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Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.

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Ned Miller
Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 25, 2016 at 11:44:07 pm
Last Edited By Ned Miller on Apr 26, 2016 at 12:05:09 am

There was a great company called Yousendit but it was bought out and became Hightail. Although they claim it's the same people, my experience is that it got run into the ground, so I am going back to Dropbox.

Specifically, over the last few months I would send a file to a client, assume they got the notice, but Hightail's notification system was down. There is no way to know this UNTIL YOUR CLIENT COMPLAINS and when I finally got through to tech support, after many tries, I was told that it is a recurring issue with an outside provider and they are "working" on getting a new one. This has called embarrassment with some clients who needed their videos right away and I kept telling them I sent it, check their spam folder, etc.

When I asked the Hightail customer support kid why they don't notify the customers sending files that there is a delay, the kid had the gall to tell me I should check their website to see the status. Really? All the services I use each day I should look to see if everything is functioning properly?

So, beware your clients are often not being notified promptly that you made your deadline. One incident it took DAYS. You only hear about it from an irritated client who needed their video right away.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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walter biscardi
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 26, 2016 at 12:23:51 am

I always had problems even when it was YouSendIt.

Been using ScreenLight for client review and some large file transfers.

Use WeTransfer Pro account for all other transfers.

No problems with either service.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Craft and Career Advice & Training from real Working Creative Professionals

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Ned Miller
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 26, 2016 at 12:25:21 am

Hi Walter. May I ask why you don't just use Dropbox? Or is it better to have a separate service that just transfers? Thanks

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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Tim Wilson
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 26, 2016 at 1:08:07 am

Dropbox has become the standard for pretty much everyone we deal with too, from the smallest PR shops to companies in the Top 20 of the Fortune 500.

Most of them aren't even sending email attachments anymore, even though email clients can easily handle them these days. I get multiple Dropbox connections every day.

Not that I'm pimping for them. I'm just observing that they've become not only more ubiquitous than any sending service has ever been, but now in our world, at least as ubiquitous as email attachments. Maybe moreso.

I'll also observe, though, that we were at one time YouSendIt users, and actually created a COW-branded alternative that we knew was bulletproof, called COW2COW. Not intended as a big-time public service, but something to get around many of YouSendIt's limitations, including size. Once Dropbox came along, we quietly unplugged both COW2COW and our YouSendIt accounts....but not before smelling something fishy with Hightail. I'd never have said for sure that something bad was going to happen, but a pretty nifty little service sure got annoying fast.

Sorry to hear it for your sake, though.


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Bill Davis
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 26, 2016 at 1:34:09 am
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Apr 26, 2016 at 1:35:53 am

I actually still use a mix of Vimeo Pro, Hightail, and Frame.io for client review work these days.

Unlike the OP, I've never had a problem with Hightail, but that might be because I don't use it as a notification system. I use it as a cloud based review system where clients that I've contacted via other means come to review work in progress. It's been fine for that and the versioning system they use, particularly with the new Spaces initiative has worked well for me. I can maintain accounts for clients, specify which team members have what level of access, and distribute nationwide to the companies who have far flung operations.

I once used Dropbox as well, but had a HORRIBLE experience once with an account that had a screwup - so I went to clear ALL the dropbox files and inits out of my computer in order to totally start over. The number of hidden files and hooks that dropbox had into my OS was an absolute NIGHTMARE to unravel.

Thats something I just won't abide. If a company asks me to install their software on my machine, they had better make UNINSTALL equally as easy as INSTALL or I'm not playing.

Dropbox was worse than anything I've used in the past 5 years rivaling the Adobe Creative Suite stuff that once took a 90 minutes offshore phone call to simply jettison one of two accounts I no longer needed.

Nothing is perfect and I doubt there will ever be "one distribution account to rule them all" - particularly since I like having one thats public facing - and a couple I can use so that not everything from competing clients is all on the same system.

YMMV.

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walter biscardi
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 26, 2016 at 1:49:07 am

[Ned Miller] "Hi Walter. May I ask why you don't just use Dropbox? Or is it better to have a separate service that just transfers? Thanks"

Because I hate Dropbox. The sync'ing is horrible.

