TUCOWS ARTICLE

How to send large files with EatLime

You'd think, in the age of broadband and BitTorrent and streaming video, the problem of easily sending big files to your friends or colleagues would be easy as pie. Somehow, though, no definitive innovation in that field has arrived, but there are many contenders. One of them is EatLime, a brand new free service that I've taken a shine to.
Published: Nov 28, 2007
Author: Jordan Running

The de facto way to send big files is the email attachment, but it's far from perfect. Most email providers have limits on the size of attachments, some as low as five megabytes or less, and spam and virus filters are necessarily zealous about attachments as well. If you're trying to send a video or a large data file, there's a good chance it will be blocked either on your end or the recipient's. After email, there are a lot of options, such as FTP or web servers, but those require a lot of setup on one or both ends.

The contemporary solution is web-based services, which let you upload your files to a web server and then send the intended recipient a simple link at which the files can be downloaded. There are many of these services, most of which are free, and they have endlessly varied limits on uploads, downloads, availability, and so on. A brand new one called EatLime caught my eye because it has a number of features I haven't see anywhere else.

Like most file upload sites, the EatLime web site's main interface element is a big button that, when clicked, lets you choose files from your computer to upload. EatLime conveniently lets you select and upload multiple files at once, so if you have a bunch of files that are related you only have to send your contacts a single address or "ShareLink" where they can find them all.

EatLime web interface

But EatLime has an even more convenient feature: As soon as you start uploading your file or files, EatLime gives you a address that you can share immediately, rather than having to wait until you're done uploading. That's where it gets interesting: the people you share it with can start downloading the file from EatLime even before you've finished uploading it, which is a feature I haven't seen in any other service. Until you're done uploading, their download speed is ultimately limited by how fast your upload speed is, but for big files this feature can be a lifesaver if your recipient needs the files ASAP.

These features alone would be enough to earn my endorsement of EatLime, but there's more. EatLime isn't just a web-based service. EatLime also has a desktop-based client that you can download and install on your Windows computer. When you run EatLime, it puts an icon in your system tray and whenever you select one or more files in Windows and press Ctrl+T, it automatically starts uploading the file and copies the URL to your clipboard.

EatLime desktop client

The EatLime desktop client supports an unlimited number up simultaneous uploads, and keeps a list of your previous uploads so you don't lose those precious ShareLinks. All your ShareLinks are associated with your account, so they're all saved to EatLime's web interface as well, and with an account you can have up to 1GB of stuff available at a time. If you give EatLime your webmail password, it can also fetch your email address book so you can send your ShareLinks with your contacts with just a few clicks.

EatLime may not be the be-all, end-all solution to sharing big files with your contacts, but it has a lot of great features integrated into a slick package, and it sure doesn't hurt that it's free. If you need to send big files, give EatLime a try.


About Jordan Running

Blogger since 1999, Jordan Running went pro in 2005 and never looked back. Sometimes programmer, occasional photographer, and serial tinkerer, he decided to to switch to Linux in 2001 but just hasn't quite gotten around to it yet.

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