How big is your Mac’s hard disk? Big enough, right? Hard disk space has never been more plentiful or less expensive. Guess what? Files we use have never been larger and sharing is what we do these days.
How do you send large files to friends, family, co-workers? Email attachments have finite limits. Uploading can be complex for the average Mac or PC user. Is there a solution to a growing problem of file transfer? What’s yours?
My personal list of files I send to people is growing. It used to be that I would send a small photo, or an image, or a PDF, Word document, or Excel spreadsheet via email attachment.
Email is quick, easy, ubiquitous (mostly), and with a high rate of success. It was just a few years ago that email accounts had a limit of two, five, or 10 megabytes of email storage capacity, so, no problemo, right?
Then along came bloated PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations, all embedded with dozens of graphics, photos, even movie clips or animation.
Suddenly, email attachments would get bogged down or bounce back with insufficient storage space. Yahoo! and Google removed some of those issues with multi-gigabytes of file storage.
Digital photos these days can be three to five megabytes in size, even for consumer cameras. Many cameras also take video clips which can be tens of megabytes in size.
How do you share such large files with other Mac users or PC users when email attachments don’t provide the simple solution? Solution? Sorry, there’s not an easy way to share very large files—video, photo, whatever—without jumping through a few hoops first.
What got me to thinking about this problem was an attempt to send some video files of our kids to my husband while he was away on a business trip. His business email account couldn’t handle the extra storage required to hold the video.
YouTube and other similar video services allow for free uploading and downloading, but only of video files, and I’m not too keen on sharing every video with the rest of the world.
I’ve used Mac utilities such as Ambrosia’s Dragster, which lets you connect quickly to a file server online, then just drag and drop whatever file you want and it gets uploaded automatically.
DropCopy works in similar fashion, though not as elegantly, or as often. Uploading files to a server somewhere can be fraught with problems, particularly the initial setup, not to mention the download requirements can be cumbersome.
Very large email attachments starts to look like a good solution, huh?
Altomac is another utility which attempts to create a solution that ends up more complicated than others. You get what you pay for. Altomac’s Filemailer is free. The Pro version is not.
There’s also FileChute, which I like, works well, makes retrieving files for the other person much easier, but requires an Apple MobileMe account, or an FTP account.
iNetCourier is another utility which tries to automate the send and retrieve process, but for a hefty price tag, more useful for businesses and large organizations than for the average Mac or PC user.
Generally, I can handle large attachments not of the photo or video clip variety. PDFs, documents, presentations, spreadsheets, etc., go to whomever via email quite nicely until the recipients email inbox gets full.
Video clips and batches of digital photos can take up far more space and be difficult to send via email attachment. Outside of a shared MobileMe account, is there an elegant, all inclusive solution to sending many very large files to other Mac or PC users?
How do you send files to others? What problems have you run into?