Low Tech Transfer Options for Huge (.ppt) File Transfer?
August 20, 2009 11:46 AM   Subscribe

What options exist for a painless way for transferring large (.ppt) files? Especially when it's for people whose work environment may make it impossible for them to download software for FTP transfers or use services like YouSendIt?

I'm helping my manager coordinate presentations for a conference he's chairing. We have an account with YouSendIt and an in-house (but low thresh hold) FTP site. We have an internal project FTP site using a Dreamhost account, but experience has taught us that not everybody has the network infrastructure (or tech skills) to configure Web Folders for dragging and dropping into that site.

He'll be receiving 40 Powerpoint presentations from people working primarily in government agencies (e.g. pretty strict network restrictions). What would be ideal would be if people could e-mail their presentations to a site like YouSendIt - like how Flickr has the e-mail upload option. However after scouring this site (and finding information on sites like Box.net and Dropsend), I'm not finding anything to suggest that these online storage sites have an upload by e-mail option. Have I exhausted all of our options and we will have to tell people to log on to his YouSendIt account?
posted by green_flash to Technology (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think Drop.io allows you to e-mail items into a particular drop. See here. There's a 100 MB limit per drop, though, but you may be able to up that with a professional account.
posted by arco at 11:49 AM on August 20, 2009

How large the ppt files? Email is pretty inefficient for large file transfers. Most mail servers tap out at 10 MB, some at 25 MB.

Maybe streamfile is easy enough for them? (no account needed, files up to 150 MB, only enter the recipients email address)
posted by sharkfu at 11:52 AM on August 20, 2009

I've never had a ppt presentation too large to email through normal email channels -- especially a conference presentation which seems like they couldn't be very long presentations. You didn't mention any restrictions you have on regular old email, but I assume you've thought of it -- and why won't that work?
posted by brainmouse at 11:52 AM on August 20, 2009

the problem with e-mail in is that often people have caps on the max size of outgoing e-mail messages.
posted by mmascolino at 11:53 AM on August 20, 2009

*How large are the ppt files?
posted by sharkfu at 11:54 AM on August 20, 2009

You could always try hosting on Google Docs or Sky Drive...

Compressing the files could work, too, or converting into PDF and compressing the PDF file
posted by KokuRyu at 11:57 AM on August 20, 2009

>We have an account with YouSendIt and an in-house (but low thresh hold) FTP site

Use the ftp site. Give it to them like this:


So they can click on it.

Now give them an easy to type username and password like upload/secretfilesgohere

If you use email you'll hit an email limit guaranteed. Most office workers can use FTP or have a techie coworker who can help them. If they have problems with their ftp client then have them use net2ftp. You can provide a screenshot with all the necessary info.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:02 PM on August 20, 2009

Response by poster: Excellent suggestions! Our e-mail server caps attachments at 10 MB and from previous experience, we've had project e-mails (usually w/PDF or AutoCAD) attachments never make it through. More than likely these will all be presentations that are photo/map intensive, so we're pretty sure that our e-mail server (and potentially also company FTP server) won't be able to handle them.
posted by green_flash at 12:02 PM on August 20, 2009

Why wouldnt your ftp server handle them? FTP isnt like email. The client uploads directly to it. If you have the bandwidth you can do it.

Lets say you have a T1 in your office. 1.5mbps. Lets say I make a 40 meg ppt and send it your way, but your office is using that T1. Lets say I get half the bandwidth for my upload. 768k. That file would take around six minutes to upload. Thats 100% doable. I would be worried about files that are over a few hundred megabytes, but ppts arent usually that big.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:18 PM on August 20, 2009

One relatively low tech way is on CDR and by post. There is a ~700MB transfer limit and it is somewhat bursty but you can up the limit by switching to DVD-R.
posted by bz at 12:22 PM on August 20, 2009 [3 favorites]

When I worked as a printer, we sometimes just had people Fedex us annoyingly large files if time permitted. We had an FTP server but clients could never figure out how to use it.
posted by ZeroDivides at 12:25 PM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Send out instructions on how to compress images in PowerPoint. It is a buried option and it can make a huge difference when people try to place enormous graphics. After compression few PPT files with just text and images exceed the email limits in my experience. Those that do, you can instruct people to split into two and email.
posted by Tallguy at 12:30 PM on August 20, 2009

If you want to use the FTP site, you could even give them the URL with the username and password embedded.

posted by reddot at 12:37 PM on August 20, 2009

yousendit.com works well.

There are many many sites like this. Google "email large file" will turn up many. Basically, you upload your file once to the service, then send a link to all the recipients. They can download the file at their leisure, and you don't have to worry about the bandwidth or managing the server.

Lifehacker reviews them periodically.
posted by chazlarson at 12:38 PM on August 20, 2009

Sorry, I misread the question.
posted by chazlarson at 12:40 PM on August 20, 2009

CD+fedex for a lower packet loss rate.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:19 PM on August 20, 2009

Instructions for compressing images in PowerPoint. I work for a company that regularly gives me PowerPoint files of 50Mb and over (I once had a half-gig PowerPoint file, at another job, don't get me started, it took ten minutes to open). On average, I can compress them down using the techniques from this link to 5Mb or less.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:39 AM on August 21, 2009

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