This morning I visited with my friend Tucker Childers at the hospital where he had to go this past Thursday because he had pneumonia. While there, I shot a video message from him to share with some of his concerned friends online. Using my Canon Powershot S2 IS, I shot 57 seconds in an AVI format that turned out to be 115 MB in size. Most of the free hosting or sharing services online such as Mediafire, where I have an account, everybody’s favorite, YouTube, and Netscape impose a 100 MB upload limit. So my video was just above their limit, and I had two choices of how to proceed.
I set about to find a service that would host a file larger than that … for free. I found two free services that would. The one I used was Sendspace, which will accept files up to 300 MBs, and the other was Megaupload, which will accept them up to 500 MBs. I fully believe that in the future more services will permit larger uploads like this, but for now, one has to look pretty hard to find services that are willing to accept uploads that exceed the apparently-standard 100 MB limit. So the solution I chose to my dilemma was to find a service that would allow uploading a larger file.
Now it is entirely possible that I could have converted this AVI file to another format that would have resulted in a smaller footprint and that would have been acceptable to my usual haunts, but because this was a personal file I wanted to get out right away, I opted to just try to find a file hosting service that would take my large file. If you are reading this and would like to leave a comment telling me what tool I can download (preferably for free) that will permit such a downsizing conversion, I would be grateful for that advice — mostly for future use — but for now I’m going to leave that possibility aside.
However, there is another solution that I want to mention in this article so that I can say it this once and then just point to this post the next time I need to explain the process to someone else. That solution is to use a free little utility called HjSplit. You can download it here. I noticed, after visiting that site, they have a new version (v 2.3) available. This utility is both a splitter and a joiner.
What does that mean?
Well, it means I could open my copy of Hjsplit and then load my 115 MB file into it and the utility would divide that file into chunks that could be uploaded to some file sharing service, such as Mediafire. I could then send the link to those chunks to friends with whom I wanted to share the file, and they could then download the individual pieces. On their own systems, they could then run Hjsplit to re-join the segments back again into the whole. Hjsplit has an online manual that explains how to do the whole process. And though it may sound complicated, it really isn’t. If you take a look at the manual, I believe you’ll see how easy the process is.
For example, let’s say I have a video file called Example.AVI that is 115 MBs in size. Then let’s suppose I set Hjsplit to break the file into 25 MB chunks. After Hjsplit had completed its task, I would end up with the following 5 files: Example.AVI.001, Example.AVI.002, Example.AVI.003, Example.AVI.004, and Example.AVI.005. My friends who had downloaded them would then point Hjsplit (running in its joining mode) to Example.AVI.001, and if the other files are in the same folder, the utility would find them on its own and recreate Example.AVI. Then they would have the file on their system restored to its original form.
Until file hosting and sharing services begin to routinely offer larger upload limits, Hjsplit offers an excellent alternative. I think it is worth your time to download it and become familiar with how to use it. It can come in quite handy sometimes.