Remember the days when your associates would attempt to send you a file attached to an email? It sometimes took hours to download, clogged up your entire internet bandwidth and then after all the anticipation, the file would be a joke or picture than you could have found yourself if you were really interested.
Thankfully most folks these days are wise and considerate enough not to send large files (like MP3s, Videos, Programs) as attachments to email. Also of course, as internet speeds have increased, its not such great a problem as it used to be. It can still be a major a pain though, when it happens for many reasons:
Imagine that Email is your physical mail box (in your door). Imagine the mail carrier arrives at 9:00Am and you see him posting your letters. By 10:00Am he is still squeezing the letters through the letterbox. You don’t know what the letter is. Maybe you need it, maybe you don’t. Meanwhile you can’t go out the door because the mail carrier is standing there blocking the exit… Get the idea?
Now imagine if you got a small note saying “We have a package for you, we can deliver it if you want, when you want, and as long its not ridiculously huge it’ll be for FREE”!
That’s what Dropbox does for your files.
Part of our work in the music business and general IT involves sending a lot of files around. There are a number of solutions for this. A number of them can cost a fair amount and most will do one thing only – send files. (believe me I have tried most of them and they all have their caveats). Some of them also have amazing clever features… That no one uses. (Have you tried getting people to collaborate using Box Net?)
Dropbox also has the added bonus that it can be used to sync files between different computers. Install Dropbox on two computers (or more), set up your account and sign in, off you go. You can just treat the Dropbox files and folders as if they were normal files and folders on your computer. So if you are working on a Word Document, save it to your Dropbox Documents folder, open it on your other computer and carry on where you left off. A nice by-product of this is that your Document is now also backed up (online).
You can also share files and folders with friends, although this can become a bit like the email dilemma explained earlier – but at least you can choose which friends to share with. Set up a shared folder and when anyone sharing that folder adds a file, it will appear on your computer. Wicked.
Oh and there’s also an iPhone, iPad, and Android App – Cool.
You’ve heard about Cloud computing. This is it.
Another great thing about Dropbox is their referral system. You sign up for free and if you sign up using my referral, we both get 250MB of FREE storage (up to a maximum of 8GB).
How do you get Dropbox? Go to the Dropbox Website, download and install, follow the instructions and off you go.
I was going to type few more tips here but actually the ones at the Dropbox Website Help Section pretty much cover it all.
As I mentioned, there are many solutions for this and some may cater more specifically for your needs. For now though, Dropbox is the daddy.
If you’ve any opinions on this or alternatives that work well for you, feel free to post up a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading.