Does WhaleMail work?

I was looking into a web service called WhaleMail as a way of sending music files to a friend in the U.K. (airmailing a CD costs about $4.00 for postage, actually pretty cheap, but sending files directly is an attractive idea). So I signed up and tried mailing myself an MP3 file. What I got was an HTML file called “download”, which turned out to be a garbled version of the WhaleMail download page.
I e-mailed their tech support last Wednesday and recieved no answer. (My browser is IE 5.5 with Win98.)
Evidently some have had good results with WhaleMail. What’s your experience?

sorry, no
why not just attach the mp3 to the file???

MP3 attachments take a hellacious long time to pass through the mail system. Just how long, I’m not sure. A 60-second .wav file (which mails quicker than an MP3) takes 2 minutes to mail from my box (interestingly enough, two 60-second .wav files take the same amount of time); probably not as long on the receiving end, since a friend I’ve mailed .wav files to hasn’t complained about delays.

I don’t know how long a song-length .wav file takes to mail, but when you mail a .wav file, you can click “Send all” in your Outbox, and watch the green line move as the file enters the system. When I tried to mail a song-length MP3 file, I had to take it on faith that the line was moving; it was that slow. I canceled the send.

WhaleMail sends an e-mail to your chosen recipient, and then they are supposed to be able to download your chosen files from their site. But when I said “Who’s your friend?- Me!” I got the notice, but downloaded garbage.

My theory is that the outfit that bought WhaleMail back in February of this year fired all the employees, and the techs trashed the system for revenge- quite rightly, IMHO. But it’s just a theory.

Could I insert an MP3 file in a .doc file, as one can a .wav file, and send it more quickly? I don’t know; I haven’t tried the trick with either type of file, yet.

I don’t know why an mp3 should take longer then a wav. but here some other options:
1 if you and him are online at the same time you can use IM services to transfer the file
2 you could sign up at myspace.com which would give you basically an online harddrive for free (if you use this put my name in the referal spot as I will get some more space, thx) - you could upload the wav or mp3 to it and give him the username and password to get it.

I must be missing something here. Transmitting a file of size X bytes through a channel (your modem) witha fixed bandwidth of B cannot go faster just because you use Whalemail, Dolphinmale, Fastmail or Anymail.

Just like travelling 110 miles at 55MPH will take you two hours and the brand of car is quite irrelevant. If you want to get there sooner you need a faster car… or am I missing something?

No, WhaleMail is supposed to skip the mail entirely- or, rather, the sound file is not mailed, just an invitation to click on a link and download from their site. I haven’t investigated IM services, so I don’t know how that works yet.

k2:I’ll be sure to give you credit if I sign up with myspace.com- I’ve saved a file in my Notes and Recipes folder to remind me. If you’re not known as k2dave at myspace, e-mail me (or write it here) and let me know.

Anyway, here’s what I logged on to tell about. After k2dave whetted my curiosity, I fired up Microsoft Word and found out how to put a sound file in a .doc file, which is what Microsoft means when they say you can insert a sound file in a “document”.
(I am using Win98- the procedure may not work, or work differently, on other versions.)
You click on Insert at the top of Word, and pick Object, which brings a menu from which you may choose “Media Clip”. You click Okay, you get a screen with a Media Clip icon, and at the top you click on Insert Clip.

A menu comes up which gives a choice of media files to insert, including Sound, which means a .wav file.
But you don’t insert a .wav file, instead you go to an MP3 folder and select All files at the bottom of the window.
You pick an MP3 file and open it. The screen shows an icon representing a movie of 00:00 duration. Left-click the screen, and there’s your MP3 file, disguised as a movie! You can doubleclick and listen.

So: you go to File at the top and Save As this .doc file, naming it and saving to a folder of your choice. Then you close Word, and Microsoft tells you “illegal operation- this program will be shut down”. Mine tells me this often, and usually does nothing. (As most of us know, an illegal operation in computing simply means an operation the system is uncomfortable with; it bears no legal onus).

But you’ve saved the file, and when you mail it to yourself as an attachment, you open the document (doubleclick), doubleclick again on the movie icon, and listen to the music. (I won’t know until tonight whether my friend in the U.K. will be able to open the document I mailed her.)

So you can mail MP3s in a document (I don’t know how many you can pack into a single page yet; I suspect 8-12 files unless the program gets antsy), and a document with one or two MP3 files mails in about 3 seconds, even faster that a document with a .wav insert (about 5 seconds.)

I request that this thread be renamed “How to Mail an MP3”, an it please the mods- a retitling might get this info to more people who would be interested in it. (I remind detractors that MP3 files are quite legal, and so is mailing them, despite the fact that Windows '98 Word is uncomfortable with the procedure.)

Of course, there’s the off-chance that this won’t work quite as well when mailing them to a 2nd party (that is, not oneself), but my experience says there shouldn’t be a problem- Outlook Express, the Microsoft mail program, treats sending to oneself exactly like sending to a second party.


“We are on a collision course with the Earth’s ecosystems” -Worldwatch.
…Sounds like it’s time for a really big stoplight at that corner.

AFAIK a file size is all that counts; files with one or other extension do not go any faster. An email is a file just like any other file. The only difference you may consider is that sending a file as an email attachment increases its size because the way it is coded.

