Friday, January 02, 2009

How My Internet Connection Spent New Year's Eve — Or, Please Hurry LUS!!!

I recently shot some video for some friends of mine in a band when they played at the Blue Moon Saloon. It's going to be released as a DVD in the next month or so.

The band members are scattered across the South but I wanted to let them see the near final cut of the video. I saved it as a Quicktime movie in a small (480 x 270 pixels) widescreen format and it came in at a grand total of 1.69 gigabytes. Too big to send via conventional email.

I tried Pando (a service a friend in New Orleans and I had used to exchange video) but that service has a 1 gig file size limit.

Googling around, I found Filemail.com which has a 2 gig file size limit. Ah, we're good to go.

So, I signed up, linked to the file and began sending it.

There is a handy/scary network speedometer on the upload page. I finally got that baby up to 104 kbps via my Cox Internet connection. But what was really scary was the "Time Remaining" figure: four hours and fifty-plus minutes!

Well, it was what it was, so I went to read a couple of things on my laptop while the iMac, Cox and Filemail did their thing.

A couple of hours later, I returned to the iMac only to find an error message!

Not knowing the source of the error, I decided to try to FTP the file to a domain that I own. FTP is supposed to be pretty fast (faster than email, any way). But, looking at the progress dial on Fetch, it was clear that this process would take about five hours at the connection speed I was able to achieve.

Sure enough, five hours later, the file was on the website. I linked to it and it began to play.

Still, knowing that video over the Internet is network speed sensitive, I went back to Filemail to see if I could successfully send the file so that the band members could download it onto their respective desktops and get a better playback experience.

I figured out that the original problem had been that my hard drive had 'gone to sleep' in the initial transfer process — and who wouldn't after three or four hours? ;-)

So, I resent my system preferences to keep the hard-drive 'awake' no matter how long the transfer took.

Sent the file again and — again — delivery time was going to be about five hours.

This time, the process was completed without a glitch.

But, using that great Cox fiber to the neighborhood network with the asymmetrical upload and download speeds, I spent at least 12 hours of time moving a 1.69 gigabyte file to a mail service and/or a website for viewing.

I am happy to see that LUS has announced their pricing on packages and I'm thrilled about the network speeds. But, they can't get here soon enough as far as I'm concerned.

I'm tired of the giant sucking sound Cox's network is making in my wallet and with their underperforming network.

3 comments:

Robin Bonin said...

I think there a lot of us that can't wait. I all ready have a list of phone numbers ready so I can call and cancel my other services.

I had an interesting issue with Bell South Business DSL yesterday. We were getting almost no throughput, after calling them, for some reason the tech department said we had a fast access lite account and the billing department showed a normal 5 Meg account. Something got out of sync and we were downgraded in service level (but not billing). Not sure if we were the only one with that issue, but while on hold I got the message about extended hold times.

John said...

Hi Robin,

Like Mike, I'm among those who can't wait. I looked at your blog (neat) and was particularly interested in your AV setup. I've started messing around with mine in anticipation of the LUS launch but you seem much further along. I just installed Boxee on the macbook pro I've got in the AV equipment stack...currently downloadable HD from the web via Boxee or netflix-on-the-browser and video chat via iChat or the PS3 suffers from limited bandwidth.(I'm on Cox; neither is reliably usable; but while it's working it's great.) I'm thinking that will change when LUS opens up in my area.

Interesting about AT&T...

Care to share that list of phone numbers?

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