar API handle large bursts of conversion jobs ?

Yes - We use a cloud-based system to ensure that we always have enough processing power available to handle all workloads, even when thousands of conversion jobs are started simultaneously.

Can I easily monitor my API usage ?

Yes - we provide a comprehensive user dashboard to give you a clear visual indicator of how many credits you have used and how your conversion jobs (both current and historical) are progressing. You can use the dashboard to download files and monitor progress.

Are there any setup costs or hidden fees ?

No - we don't charge any setup or cancellation costs or tie you in to any long-term contracts. You can cancel your account at any time.

How much does it cost to use the Zamzar API ?

We offer a variety of different plans depending on your needs - All of our fixed cost monthly plans come bundled with conversion credits. For more information take a look at our pricing page.

How does billing work ?

For monthly plans we bill a month in advance.

Is there a long-term contract ?

No - you can cancel your account with us at any time, and for any reason.

Can I check how many credits a conversion job will be ?

Yes - we provide a full list of all possible conversions with details of how many credits they cost on our formats page. You can also use query the "/formats" endpoint of the API to get this information as well

Do I get my credits back if there is an error ?

Absolutely - If any conversion job fails for any reason, we automatically refund the credit cost for that job back to your account.

Do unused credits "rollover" to the next month ?

No - if you are on a fixed monthly plan credits are reset at the end of each monthly billing period.

Do you offer volume discount ?

If you are converting large numbers of files then signup or upgrade to a larger plan, as the "cost-per-conversion" is cheaper if you signup to a larger plan.

What forms of payment do you accept ?

You can pay for the API using Visa, MasterCard or American Express.

Where can I view my billing invoices ?

You can download PDF invoices at any time from your user invoice page.

How can I change my payment details ?

You can view or change your payment card details at any time from your user billing page.

Why should I signup for an account ?

You need to signup for an account with us if you want to test the API. You can signup for a test account without providing any payment details if you just want to try the service out. Just visit our pricing page for more information.

How can I signup for an account ?

Just visit our pricing page, choose the plan that you are interested in and you can signup within seconds.

Where do I login ?

You can login to your account via our login page.

I forgot my password, can I reset it ?

Sure - just visit our password reset page.

Can I upgrade or downgrade my account ?

Yes - you can upgrade or downgrade your account at any time by visiting your user plans page and picking the plan you want to change to.

Is it safe to use the Zamzar API ?

Yes - we have built the API with security in mind. All of our hardware runs in world-class, highly secure data centers utilizing state-of-the art electronic surveillance and multi-factor access control systems. All traffic to and from our servers is secured by transport level security using 128 bit SSL to encrypt the data sent between your systems and ours. You can also use your account management page to administer multiple API keys and temporarily disable or permanently revoke any keys that are misused or abused.

Can anyone else see the files I convert ?

Absolutely not - all files are private and viewable by you alone, unless you ask our support team to investigate a problem with a specific individual file on your behalf.

What security precautions do you take ?

All of our hardware runs in world-class, highly secure data centers utilizing state-of-the art electronic surveillance and multi-factor access control systems. All traffic to and from our servers is secured by transport level security using 128 bit SSL to encrypt the data sent between your systems and ours. You can also use your account management page to administer multiple API keys and temporarily disable or permanently revoke any keys that are misused or abused.

What customer support do you offer ?

We offer email support to all customers. The best way to contact our team is through our support form.

I contacted the support team - when can I expect to hear back ?

We aim to provide an initial response to all support enquiries within 24 hours - note: this will be from a real human being addressing your specific question, rather than a canned automated response from a computer.

Where is the best place to see if the API is experiencing issues ?

From time to time it is possible there may be technical issues with the API - where possible we will communicate any problems via the website and in responses to calls into the API itself, but where this is not possible please check our Twitter feed and blog for further information.