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Background:

The company I work for produces magazines and brochures. In this processes, we receive images from photographers and advertisers, usually through one of our FTP servers. The numbers of images transfered can range from a just few, to 300+.

For a small percentage of clients, FTP works just fine. It also works well for our designers who can access the uploaded files through our network, instead of having to connect to the FTP server to download the images.

The remaining clients struggle with setting up and using FTP. This brings me to my question.

Question:

Does anyone know of a file transferring service that will provide the following:

  • An easy web based interface that support uploading a large amount of files. I'm not looking for clients to have to zip up a group a files, even though it isn't that difficult, and saves transfer time.
  • An easy way for our designers to grab the files from the transfer service, i.e. not a bunch of download links in an email, which can be very cumbersome depending on the number of files; imagine doing this with 100 or more files.
  • Does not depends on a roundabout method that increases overhead, such as a php script on a webserver that uploads files to a dropbox account, e.g. PHPDropBoxUploader http://wiki.dropbox.com/DropboxAddons/PHPDropboxUploader

I've looked at a few services, such as YouSendIt, but they do not provide what I am looking for, and don't seem to support a large number of files. The closest that I've come across is http://streamfile.com/, which provides FTP access to uploaded files, but lacks the upload interface I am looking for.

Although I could program something myself, I would rather save some time and use a service.

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Couple other notes: We deal with a lot of clients, so anything that doesn't require the client to setup or download something would be best. If we don't have to teach them anything, that would be fantastic. –  kwoodfriend Jul 22 '11 at 15:57
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2 Answers

Since I don't know of a file upload service with the characteristics you require, I'd do one of:

1) Teach your clients how to use Windows explorer to drag & drop files onto your FTP server.

2) Run Apache with a file upload script that drops files into the same place as your FTP service (thus making no change for your designers).

3) Pay someone to do 2.

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+1 for windows explorer-- just create a shortcut that points to ftp://yoursite.com/whatever/the/path/is and have them double-click and drag images into the window that comes up. –  Darth Android Jul 22 '11 at 15:53
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If you can run another FTP server, have a look at CrushFTP. It uses a number of methods but the big advantage for us was the clients could use a browser and HTTPS and it has an uploader that zips the files for the client. It has many more handy features, uses little overhads, runs on several platforms and is inexpensive. Support, when needed, has been great. Ther eis a free trial. CrushFTP

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I don't have enough rep to give you a +1, but this looks very nice. I'll give it a look, thanks. –  kwoodfriend Jul 22 '11 at 16:08
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