One of the nifty features of Skype is its ability perform File Transfers almost on demand. I find several time a day I need to transfer a file to a Skype contact but how I do it could happen in one of several ways. Peter Kalmström has posted on six ways to perform File Transfers within the Skype ecosystem:
- Use the Skype client’s Send File button
- In a Skype Chat session either use the Send File button or drag a file into the Chat window
- Right click on any file in Windows Explorer and use the “Send To” feature selecting Skype as the option
- Via the Skype Toolbar for MS Office (still in beta) there is an option to send the file you are currently working on (even though it is still open in, say, Word, Excel or PowerPoint
- Transfer files received in emails using the Skype Email Toolbar (also still in Beta); this works in Outlook, Outlook Express and Thunderbird.
- Transfer files in partner applications such as SnagIt’s profiles for Skype
Peter’s post provides additional details on how to do these as well as the limitations such as “You can only send files to people who are on your Skype Contact list” and authorizations required in the process. He also notes the need to check for viruses on receipt of a file; in my case, Norton Antivirus always checks an MS Office file before it is loaded into the application.
However, I have come across two additional situations:
- When you want to send information from a Contact in Outlook’s Contacts View, drag the vCard into the Skype Client and the relevant nane/address phone number/email address will end up in your Skype Chat Client.
- Jaanus reports on the use of Skype’s File Transfer in the Sony Mylo to transfer MP3 files into the Mylo when a reviewer’s evaluation unit did not include the USB cable.
The one issue that arises occasionally with Skype’s file transfer is the situation where it uses a relay to mediate the file transfers; Sure slows down the process to under 500bps. I assume this is one of the compromises of using a peer-to-peer architecture in situations where you are getting around firewalls.