Simplest way to transfer large video file (legally) to family?

My nephew, who is currently working on his PhD in vocal performance recently played the lead in a production of “Rigoletto.” With permission, my sister videotaped it for personal use. I have uploaded it to my hard drive as .wmv files (in three parts – they’re pretty huge files.) I want to share these files with his sisters but they’re too large for email attachments, and when I tried to do it directly via the Google Talk file transfer it took forfreakingever just to transfer the first part. The first file is only fifteen minutes long to watch but took almost three hours to transfer.

Is there some kind of site where I can upload these .wmv files for free and make it so only people with permission can download them at a faster speed with more convenience? Permission to tape was with the caveat of private use so it’s not like I can upload it to YouTube. A total of four family members would download it.

Is something like this a possibility or will I be forced to buy an external DVD writer and make copies to mail out? Surely there must be a free file transfer site someplace out there that isn’t illegal.

You could try Rapidshare ( which I think allows you to transfer up to about 200MB files at a time. When uploaded you are given a specific link which you can then send to your family. Another similar site is Megaupload, which might give you even more space.

Anyone can download from either of those sites, given the correct link, so the way to do it would be to zip up the file, encrypt it with a strong password and then email out the password and link to people who need it.

Most of the instant messaging services permit file transfer - MSN/Windows live messenger does it fairly well and I have used it to transfer files in the hundreds of megabytes

YouSendIt will allow you to upload files up to 2GB. As many people as you like can down load it. There’s a free introductory trial for 14 days. Someone here recommended it and it works very well.

You can upload it to YouTube.

When uploading a video to the site you will be asked whether you wish to make it Public or Private.

How to upload a video to Youtube

Bear in mind that YouTube’s limits mean you would have to split the file into several videos. The limit is about 10 minutes for each video, unless you have a Producer account. You might find more convenient.

Why external? Have you run out of bays? You could always just replace your regular CD or CD-R drive with a DVD-R drive; it can perform the same functions, and these days even a good one will run you about $30.

Anyway, I’m curious as to why no one has yet suggested reducing the file size. I’m guessing that the original video was shot on Mini-DV or somesuch, which doesn’t compress the video at all; this leads to seriously huge video files when you download 'em to your computer. But, there are tools out there that’ll reduce the size of the video file by reducing the resolution, clipping frames, upping the compression, or what have you. Unless it’s absolutely vital to have all family members see the video exactly as it is, might as well try to shrink it down some.

Of course, right now I have to run, so I can’t look up specific solutions or software packages…anyone else?

Exactly how big are the files? For 15-cents per gigabyte per month, you can store them on’s S3’s service.

First, I recommend you convert the file to h264 if at all possible. should be a good deal smaller. I’m suprised no one has mentioned, you can send files up to 300 mb, privately, totally free, as often as you want.

There are a whole bunch of free file-transfer services. I’ve had good luck with mediafire and dropsend, and there are many others. Personally, I find rapidshare to be annoying, but maybe that’s just me.

If you want to post the video online so that friends and family can watch it, my preferred site for that is Vimeo. You can password-protect the videos so that only your intended audience can watch them, and there’s also an option to let people download the original video files if they want to. (Note that a free account at Vimeo has an upload limit of 500MB per week; I don’ t know if that’s enough for you.)

Dang it, you guys come through for me every time I need you. To show my appreciation, let’s meet at the usual place this Saturday and I’m buying the first five rounds of drinks! If there’s money left over, I’ll buy you some comic books, too. But no hookers or blow. I’m on a budget.

Um…uh…well Max, to be honest, it was a totally brain-fart moment when I wrote it. Mind you, I work midnights so I posted at a time that would be akin to something like 1AM to a day-timer. Not only do I have another bay, there’s enough room inside my case that I could probably add a family of homeless squatters if they were short enough. In my defense, this is the first desktop computer I’ve owned since I bought my first laptop in 1990. Back in those days if you wanted to add a new cool gadget (like a CD drive) it had to be external. I guess my tired brain cells were still living in the '90s when I posted.

Thank you all sincerely for your help.

Flickr will let you upload videos.

Or you could put it on an inexpensive jump drive and pass it around…