Call Transmute a bookmark “˜synchronization’ tool. Transmute calls itself the ultimate bookmarks converter. Both claims need to hold true for filling in a job that’s a result of prolific web browsing and using more than one browser to do it.
It’s safe to assume that you have more than one browser installed on your system. I have five. Though we may not use more than two, all of us suffer from a bit of browser fancy. As soon as developers announce a launch of a browser that promises to speed up the web for us, we click on the download link. That’s not a problem, but keeping the same set of bookmarks across the browsers is.
Xmarks is a nifty solution to migrate bookmarks across the world. But for now, it supports Firefox and IE (with Safari in Mac OS). The one for Google Chrome is in the works. The browser that’s missing is Opera. That leaves us with a job half done. Bookmark syncing using Delicious and its bookmarklet tool is one roundabout. But it’s public by default and you have to log-in to change it to private. So, it’s still not as easy a click.
Transmute attempts to fill the gap by letting us migrate bookmarks across all the browsers.
Why Is it Such a Headache to Migrate Bookmarks?
Not very much so, but every browser has its own way of storing its bookmarks. Most bookmarks are stored as HTML files. Opera uses an .adr format. Firefox 3.5+ too differs in that respect as it stores its bookmarks in a Places.sqlite file which is a database file. The bookmarks.html files that used to hold all the links in the earlier versions had been discontinued from Firefox 3 onwards.
Does this create problems in migration of your bookmarks to other browsers still using the HTML formats? No, because Firefox, just like all the others has an import export utility under the Bookmarks Library that allows you to convert the database format to the HTML one for it to be picked up by the other browsers.
The imported bookmarks also get added to the existing bookmarks usually in a separate folder with the name of the browser that was the source. For instance, imported Firefox bookmarks get located in a folder that’s marked Netscape. Imported bookmarks in Chrome get added under Other Bookmarks. You can then manually shift the bookmarks around into any other root folder.
Next, you have to manually weed out the duplicates by going through each and every link. This is where the headache can start.
Transmute Offers Better (& Quicker) Control Over Bookmarks
Why such a name? Is it because it does the job of bookmark transfer “˜silently’ and without fuss? Perhaps, because the Transmute interface is hassle free.
- You have two dropdowns – Source and Target. You can use the path field to select the location of the bookmarks file for the individual browsers in case you ever changed the default location.
- Use the dropdowns to select the respective source and target browsers. There are 12 supported browsers and I am guessing that should cover most of what the world uses. The 13th placed XBEL format (XML Bookmark Exchange Language) covers a few other browsers like Galeon, Arora and Midori which use this one to store their bookmarks.
- Transmute gives you two more options to migrate bookmarks – Overwrite Collections and Backup Collections.
- Duplication can be handled if you select the overwrite option as it will plant a fresh copy of the bookmark links (but will also remove the older but unique bookmarks in the target).
- Backup collections are a safety net in case something goes wrong with the conversion process and you want your old bookmark collection back. By default Transmute timestamps and backs up your bookmark collections before changes are made, providing extra safety.
- To restore the old order, just browse to the bookmark folder location and rename the time stamped backup file to the default file name.
- Close the source and target browsers and press Start. An alert box pops up and with your agreement the transfer begins. A preview window is the last stop before the conversion starts.
And finishes! That’s it; you can migrate bookmarks across multiple browsers without the hassle of import and export.
Transmute also comes in a PRO flavor giving some extra bookmark selection controls and co-ordination with services like Google Bookmarks and Delicious. But for the simple task of keeping all my browsers with the same bookmarks, the free version more than stands up. If you hate installing things, then there’s a portable option too.
Having the same bookmarks across all your browsers is such a basic need and keeping them all updated with each other is where Transmute steps in with a speedy click.
Transmute v1.63 is Windows only and requires Microsoft .NET Framework. It may also run on Linux and Mac OS X with Mono Framework 2.0 or higher installed.