How to password protect a linked file?
August 17, 2010 12:19 PM   Subscribe

I need to send an MP3 music file to a number of email addresses. I want to do this by directing people to a download on a web link, rather than emailing the (large) file direct. I also want to be able to password-protect the file in that link (either the file or the link), so the music doesn't get passed around beyond the list of recipients. Does anyone know of any good resources for this? Thanks, oh wise ones.
posted by Conductor71 to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You can sign up for Drop Box and get 2GB of online storage for free. You can then send a file link to your friends. They can't access the folder, but they can download the MP#.
posted by studentbaker at 12:25 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

YouSendIt? You'll need to zip up the mp3 to get password protection though.
posted by mr_silver at 12:28 PM on August 17, 2010

After a recipient has the MP3, password or not, what stops them from distributing the file? Is that a concern?
posted by jangie at 12:29 PM on August 17, 2010

posted by Medieval Maven at 12:35 PM on August 17, 2010

Seconding jangie. Once you send it out it will get passed around.
posted by theichibun at 12:50 PM on August 17, 2010

Best answer:
posted by arco at 12:50 PM on August 17, 2010

Be careful if you password protect the file itself as it may be tedious or impossible to open on all platforms. I think the last time I tried to open password protected zip, sent by a Windows user, on Mac OS X I was unable to; there was probably a way to do it but I didn't bother to figure it out. Rar files are another common way people share files but may require a third-party program to open which many users won't be willing to install or won't be able to figure out.

I'll second, put a password on it, and let it go at that. Yes, people could send the password to others, but they could also send the mp3 itself once they've downloaded it or unencrypted the file.

Another solution might be setting up some kind of stream where they can listen online but not (easily) download the file. Of course the user could still record the sound on their computer during playback if they were motivated enough. There isn't a 100% solution.
posted by 6550 at 1:32 PM on August 17, 2010

Seconding Incredibly slick, a pleasure to use.
posted by jbickers at 2:34 PM on August 17, 2010

I'm a big fan of YouSendIt, myself. No need to zip the mp3, though. And, yeah, jangie's right...Once the mp3 is in the recipients' hands, it will be passed around. No way around that fact o' life, I'm afraid.

Oh, and, FWIW, you can open password-protected zip files on OS X using the free Stuffit Expander. Yes, they still make Expander. Go figure.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:39 PM on August 17, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. Good point about not being able to prevent file being shared once it's out. I'd like to control the initial distribution, at least. Sounds like is the way ahead.
posted by Conductor71 at 3:43 PM on August 17, 2010

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