’07 gems: Pando

First of all, ’07 gems is the name given to those apps, gadgets, or sites that I was too lazy to write about in ’07. Plus, I can see myself using these items more in the future and I wanted to make sure I put the word out before I started to do so. See how that works out? Good.

Pando.com is a way to send and/or share large files (up to 1GB) to people via email, IM, or the web (more on this later). Given the file size limitations of most email clients, you can see where this can be a cool deal. Let’s say you are working on some music project and the person or people you are working with are scattered around the country. You want to send the latest version of a track to everyone in the group easily. You just find the file on your PC, right-click on it, choose send with Pando, choose to send via email, IM, or web, address it and hit send. You could also go though a similar process from Pando itself, but it just as easy. The file gets uploaded in what the company calls a package (get it?). The people sent to get a small (.Pando) file that will open up in Pando and start downloading instantly, provided they have it installed on their PC. It works with Outlook, Gmail, and pretty much any other web based email client.

I mentioned that in addition to sending by email, you could could send files through IM and the web. Pando works with all of the major IM clients along with Trillian, ICQ(anybody still using this?), and the VoIP darling, Skype. I’m guessing that Pidgin, the new kid Digsby(still playing around with it), and the web based Meebo won’t have any issues with it either. For anyone wanting to, you can also publish to the web. Pando can be used to publish video, audio or whatever else on websites, blogs, forums, and by RSS. Once posted, the file can be shared with others just as easily with no real cost to you. Pando even gives you the code to copy and paste onto your site for distribution.

Now comes the inner workings part. Pando works on a P2P type protocol similar to Bittorent, if you’ve ever heard of it.The more people with the file and have Pando running, the faster that someone downloading said file will be able to get it. The person’s connection still plays the part in this, mind you. Basically, you have the file on your PC. As soon as you send it to wherever, a copy goes to Pando’s servers and a small file, if sending by email or IM, goes to the recipient. The recipient opens the file in Pando and starts downloading just like that. The cool part is that once you are finished uploading the file, the recipient can still get it because, as I’ve said, it’s on Pando’s servers and will stay there depending on how it was sent. If sent by email or IM, it lasts for 7 days after the last time it was shared or downloaded. If by web, 30 days from the last download. If someone downloaded the file within 30 days, the count starts over. I could have saved you so much trouble by pointing you here.

Oh, I forgot, they also have a service where you can subscribe to and download HD quality videocasts. They already have channels that you can subscribe to from the likes of ESPN, CNN, Geekbrief.tv, Epic-Fu, and others. You can also use Pando to download Bittorent files, but I haven’t used that option much. I believe that I have just heard that they are partnering with NBC for a direct download service for their shows (for pay, no doubt). That might be pretty neat, if it works.

By now, you have either clicked away from this post or are wondering how much this is. If you’ve stuck it out, here’s the answer: For the low, low price of free you can have all of this functionality. There is also a paid version that boasts a bigger file size limit, no ads, more hosting time, etc. That’s about it. I’m guessing that’s enough, though. If you were interested, you’d be downloading it by now. If you care for a sample of the goods, try this little offering out.

Something funny. I was going to do screen capture on how to send a a package, but I realized the irony of it. Hope you enjoy what I did send and I hope the people who made what I sent won’t be upset.

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