HUGE 4GB+ Product.. Download Problems?

25 replies
Hi guys

Im in the product creation phase of a big ongoing project - around 8 hours of Photoshop Tuition in video format.

My plan is to self-host the file, and handle the digital distribution using DLGuard. The potential issue I face is the sheer size of this package, which could be around 4GB of video data in a large .zip file.

Do you think I will experience problems with this?


• I don't want to create a 'membership site' - where the videos are viewed in-browser.

• If possible, I don't want to compress the video too drastically, as it is highly detailled work outlined in the videos.

• The hosting package I have is billed as 'unlimited bandwidth' - but I do understand these services still have a 'fair useage' policy, and start getting aggrevated if you take liberties.

Any feedback on this will be warmly welcomed

Much respect

Conzz
#4gb #download #huge #problems #product
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    You will have big problems. 4GB in one download whether I had broadband or not would eliminate me from even attempting the download.

    Unlimited bandwidth doesn't really mean unlimited bandwidth. A few customers downloading that, and your host is going to probably suspend your account until that bandwidth problem is taken care of.

    I use Amazon S3 in smaller downloads to deliver a large product. 4GB is going to put off a lot of customers and your host.
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    • Profile picture of the author SurrealPSD
      Thanks so much for the headsup Suzanne. Had a little look at the pricing, doesnt seem as extreme as I initially thought. Does this dload system play nicely with DLGuard, or would you recommend another solution?

      Much respect

      Conzz

      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      You will have big problems. 4GB in one download whether I had broadband or not would eliminate me from even attempting the download.

      Unlimited bandwidth doesn't really mean unlimited bandwidth. A few customers downloading that, and your host is going to probably suspend your account until that bandwidth problem is taken care of.

      I use Amazon S3 in smaller downloads to deliver a large product. 4GB is going to put off a lot of customers and your host.
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  • Profile picture of the author rendell
    Originally Posted by SurrealPSD View Post

    Hi guys

    Im in the product creation phase of a big ongoing project - around 8 hours of Photoshop Tuition in video format.

    My plan is to self-host the file, and handle the digital distribution using DLGuard. The potential issue I face is the sheer size of this package, which could be around 4GB of video data in a large .zip file.

    Do you think I will experience problems with this?


    • I don't want to create a 'membership site' - where the videos are viewed in-browser.

    • If possible, I don't want to compress the video too drastically, as it is highly detailled work outlined in the videos.

    • The hosting package I have is billed as 'unlimited bandwidth' - but I do understand these services still have a 'fair useage' policy, and start getting aggrevated if you take liberties.

    Any feedback on this will be warmly welcomed

    Much respect

    Conzz
    By "unlimited bandwidth" package, do you mean it is on a shared hosting account type ?

    For delivery of file or video that size I would recommend using AWS ... or other cloud hosting that offers pay per bandwidth usage.
    Signature

    .
    Ever notice that people who spend money on WSO, memberships and courses, are always complaining about being broke and not making any money ?

    They should have bought ASSETS instead.

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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    You definitely need to use a CDN network for a download of that size... I would even recommend a CDN network for downloads of any size nowadays. Amazon S3 is the solution I use. It's cheap, reliable, and will give your customers the fastest access to those files -- without putting any strain on your server or resources. That's the beauty of it. 1,000 people could be downloading that file at the same time and performance would not suffer at all.

    If you hosted those files on your server it would be a nightmare. The moment you had a few people downloading them at the same time, the whole performance of your server would suffer. I also think you would have your hosting company knocking on the door because of the strain you are putting on the server.

    For files like that I would:

    1. Create a simple members area. A members area doesn't mean you have to stream the videos, you can still just have links inside the members area for people to download the content. I never let people stream video in my members area, I much prefer they just download the videos and watch them at their leisure. By creating a members area it also allows you to advertise other related products in there and the like.

    2. Break that download down into much smaller parts. If someone starts to download that file, gets half way through and something happens, they would then have to start the download again from scratch and I imagine they would be quite pissed. So break that download into much smaller chunks -- maybe 10 downloads of 400 MB each or even smaller. It will make it much easier for your customers. It also makes it easier for you in the case you want to update some videos, etc. Instead of having to reupload the whole 4GB file you can just re-upload the smaller download containing the video you edited.
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    • Profile picture of the author SurrealPSD
      Awesome, thanks so much Will. From the information gathered from this thread, Amazon S3 very much looks like the solution to this issue.

      Im now deliberating between having the download links distributed using DLGuard, or using the members area option that you recommended. Very solid info though, thanks to everyone who has contributed.


      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      You definitely need to use a CDN network for a download of that size... I would even recommend a CDN network for downloads of any size nowadays. Amazon S3 is the solution I use. It's cheap, reliable, and will give your customers the fastest access to those files -- without putting any strain on your server or resources. That's the beauty of it. 1,000 people could be downloading that file at the same time and performance would not suffer at all.

