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The dark art of file uploading

Last issue we started looking at media hosting, specifically for images. That was primarily focused o
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The dark art of file uploading
By Colin Bate • Issue #20 • View online
Last issue we started looking at media hosting, specifically for images. That was primarily focused on owner-generated content, where this issue focuses on user-generated content.

The primary difference between the services of last issue and this one is the origin of the content. You can think of these as providing “Uploading as a Service”. In particular they provide a way for you to get content from your application’s end users into a place where you can access it.
HTML forms support an input of type ‘file’ but the user experience is pretty minimal. These services all provide you with a client side widget to collect files, typically images and upload them in a more visually satisfying way. And they don’t just support local files, you can often collect files from the users’ Dropbox, Instagram or other cloud storage location.
An example of a Filestack upload widget.
An example of a Filestack upload widget.
Another feature that these file uploaders offer is better client side handling of files. In particular if you want users to upload a profile photo, the uploader could be set to allow cropping and scaling of the original image, making sure it is the right size before sending it to you. This means you don’t need to receive someone’s 20-megapixel photo just to later be sized down to 100x100 pixels. All of this can happen in the browser.
Filestack
Uploadcare
Uploader.win
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Colin Bate

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