File sharing over the web has never been easier, and there are several ways to send or share a file. You can use e-mail to send small files, or keep whole directories in sync using some of those popular cloud services. But when it comes to sharing large files, there aren’t that many options. Most users are willing to use server storage like Amazon S3 which is fast and reliable, but comes at a price. Keeping a large file on a server also means that you’ll need to wait until upload is completed which can take many hours or even days, and when upload is done you’ll need to share a link to your file with your friends or colleagues. As you can see, this is a reliable way, but you need to take many steps and do all of this completely manually. You can also use, for example, Dropbox Pro which comes with a monthly cost, but allows you to store and sync very large files.
During the last two years, numerous online services appeared, which tried to revolutionize free file sharing of large files. They are all server-based, and in their free versions they are usually very limited. You can opt for paid versions, but once again this leads to some better known solutions like Dropbox Pro and Amazon S3.
In this article we are going to introduce you to Minbox, which is a very small OS X application created with only one goal in mind – to ease up exchange of large files, without any limitations. You can download Minbox from the Mac App Store for free, and its basic and free plan is very useful and functional, so I guess that only those who got very high demands will opt for Minbox’s paid plan.
Minbox is an application which sits in OS X’s menu bar. In order to share a file, you’ll need to drag-and-drop it onto Minbox’s menu bar icon. This will make a small floating-looking window appear, where you’ll need to enter recipient’s e-mail and an optional message. And after you click “Send”, you can forget about this file. The rest of the job will be done by Minbox in the background, and recipient will receive an e-mail which contains link to a shared file only after upload is done. So in other words, Minbox doesn’t bring anything new or revolutionary, but it dramatically eases up workflow surrounding large file sharing.
You should also know that even though Minbox is local OS X app, it mainly works through a web browser. This means you’ll need to login via Safari, or browse uploaded files (which will be deleted in 30 days). Also, you can use Minbox’s preferences to set up file conversion, which can be also done in the background, after you send a message. This way, large video files can be converted to 480p MP4, or large RAW images can be converted to JPEG, which is a nice addition and makes upload much faster.
Minbox is still at its beginnings and it will be interesting to see any future updates. It comes free of charge, and doesn’t have any file size limits. In case you’d like to try it, you’ll need to sign up for an account, and wait in queue until it’s ready for use.