Bandying Big Files

First, some background. I often used a service called to move my own large art files to United Media (my syndicator), to my publisher (Andrews McMeel Publishing), and other business associates. I also used the service to send large photos and videos that e-mail couldn’t handle. Every person who received a large file from me in this convenient way said some version of “Hey, I could use this myself.”

via Scott Adams Blog: 11/11/2008.

This Dilbert blog entry reminded me of the problem of getting files too big for email out and about. I haven’t used because, as the comments to the above post reflect, there are free options available without having to resort to ftp servers and such that some are unable to grok. If you don’t mind paying for the simplicity (and the “cute” watch video/animation/comic strips while uploading factor in the case of more power to you.

It looks like the free version of Pando lets you send files up to 1GB from mail and some chat clients to others, as well as posting to Blogger, WordPress, Facebook, Myspace and podcasts and rss feeds. It’s all graphicy and “exciting” looking.

Streamfile has a no-nosense (in a very good way) interface where you put in an email address (comma separated), pick a file (up to 2GB) and click “steam your file.” Nothing animated or distracting here.

The last and most interesting (and actually exciting) option is Dropbox, which is in beta. It professes to allow you to “store, sync, and share your files online.” It’s available for mac, linux, and windows. You download the client and it makes a … dropbox. It’s a regular folder that you can access anywhere that syncs up instantly everywhere (including web availability). To share with others you copy the URL for the file or folder you desire and paste it to mail or blog or whatever. You can invite others to share a folder with you and transfer back and forth just by sticking things in the folder. For a photo gallery, you do the same – put pictures in the photos folder and say who can see them. This thing even keeps track of versioning and does it’s syncs incrementally (only transferring the delta) so it’s wicked fast about the updates. It will maintain a free version as well as a larger file size premium tier structure (currently for the beta the limit is 2GB.) Now this is what innovative thinking breeds!