Monday, January 10, 2005

You Send It

One of my fellow writers over at Decoy Music turned me on to an interesting little site called YouSendIt the other day. The premise of this site is that you can upload a file, up to 1 GB in size, and once it has uploaded the site will send an email to an address that you input. From that email, there will be a link that can be accessed to download the file that was uploaded.

This site works wonderfully so far. It's often been a hassle trying to get cds to people to review at decoy when the review needs to be done ASAP. Mailing out the promo cds that we receive and letting our reviewers do them at their own pace is usually the approach we take, but sometimes a review needs to be posted right away and we can't wait for that. Instead the cd will usually get ripped to mp3 and sent one way or another to the reviewer and then we'll just send the cd along at a later date.

It's often hard, depending upon different reviewer's firewall setups and whatnot, to get the mp3's to the reviewers. You can't email them since they're too big. AIM file transfer doesn't work through most firewalls. FTP is an option, but setting up and configuring an ftp client (and explaining to the reviewers how to use said FTP) is cumbersome. YouSendIt, however, works wonderfully with anyone's internet connection. It's just like downloading any other type of file from the internet.

What is also great about the site is that only the person you email the link to can get to it, unless that person emails the link on to other people, but the file you upload is deleted after a week so it's not just sitting out there forever.

This site, however, brings up a lot of questions. No doubt this service will be used for warez, movie, and music trading. I wonder how long it'll be until the RIAA or MPAA come after them and shut down the service. I also wonder how they finance this site. Sending gigantic files for free must build up a ton of bandwidth costs for the operators of the site. How do they finance it? They say they don't give third parties the email addresses that are input, but I wonder if that is really the case. According to their FAQ, they are financed through third party ads that are displayed on their web page. Funny, because I don't see any ads being displayed on their site.

I'm still a little bit skeptical about the site, but I sure can't fault it's operation. Being able to send gigantic files to people at speeds of 100-150 Kbps (that's the speeds I've gotten) is great.

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