How To's Are Hot: File Sharing

I really love knowing “how-to”  any and everything — both digi/technological and real-time. Lately I find myself to be the Lady of Reference among my friends — and because I believe in skill-sharing and DIY/C [that last “/C’ is for “collectively“] I love to let people know how to do what I know…so, in the interest of building the DIY/C teaching empire I dream of, I’m going to start a series of how-to posts.

Today, we look at file sharing. Getting a large media file from my computer/camera/etc. to your email/social network/website/etc.

1. Email that sucker! Is it a sample of a picture for your CD cover or a draft of your latest song?? It’s probably small enough to email.

+ fast and dirty
– giant files clog up people’s email *especially* if their email runs off their website [] and not giant email metropolises like gmail.
– now you have a hundred copies of your image/song/video out there, and maybe you don’t want that because it was a draft or a version that will be changed and that gets confusing [this is called version control! by the way].

2. use – it’s like a single-use email account for really big files, where you set up an account and people use yousendit to create a link that the reciever can click to download the big file.

+ send up to 100MB files
– only 100MB [not great for video]
– you have the file-duplication problem from email, though at least not in your email
– links you send people only last for one week unless you sign up for an account [$]

3. Use a server and FTP software to transfer the file, then send a link – doing this you basically make a “webpage” that is only the media item you want to share [the “page” is an automatically embedded  image, song or video file].  For example: That page is just the song, and I can send the link to people to say, “hey! isn’t Craigslist dating tragic? Listen!”

+ upload any size file and send people a URL [web address, readable in a browser]
– you need to have your own website server space**
– uses your servers’ bandwith
+/- You’ll need FTP [File Transfer Protcol] software. Your server might have a WebFTP or httpFTP [which might limit the size of files you can upload to 5 ot 10MB, smaller than gmail, so check  it out]

FTP software looks like this

. You can download Cyberduck FTP software, it’s free+ great if you’re on a Mac, or try for free PC FTP software.

**You can get a free website account, however, and just use it for files that you need to share. A bit annoying because of all the sign-up time? Sure. Free. Oh heck, yeah.

4. burn a DVD/CD or use a portable drive

+ maybe the cheapest method
– you have to physically hand it off [with the drive, anyway] or mail it.

If any of you have better or other suggestions, I’d love to hear them! In short, it’s so awesome that we have videos and songs and giant pictures to share, but does get a little sticky when our work gets large.

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