ScreenLight is the perfect review tool for clients. Private, secure and they only have to bookmark one site and use one password to review all their projects on any device. It's also a great collaboration tool allowing me to share resources with off site artists and editors.

WeTransfer I use for folks who have no need to review videos and simply need me to send them a file.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Craft and Career Advice & Training from real Working Creative Professionals

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Ned Miller
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 26, 2016 at 2:23:30 am

Wow! What a great home page video ScreenLight produced:

https://screenlight.tv

I can see why you'd like it, perfect for post people.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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walter biscardi
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 26, 2016 at 2:27:21 am

[Ned Miller] "Wow! What a great home page video ScreenLight produced:"

Yeah, they turned that group loose to have at it and they produced a great series of videos. Excellent service too. I have the 100GB plan.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

Craft and Career Advice & Training from real Working Creative Professionals

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Todd Terry
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 26, 2016 at 2:38:17 am

Just to show another point of view, and different strokes for different strokes...

A lot of our clients seem to like Dropbox. I personally, however, loathe Dropbox. For a variety of reasons I won't go into, just don't like it.

On the other had, we find that Hightail works flawlessly, and have never had one lick of trouble with it.

We have one big client, a huge financial institution, and because of the massive security restrictions their IT people have in place they can get files from virtually none of the filesharing services... except it appears that their IT watchdogs haven't discovered wetransfer.com yet, so for them (and only them), we have to use that. I have to say, for a free service, it also works well. My one and only complaint with it is that multiple files sent get combined into one .zip file on the recipient's end, but that's not a big deal.

I will say, though, what we don't do is ever depend on Hightail or any of the other services to take care of the delivery and notifications, which is what apparently was causing Ned heartburn.

When I send a Hightail file, I just send it to myself. Then I personally email the client the download link. In fact, I'll usually truncate it, so I'm sending them a link something like tinyurl.com/download0425 or whatever.

This lets me know they've been notified (because I did the notifying), keeps them from getting emails about the same project from multiple addresses, gives them an email they can reply to and it gets back to me, and it just keeps everything lumped together. Sounds like a big deal, but it's really just a couple of mouse clicks.

In short, whatever works for ya....

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Ned Miller
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 26, 2016 at 2:41:15 am

You is smart!!!! I should have thought of that. Oh well. I cancelled it today. I looked at Walt's suggestions but it does seem that the client world uses Dropbox themselves, so I guess I'll do what the Romans do.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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Bob Cole
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 27, 2016 at 3:14:56 pm

Walter, I'm a little confused about Screenlight's definition of a "user." This is a critical matter, because their paid plans are "per user."

Would my clients have to become "users" if they did anything more than receive videos?

Bob C


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Vince Becquiot
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on May 3, 2016 at 3:12:05 am

Most of these services only define users as the person managing the project, so clients / reviewers don;t qualify as users.

Vince Becquiot

Indigo Live | Kaptis Media

San Francisco Bay Area


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Greg Ball
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 26, 2016 at 7:38:29 pm

I've been using HighTail and YouSendIt for many years and have never had a problem.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Steve Kownacki
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 26, 2016 at 9:12:15 pm

My pref is TransferBigFiles.com. $5/mo can send 20GB at a time, unlimited use. Great reporting on upload & downloads too.

Steve





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Ned Miller
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 27, 2016 at 1:35:09 am

Hi Greg,

I didn't notice I had a problem with Hightail except over several months, with some clients who were under very tight deadlines, they complained I had NOT sent them their videos, but I had. It never occurred to me that the Hightail notification system was down, which I beieve is common. I thought the notification ended up in their spam folder or some other nuisance location.

In one instance the client notification was only delayed a few hours but the one the other day, which started this thread, I edited for a law firm and they were going into court! They don't mess around, it's trial time. So I called Hightail and as before, the child in customer service told me more than he should: They are looking for a new vendor that will provide the notification without delay or crashing. Once more it was confirmed that the weak link is their notification.

So in sum, some of my issues were that the notification was delayed for just a few hours, other times it was literally days! In the latter case the client though I was a slow editor so did not contact me.

