Work the web

From converting media files and finding the right codecs, to selling your old tech and giving your brain a serious workout, these WINDOWS-selected websites should all be up there in your favourites list.

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  June 28, 2008

From converting media files and finding the right codecs, to selling your old tech and giving your brain a serious workout, these WINDOWS-selected websites should all be up there in your favourites list.

Make media work

As valuable as digital media files are, they can be a real hassle to use. If a file is the wrong format type or your player doesn't have the correct codecs installed, you can be left frustrated - knowing you have the content but unable to enjoy it. The following sites will help.

www.media-convert.com

This best of breed online file conversion tool allows you to convert virtually any format media file (most popular audio and video types are supported), without having to download any software onto your PC. Just browse for the file on your PC, tell the site its input format (using a handy drop-down list, say an Apple Quicktime file), and pick a new output format (such as Windows Media Video). Your newly formatted file will appear on your PC alongside the old one.

Also included on the site are four other valuable services - including file conversion from a URL (webpage), file hosting, a tool to help you take a screenshot snap of a webpage, and help sending a file to a mobile phone (the site even includes a fully-featured listing of which mobile phones support which file formats).

www.free-codecs.com

If you can't find the codec that you need to play a media file you've been sent or downloaded on this site, then it probably doesn't exist, such is the scope of free-codecs.com.

Hit the homepage and then choose the type of code you need (audio or video). From there, just pick the code you want and download it from the very next page. Alternatively, you can choose to enter the ‘codec packs' section instead - these are groups of related codecs that will help you play several types of file (one such pack for instance is the ‘XP Codec Pack') - and browse the bundles there. The site also touts a comprehensive ‘tools' section (software tools that is), along with some clear yet detailed media usage guides and a dedicated forum.

Blog better

It's one thing offering the world a look-see into your thoughts and life (to build your first blog see our 'Blog in an hour' feature on itp.net), but it's quite another having your site really look the business and actually attract traffic. For help with these all-important issues, check out.

www.google.com/analytics

Yes it's another Google product... but this one is very much tied to the firm's speciality, namely internet know-how (search parameters, results, algorithms and much more).

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