We’ve all been there. You’re working on a song, and you wanna send it to a buddy to critique. What do you do? You email it, of course!
Ugh…Thirty emails later, and you’ve successfully taken up 150 MB of space on your email server. Not to mention the fact that if you ever want to send that song to another friend (I’m assuming you all have more than one friend :-)), you have to either re-upload the mp3 and email it, or you have to hunt it down in your Sent Mail folder and forward it.
There’s nothing wrong with using email for this, but it sure isn’t ideal. I always hate being on the receiving end of an email with one (or heaven forbid multiple) mp3’s attached to it. It bogs down my poor little DSL modem, and I cry a little bit each time.
I had heard about this fabled getdropbox.com a time or two, but I didn’t give it a second thought, until I tried it. This is seriously cool! You get 2 GB of storage that you can access from anywhere. Seriously. Anywhere. Mac? Yep. PC? Yep. Web browser? Yep. iPhone? Yep!
First of all, there’s the Public folder. If you want to share files with other folks via email, the public folder is your new best friend. Simply upload your files to this folder, then click on the little drop-down arrow next to the file, select “Copy public link” to copy your link. Now all you have to do is paste that sucker into an email, and you’re home free!
Your recipients simply click on the link from their email, and they can play the file straight from their browser. Or if they’re super cool, they can right-click on the link and save the file on their computer.
This alone is worth the price of admission. (By the way, did I mention it’s free?)
Keep it Private
So perhaps you’re worried that that hit album you’re working on will get leaked to the public if you start throwing out email links all willy-nilly. Fair enough. Dropbox offers you the option of creating private shared folders, which you can share with whomever you choose. For example, my brother-in-law Joel is working on an album (soon to be released on Loud Crow Records). I’m singing on one of the tracks, and since we live a bajillion miles away from each other, we have to send tracks back and forth.
How do we do it? I thought you’d ask. We both created Dropbox accounts, then I created a folder named “Joel.” Next, I simply entered Joel’s email address and invited him to be a part of the awesome folder that was named after him.
Now, if either of us have a new mix, we simply upload it to the Joel folder then email the other guy to check it out. (It usually goes something like this: “Hey dummy. Check Dropbox. Love, Joe(l).”)
Drag & Drop, Baby!
It just keeps getting better. Remember how I said Dropbox works anywhere? ‘Twasn’t a lie. If you install the Dropbox application on your computer (Mac or PC), you can simply drag and drop files to and from your Dropbox account without ever setting foot inside a web browser. Pretty cool, right?
Not only that, but Dropbox automatically updates your folder on your local machine if any files are added or altered on any other machine (or by any other user of a shared folder). It even notifies you via a cute little pop-up window. It would be easier to show you this in action, so check out the video:
Plays Well with iPhone
If you’re an iPhone user, you can access the iPhone version of the Dropbox site to check out your files. You can even email links to your Public files directly from your iPhone! Just click on the little envelope icon to the right of the filename.
Musician’s note: This is a great option for sharing your tunes on-the-go. Simply upload any files you want to have access to to your public folder, and when that A&R rep from a major label says, “Send me some of your recordings,” you can whip out your iPhone and say, “Done!”
Needless to say, this is cool. I can’t think of another free system out there that gives you this much functionality. And if you ever need more room, you can buy a paid upgrade:
One final cool feature. Being the smart folks that they are over at Dropbox, not only is the 2 GB version free, but you can earn up to 3 GB of total space by simply referring other people. I’ve referred I think one person so far, so if you like what you’ve read and want to try it out, click here. (That’s my referral link.) Either way, you should certainly check it out. I have a feeling you’ll be glad you did.