      If you hosted those files on your server it would be a nightmare. The moment you had a few people downloading them at the same time, the whole performance of your server would suffer. I also think you would have your hosting company knocking on the door because of the strain you are putting on the server.

      For files like that I would:

      1. Create a simple members area. A members area doesn't mean you have to stream the videos, you can still just have links inside the members area for people to download the content. I never let people stream video in my members area, I much prefer they just download the videos and watch them at their leisure. By creating a members area it also allows you to advertise other related products in there and the like.

      2. Break that download down into much smaller parts. If someone starts to download that file, gets half way through and something happens, they would then have to start the download again from scratch and I imagine they would be quite pissed. So break that download into much smaller chunks -- maybe 10 downloads of 400 MB each or even smaller. It will make it much easier for your customers. It also makes it easier for you in the case you want to update some videos, etc. Instead of having to reupload the whole 4GB file you can just re-upload the smaller download containing the video you edited.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
    Just a suggestion which you might be interested to explore: Have you tried converting the videos to other formats which can be smaller in size?

    My 654 -- 480, 24-minutes FLV movie file is only 122MB. That means an 8GB should give you about 2GB file size.

    An MP4 of the above will be 500+MB.
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    • Profile picture of the author SurrealPSD
      Interesting option that I have toyed with, but I definitely want to settle on a video format that would play with the minimum of hassle (thinking of my 'non-techie' customers in advance).

      Good suggest though, I'll talk to my video buddy about viable compression options.

      Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

      Just a suggestion which you might be interested to explore: Have you tried converting the videos to other formats which can be smaller in size?

      My 654 -- 480, 24-minutes FLV movie file is only 122MB. That means an 8GB should give you about 2GB file size.

      An MP4 of the above will be 500+MB.
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      • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
        Originally Posted by SurrealPSD View Post

        Interesting option that I have toyed with, but I definitely want to settle on a video format that would play with the minimum of hassle (thinking of my 'non-techie' customers in advance).

        Good suggest though, I'll talk to my video buddy about viable compression options.
        I've received products that are in FLV format so I'm pretty sure (I hope!) that your video buddy will know.

        What I do remember is that they are packaged into folders, each folder will have its own set of HTML files and the FLV player script, along with the actual FLV file. In that way, your user will be able to navigate to each folder and load the videos to play.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Here's a tutorial on DLGuard with S3
    DLGuard Forum :: View topic - Integrate Amazon S3 with DLGuard Tutorial

    and here is a tutorial that I haven't taken a look at
    http://proseodesign.com/tutorials/DLGS3tutorial.pdf

    I haven't tried it, but there it is. S3 is very cheap.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Dixon
    Any reason why you wouldn't want to simply stream the files?
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    • Profile picture of the author SurrealPSD
      I really want to position it as 'product' as opposed to 'access' or 'membership'. Having the files stored locally just adds a sense of permanence to a digital product.

      If that makes any sense at all!!

      Originally Posted by Ben Dixon View Post

      Any reason why you wouldn't want to simply stream the files?
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  • Profile picture of the author ScottieDog
    You could use Screencast to host the file for download. The free account wouldn´t be applicable to you as the file is 4gb, but their 9.95$ month plan should suffice.

    • 25GB Storage Space
    • 200GB Monthly Bandwidth [?]
    Unless the 200GB month isn´t enough bandwidth for you? How many downloads per month are you expecting?

    I use ScreenCast for one of my large file products (I say large file, but its small compared to yours, mine is only 250mb). I used to host it myself and give direct download access but it was problematic from a couple of standpoints - Moving it to ScreenCast saves me those problems, its rock solid, and I can actually use their free plan as the product is 250mb and I generally only sell 3 or 4 of them a month. If I outdid the bandwidth because of sales increasing (i wish) then the 9.95 would be a bargain :-)
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    • Profile picture of the author SurrealPSD
      Thanks Scottie - it's always good to have backups / alternatives to hand! My bandwidth would probably will exceed that gigure, but will keep Screencast in mind.

      Originally Posted by ScottieDog View Post

      You could use Screencast to host the file for download. The free account wouldn´t be applicable to you as the file is 4gb, but their 9.95$ month plan should suffice.

      • 25GB Storage Space
      • 200GB Monthly Bandwidth [?]
      Unless the 200GB month isn´t enough bandwidth for you? How many downloads per month are you expecting?