Also, lately I had a client who needed me to change the copyrights at the end of their videos. Did you know that Hightail will not accept any file name that has a character beside -, _ or a period? It just goes into the ozone if you have a character beside those 3...Who knew?

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 30, 2016 at 4:05:44 am

[Ned Miller] "Also, lately I had a client who needed me to change the copyrights at the end of their videos. Did you know that Hightail will not accept any file name that has a character beside -, _ or a period? It just goes into the ozone if you have a character beside those 3...Who knew?"

Not sure if that's a Hightail thing or a relay server thing.

I ran into the same thing years ago pushing FTP transfers around the net.

If I put ANY of a dozen what I came to think of as FORBIDDEN characters in my file names, the servers would truncate the IDs at those characters. For me that was the end of using slashes, hyphens, asterisks exclamation points and basically any other than straight alpha numeric characters in anything I send out on the net EVER. The only safe exception IMO is the underscore. That seems to always be OK.

Somebody on-line told me that other wildcard characters are sometimes reserved for server routing codes or something similar and using them in file names virtually guaranteed that my attached files would arrive with messed up IDs.

Maybe somebody here with actual knowledge of server-fu can comment?

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Ned Miller
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 30, 2016 at 12:30:00 pm

Well, it wasn’t just the file names, the text box where you can leave a message for the recipient- everytime I used an apostrophe Hightail changed it to a question mark. That makes me look like an idiot who can not type. I never knew that until I met a client to review a video I sent and when I sat down next to him and he opened the notification I thought WTF?

When I called Hightail and spoke to another incredibly young sounding kid, he said: “Oh yeah, don’t use an apostrophe”. That was not part of a file name, I know enough about that to avoid such, this was in a text sentence. In response to Greg never having "a problem", this is another example of an issue that the subscriber isn't even aware of.

So...this week I started to use Vimeo and Dropbox much more, I need to clean them up and look more polished. Besides, if I'm already paying for those two services why add another? As to Walt's favorite: ScreenLight- I feel that actually encourages the recipient to come up with changes. After all, it's actually asking the viewer to put in their two cents. Similar to when our videos are "sent to Legal for approval." Of course they feel the need to add their two cents. When I send a video for approval I hold my breath there will be no changes because I want to invoice the remaining payment, move onto the next project or take the dogs to the park.

P.S. I did notice that when you play a video from DropBox's server it is not as crisp and smooth as Vimeo, looks like it's knocked down the kbps rate? I need to research that. If so, I will use it for when the recipient will download and Vimeo for viewing. I do know that no matter what the privacy settings, a video can be ripped from Vimeo. I am about to hire a geek to do such because I shoot for TV shows and never get a copy, so need to rip from Vimeo.

Best,

Ned

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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Bob Cole
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 30, 2016 at 1:08:12 pm

Ned, you have experienced the biggest problem with Dropbox: The client will click on the file, see the incredibly low-res playback, and assume that she is watching the actual quality. I've seen a project create a very bad "first impression" because of this, resulting in a totally unnecessary series of additional reviews.

There is a fix.

Send the link yourself, but before you do, change the last character from zero to "1". This will force an immediate download of your actual video.

As David Pogue says, "You're welcome."

Bob C


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Ned Miller
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 30, 2016 at 1:09:39 pm

Thanks for confirming it wasn't just my lying eyes. I will do what you suggest. Thanks!

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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Ned Miller
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 30, 2016 at 1:50:22 pm

Aha, this explains it:

https://www.dropboxforum.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/202881125-Video-quali...

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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Ned Miller
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 30, 2016 at 2:22:00 pm

Hi Bob,

I am trying to do what you suggest by changing the last character from 0 to 1. However, it won't let me do that in the link box. It lights the entire URL. Could you please tell me how you manage that a?

Thanks,

Ned

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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Bob Cole
Re: Stay away from the service called HIGHTAIL.
on Apr 30, 2016 at 2:44:45 pm

Ned, I copy the entire link and paste it into an email directly to the client, where I can change the final character. Or, you can paste the link (and modify it) into tinyurl.com, to create a shorter link which can be emailed to the client without fear of truncating.

Great find on the Dropbox forum. Thanks!

Bob C


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