Sending big big files from your Mac
In my everyday work, I often have to send large files to colleagues and collaborators. And sometimes in my personal life as well. Of course, each of us has a different definition of "large file", but what I mean by this is anywhere between 2 MB and 100 MB, sometimes more.
While 2 MB still would fit in one email, I would hate filling up my gmail account with these (those 3 GB will eventually get all used, the later the better) and I don't feel like filling other people's mailboxes. And what to do with files in the 10 MB, 50 MB or 100 MB size range? If you have space on a web server, it is relatively easy to upload the file to it, and send a link to your correspondent. I have used this trick in the past, and it works. But it does require quite a bit of work, and then you have to remember to clean up things once in a while. More recently, I have used a free web-based service for this task, called YouSendIt. ...Read more below for a review of this service....
You can open a free account, which has some limitations, but already allows quite a lot of bandwidth. You can send files up to 100 MB, one file at a time, and each to as many recipients as you want. There is also a 1 GB limit per month that can be downloaded by your recipients, and each file can be downloaded up to 100 times. The file expires after 7 days.
The service is very easy to use: go to the web page www.yousendit.com, type the recipient's email addresses, select the file to upload on your disk, and then press "Send". It may take a little while to get the file uploaded, but this is mostly dependent on your connection. When I am on a fast network, it takes only a few seconds for 50 MB. Your recipient(s) then receive an email with a link, and can download the files (and enjoy the advertisements, shown only when you are using their free service).
I have used this service quite a bit now, and I am very happy with it. The recipients of my files have not complained too much, and for me it was really painless. In fact, if I ever have the need for larger files at work, I would probably upgrade to a paid service. The lowest plan at $10 a month offers a lot more: send several files, up to 2 GB, with 40 GB bandwidth limit, some basic tracking service. In addition, they offer a Dropbox, where your correspondents can drop big files to you (this is something a business would use for instance if they were printing pictures for clients).
In conclusion, this is certainly a service that can speed up your work, works fine on Safari on the Mac, and provides quite a lot for free. What do you think? YouSendIt offers a number of plug-ins, but only one is compatible with Mac OS X, the Aperture plugin. Do you know of similar services that may integrate even better for the Mac? For instance with a plugin for Mail.app?