Opened 11 years ago

Closed 11 years ago

Last modified 11 years ago

#228 closed Question/How do I...? (wontfix)

Audio Files Too Large to Email

Reported by: Owned by:
Priority: Medium Component: Tech
Keywords: email Cc:
Sensitive: no


I am doing interviews which I am recording on a digital recorder. They come into my computer as wma files. I just learned that I need to convert them to AIF files in order to get them into ITunes where they can be converted to MPEG files. In all of those forms I have tried to email the file of yesterday's 45-minute interview and in every case I get the message that the file is too large for the server.

Does anybody have any suggestions about how to solve this problem. Apparently my colleagues on this project are not having trouble emailing similar audio files, though since I joined the project just recently I have not yet had one sent to me.

Is this a MayFirst limitation? If so, can something be changed on your end - or do I need to figure out how to break up the file into smaller parts - and if so, how do I know what is small enough?

Thanks! Linda

Change History (9)

comment:1 Changed 11 years ago by

How big are the files? e-mail is a medium primarily designed for simple text messages. Sending non-text over e-mail (like audio files) is done through a rather expensive translation step which inflates the size of the file by another 33%, so it puts a larger load on the infrastructure than it needs to.

Also, If any of your colleagues don't have enough room in their mailboxes to receive the file, you'll need to resend the file, which replays the whole problem.

The upshot is that the best way to transfer large files (especially non-text files) is to use a medium designed to handle that. For example, you could upload the file to your web site, and then send your colleagues a link to download it.

comment:2 Changed 11 years ago by

Thanks for the suggestions - the file size in MPEG is just under 55 MB.

I actually haven't got a web page that I'm using yet - and besides, these interviews are private and I don't want them posted on the internet. So I don't think that option is open to me.

I guess I can just put them on my little removable drive and have my colleagues transfer them from there, though that requires our getting together physically which doesn't happen every day.

If anything else occurs to you I'd be grateful to hear.


comment:3 Changed 11 years ago by

55 MB is definitely too big for an email.

If you and your colleagues are sharing a lot of files of this size, you may want to:

  • Create a password protected part of your web site that is only accessible by the people in the project.
  • Upload files using a Secure FTP client to upload and download files.

It's a bit more infrastructure to build and learn, however, I think it will make your work a lot easier in the long run if you plan on sharing lots of large audio files.

comment:4 Changed 11 years ago by

  • Keywords email added

comment:5 Changed 11 years ago by

What do folks think about using a file upload service, such as Rapidshare or Yousendit? One could always password-protect the file if privacy from the site owners is a concern.

comment:6 Changed 11 years ago by

See also #229 -- if you think this might be worthwhile, posting feedback on that ticket would be great!

What sort of password-protection are you suggesting? PKZIP passwords have known-plaintext attacks. for large files, which tend to be audio or video, there are often file format headers or stamps that could be used as known-plaintext anchors. Are there other suggested password-protection schemes you'd recommend?

OpenPGP encryption is solid, afaik, but requires a level of widespread key-distribution that most people haven't reached yet.

comment:7 Changed 11 years ago by

  • Resolution set to wontfix
  • Status changed from new to closed

I'm closing this ticket since we haven't heard back from you Linda - I'm assuming you have either taken the suggestions of sftp or have found a different way to do it (if you did find a different way - please post it here for others to learn about!).

I'm continuing the conversation started by Jon on ticket #229.

I'm resolving as wontfix since we cannot allow email attachments of 55 MB :(.

comment:8 follow-up: Changed 11 years ago by

Posting in the response from Linda via email:

Hi, Jamie,

Sorry! I have seen a couple of communications about this starting in the last week or so, but they came sort of out of the blue and didn't seem to be addressed to me. I thought they were "techies" talking to each other. I didn't understand them and had no idea what to do with them.

It's fine to close the file. I appreciate your checking with me. We decided we need to put the big audio files on CD or flash drive and transfer them that way since there seemed to be no choice.

Thanks again! and Happy Holidays! Linda

comment:9 in reply to: ↑ 8 Changed 11 years ago by


No need to apologize :).

That was back and forth between techies - and there was no reason for you to feel like you had to comment. Since you opened the ticket, you get an email notification every time a comment is added. And, those comments were added because the problem you had really resonated with a few techies who are watching this thread.

I just posted your email to me to the end of this ticket because other people may have the same problem and I think they would be interested to know how you solved it. Thanks for letting us know.

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