Are there alternatives to zip files for downloading large files
Posted on 2011-02-21
This is the background for my problem:
I have a commercial website in which I sell digital products. Recently I added a new series of products each one of which consist of: one digital PDF e-book, one SWF file, and 2 folders-each one of which contains approximately 200-300 images.
The way I had set it up was with one main zip file that contains everything above; and for each of the folders, I had a zip file of the folder. The real difficulties occur for the one product I have which is a "collection" of 5 separate products, each one consisting of the 4 components listed above (PDF, SWF, 2 folders).
When downloading the "collection," my customer would need to click on 5 download buttons, each one representing one complete product (all 4 components). I need to do it that way because the maximum file size for my server that hosts the products is 50 MBs.
For the last 2 months I have been running into a disproportionately high number of customers who experience problems both downloading and unzipping the files. That is in spite of the fact that I provide detailed instructions for doing both.
That is the background. I know that an alternative would be to mail a physical CD to everyone who purchases, but that kills the instant gratification of getting the product immediately and sets up a lot of manual work that right now I prefer not to add to my schedule.
Is there any alternative in which a large amount of material (200 MBs-300 MBs) can be hosted and downloaded by customers, OTHER THAN USING ZIP FILES? FTP services such as yousendit would not work for the initial download, because of a number of security issues involving multiple downloads by different people, from one purchase.
I don't know if anything exists that provides a workable alternative to the zip file approach in my case, but I figured that if anybody would know, it would be Expert Exchange.
Please feel free to propose alternate approaches I could use which I have not mentioned (and therefore have not thought of yet). Thank you very much for your assistance.