Technology Tuesday: File Transfers

We're back with another edition of Technology Tuesday! Whether you're sending us a recording to transcribe, or we're delivering a finished product to you, computers can make that job easier, faster, and less expensive -- or can be frustrating enough to make you wish for the days of brown paper packages tied up with string. Sometimes a look behind the curtain makes all the difference.

Here are some basics about how Neal R. Gross and Co. handles digital files:

Email

Attaching a file to an email is as easy as putting paper in an envelope. We can send transcripts directly to your inbox, or you can send critical job information in the same message as your request. For documents and pictures, it's about as convenient as you can get.

The downside is size limitation: most email programs start blocking attachments when they take up ten megabytes of space on your computer. For a document, that might be thousands of pages. For a high-resolution scan, it's probably under fifty pages. Ten megabytes of audio can be five minutes or less, depending on the recording. To make sure your files reach you, our office only uses email for files smaller than five megabytes, and we never email audio files.

That's not so different from the post office, of course. You can mail a letter with a first-class stamp, but for War and Peace or a set of audio tapes, you probably want the right-sized box.

File Transfer Protocol

"FTP" has been a standard for transferring large files since 1971. One computer, the server, is the central hub for the FTP connection. Any number of other computers can connect to the server over the Internet, and upload or download files of any size.

Computers are designed for FTP, but you'll want to install a special program, such as FileZilla or CoreFTP. Especially when using a secure connection, you'll need an account on the server to log in, so FTP is best for long-term jobs, although offices that require high-level security may not allow FTP transfers.

Our Website Filebox

We like using a solution that's halfway between the convenience of an email and the capacity of FTP. Take a look at our form to upload audio.

When you use it to send us files -- whether they're audio or documents -- our office sees the notification immediately. If we use the same service to send something to you, you should see an email within minutes with instructions on how to save your files. Because the files are stored on a secure server online, not saved as an attachment, larger documents and audio files are just fine.

Do you have your own favorite way to send digital files? We're happy to work with your office to make business as easy as possible for you. -LP

Comments or Questions? Please feel free to comment below or tweet at us (@NRGCO) on Twitter! Thanks for stopping by!