      I use ScreenCast for one of my large file products (I say large file, but its small compared to yours, mine is only 250mb). I used to host it myself and give direct download access but it was problematic from a couple of standpoints - Moving it to ScreenCast saves me those problems, its rock solid, and I can actually use their free plan as the product is 250mb and I generally only sell 3 or 4 of them a month. If I outdid the bandwidth because of sales increasing (i wish) then the 9.95 would be a bargain :-)
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      • Profile picture of the author ScottieDog
        Originally Posted by SurrealPSD View Post

        Thanks Scottie - it's always good to have backups / alternatives to hand! My bandwidth would probably will exceed that gigure, but will keep Screencast in mind.
        Can I ask what the price point is for what you offer?
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        • Profile picture of the author SurrealPSD
          Ideally I'd like £50GBP NET ($80USD) for each download, so Im thinking of pricing at $87USD - which should cover Paypal, currency conversion and Amazon hosting fees

          Originally Posted by ScottieDog View Post

          Can I ask what the price point is for what you offer?
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          • Profile picture of the author ScottieDog
            Originally Posted by SurrealPSD View Post

            Ideally I'd like £50GBP NET ($80USD) for each download, so Im thinking of pricing at $87USD - which should cover Paypal, currency conversion and Amazon hosting fees
            Sounds like a lot of value in that. I think you have a very interesting product.
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        • Profile picture of the author icandi
          Not sure if Dropbox is in any way viable for you. I use it all the time for off line clients but might not be suitable for your needs but there's no issues with bandwidth, speed or number of downloads, just a thought.
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          • Profile picture of the author SurrealPSD
            Appreciate the comment, I need something a lot sturdier and with a higher level of automation / security. Thankfully the Warriors have got me on the right path


            Originally Posted by icandi View Post

            Not sure if Dropbox is in any way viable for you. I use it all the time for off line clients but might not be suitable for your needs but there's no issues with bandwidth, speed or number of downloads, just a thought.
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            • Profile picture of the author WillR
              Originally Posted by Ben Dixon View Post

              Any reason why you wouldn't want to simply stream the files?
              If you stream the files it means your users are downloading those files everytime they watch them. For this amount of videos that's going to be a lot of wasted downloads when people come back and watch the same videos again. It is much better to allow people to download the files once and watch them over and over again on their own computer.

              Not only that but I feel if someone has paid for a product they should have the right to download that product to their computer. I hate membership sites that only allow you to stream content. Every time I come across them I simply open up my Activity window in Safari, find the video file being streamed, and download it to my computer anyway.

              Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

              Just a suggestion which you might be interested to explore: Have you tried converting the videos to other formats which can be smaller in size?

              My 654 -- 480, 24-minutes FLV movie file is only 122MB. That means an 8GB should give you about 2GB file size.

              An MP4 of the above will be 500+MB.
              Actually, if done right an MP4 file should give you the best quality/size ration. I use MP4 format for all my videos nowadays and I do think they are the preferred format for most people. FLV is surely on it's way out. It's old and outdated technology.

              Originally Posted by brettb View Post

              4Gb is too much. Most folk here in the UK have a monthly download limit on their broadband.

              Besides, who downloads videos these days when they're better hosted on a video streaming site?
              True and that's what I originally thought but so long as people are aware of the size of the download BEFORE they purchase, it's a choice they can make. Besides, if the downloads are broken up into much smaller parts then they needn't download everything at the one time. They can download things as and when they need them.

              Originally Posted by SurrealPSD View Post

              Ideally I'd like £50GBP NET ($80USD) for each download, so Im thinking of pricing at $87USD - which should cover Paypal, currency conversion and Amazon hosting fees
              Hey, at least you won't have to worry about people sharing your product illegally. Who on earth is going to upload 4GB worth of data to a blackhat site?! That's one good thing about a course of that size.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Out of interest, how long have you been working on this project?
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    • Profile picture of the author SurrealPSD
      I initially developed my teaching system for the final year of my university degree, around 2010. Ive spent the last two years using the system to teach students Photoshop at university level.

      The results, putting it mildly - have been staggering!! In my wildest dreams, I didn't know the system would be as successful as it has been.

      The final stage, is compiling my course modules into video format, and handle the techie side of digital distribution and payment etc. Ive built up my tutorial site's following with content and social-marketing, the audience is there - all I need to do now is get my product live.


      ..So, to answer - this product has been in development for around 3 years. The good thing is, it has been 'field-tested' with hundreds of students with quantifiable results



      Originally Posted by John Romaine View Post

      Out of interest, how long have you been working on this project?
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      • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
        Originally Posted by SurrealPSD View Post

        ..So, to answer - this product has been in development for around 3 years. The good thing is, it has been 'field-tested' with hundreds of students with quantifiable results
        I hope it works out for you. 3 years is a long time to invest into a project.
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        BS free SEO services, training and advice - SEO Point

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        • Profile picture of the author SurrealPSD
          It's a labor of love - it's something I believe in. The system was initially developed to teach university students digital art, where I was paid $65 per hour to deliver the content - so in effect Ive already been paid for the work.

          Many thanks mate, appreciated

          Originally Posted by John Romaine View Post

          I hope it works out for you. 3 years is a long time to invest into a project.
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    4Gb is too much. Most folk here in the UK have a monthly download limit on their broadband.

    Besides, who downloads videos these days when they're better hosted on a video streaming site?
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