Assuming you are trying to get around this by not sending a file as an email attachment, all you have to do is send it to your friend via ICQ or any other program that allows it. If you are not online simultaneously, just uploaded to any server and have your friend download it.

I still can’t see what you are trying to do. There is no way to get an X MB file thorugh a Y KB modem, faster than it can go. (Well, unless you use “magick” and your “explanation” sounds a lot like it) The only way is to get a faster modem. Maybe someone can fill me in. Does anyone have a “magick-enabled” modem?

Alonist, at this point I am quite certain you are the one who is missing something. I believe you just do not understand the basics of data transmission.

In a car the time to trave a distance D is obatained by dividing the distance by the speed. There is no way around it.

In data transmission, the time needed to transmit a file is the size of the file divided by the speed of the channel. If the file is compressed already then the only way to download it faster is to get a faster channel. I do not care if you use email, word documents or whatever. (You are probably making things worse, not better)

If you can explain how you can get around that, I, for one, would like to know how.

OK, I dug around on their website, and the point of Whalemail is exactly what k2dave suggested doing manually in his post. It’s just a temporary storage place (only 14 days) for files, and then the email they send out contains a URL that points to the files there. You still have to spend time to upload the files, about the same amount of time it would take to send the e-mail as an attachment.

I guess the idea is just that people on dial-up connections really don’t like to get huge files in their e-mail, especially since other smaller mail has to wait on the big stuff. And it also can be slow, since large mail may be held up by the MTA. Or it might not work at all, since some mail systems have limits on the size of attachments.

Rest assured, they will be out of business before the end of the year.

P.S. The Word idea is very, very bad. Very.

SmackFu, from what you say it is just a server where you can store stuff. Obviously that does not affect transmission time in the least.

I do this often. Rather than email a huge file unannounced, I will upload it to my website and email a link to the intended recipient. That way I do not clog their mailbox and they can download it at their convenience. This is also useful when you just want to make the file available to a bunch of people (say, a message board). They can just download it.

But making it go “faster”? I don’t think so.

As I understand it, when you attach a file to an email message, the file is encoded using printable characters, with the effect that the file is made larger; hence it would take longer to transfer than if the transfer were done via http or ftp. However, the reason for WhaleMail is more likely the fact that some email systems don’t allow attachments over a certain size.

I have had trouble posting lately, or I would have responded earlier. Yes my user name is k2dave at myspace.com. I agree that the slow part will be your upload in whatever form you chose. Some email services limit the size of the file you can send/receive so it might be better using an online storage or some other direct file transfer. My wag is you just had bad luck uploading the mp3 file - how many times did you try?

(I am crossing my fingers that this posts)

A wav file might transfer faster than an MP3 because of modem compression. My modem connects at a pathetic 26.4 kb/sec, but easily compressed files (text, for example) will often transfer at two or three times that speed.

Of course, no matter what email service you use to send or store the file, you’re still transferring the same data over your modem.

That should be “faster than an MP3 of equal file size”. A 500kb wav file will likely compress better than a 500kb MP3. But the MP3 is a better choice for files of equal playing time - a one-minute wav is 10 times larger than a one-minute MP3 of equal quality.

Okay, so the whole Word idea was a fata morgana. (Would some kind mod delete that whole post? Oh, well…). I could play the files in those Word documents only because the files were in my computer. But I have seen .wav sound bites inserted in a document and available to be played in e-mail; I guess it still took the files a couple of minutes to get through the system.

So, yes, that was a “magical” solution- didn’t really work.

I tried three times to upload various files, getting a similar garbled webpage image each time- my WAG is that WMail is not operative at this time.

I had a similar exchange about a year ago with a woman who said she could send me an audio file “instantly”. So she sends me the “file” and sure enough, it arrived in a second and I clicked on it and I could hear minutes of music… what she did not quite understand was that this 163 byte file was a shortcut which merely pointed to a file located on some server and which was being downloaded as it played. I had to bet with her that when she was not connected to the Net, she would not hear the music. When she tried it and my prediction turned out to be true, she looked at me in awe, like I really could do magic.

No, she could work magic- you’re one of those *!%-dang James Randi type debunkers…I am getting skeptical vibes, darlings, someone in this room does not have faith!

You can insert an MP3 file into an e-mail, quite easily; I was doing it wrong; on the Object menu you have to switch over to From File; I was working from Create New, and was getting file names without the substance. It took 15 minutes in my Outbox to e-mail myself a 5 minute MP3, and then it took a full 90 seconds to get it into my inbox.
(I assume the mails are transmitted over our DSL line- would it take longer over a slow modem, or is it the nature of the beast that it takes a long time to transfer?) Anyway, I’ll get permission before I e-mail a song to a friend. Once they get it, the file will apparently be saved to a music folder in their hard drive, if their MP3 player is enabled to do this.

Dang, I mean you can insert an MP3 file into a .doc file, and attach the .doc to an e-mail- but it would be faster just to attach the bare MP3 file to a mail- if perhaps not as elegant.

Alonist, what you are trying to do is really very basic stuff. Rather than trying to discover a few magic steps, it is better if you understand the basics and the mechanics of how it works. It is really quite simple and much more useful.

Thanks, sailor. How should I go about starting to learn this stuff?.