Review - FileChute

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If you would like to listen to this review, I recorded and published is as part of the MacReviewCast #135.

Like a lot of computer users I am constantly sending files around. It is easy enough with small files but what happens when the files get too big for an email. I send family movies to relatives in London and the Philippines. I send Keynote Quicktime movies to clients and judges. I even send the occasional AIF file to my good friend Tim at the Macreviewcast.

Well, up until recently I always did this through Pando or some other ubiquitous online service that agreed to be my middle man in large file transfers. This works well enough but if the file sizes get too large, those options start costing money. Furthermore, it always requires the participation of the other side. Sure I can tell my brother-in-law in London to get a Pando account, but can I really say that to a client or judge?

Well once again the excellent Mac developer community has come to the rescue. Yellow Mug Software’s $17.95 FileChute does the trick. This little application puts a box on your screen with a ... well ... chute. You then drag any file or group of files you want into the chute and the application prompts you to send it as-is or archived in dmg, zip, or tar formats. You can password the archive (or not) and then FileChute uploads it to your internet location of choice.

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I’ve got a .mac account and it works flawlessly. I also uploaded some files to the MacSparky server space and it works just as well. The first time you do this you need to tell FileChute where to send your file but after that there is no more fiddling required. I found the set up with a .Mac account ridiculously easy. On my own server I had to give it a bit more information but it still only took a few minutes to configure.

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Once the file is uploaded, FileChute gives you a link that you can put in an email, read over the phone, or tie to the leg of a pigeon. Your recipient just needs to click the link and the file downloads. No more do your recipients need to sign up for an “account” somewhere. No more is retrieving files such a chore. Click and download. It doesn’t matter if the recipient is on a Mac, Windows, or Linux. This really is FileChute’s greatest feature. The recipient does not have to be tech savvy to get your files. Suddenly, it is possible for me to send files to people who would otherwise have no clue as to how to retrieve them.

FileChute also cleans up after itself. You can set an expiration for the files to self delete in a certain number of days or you can tell it to delete the file immediately.

I tested FileChute retrieving files on both Macs and PCs and I never had any problems. I’m sure there could be some issues if your router or firewall is particularly grumpy but that wouldn’t really be the fault of FileChute.

This review is of version 3.01 which I ran in Leopard on my MacBook Pro. It is universal binary. You can buy a license for FileChute for $17.95 at yellowmug.com. I’ve written the developer however, and Yellow Mug has agreed to offer 25% off that price if you use the coupon code MACSPARKY so now is your chance. They also have a free trial and a 60-day, money back guarantee, and free upgrades. If you find yourself routinely sending files that won’t fit in an email, you can’t go wrong with FileChute.