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Minus, an excellent alternative to Imgur (Review)

Posted by on 02/08/2011

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Minus is a relatively new cloud file hosting service, set to take on big names like Imgur, Dropbox and others.

One of the first things that is extra appealing in the ability to just throw stuff into the window for upload. Most other services require you to either install software or verify what you wanted uploaded. With Minus, all you have to do is drag and drop, and the process of uploading automatically begins. File types range from pretty much anything that is limited to 100MB in size. Users can also upload multiple files by just mass selecting what they want uploaded and dragging it into the browser. Clearly they won’t become another hosting ground like Fileserve and Rapidshare, because they take a lot of effort to keep warez and spam off their servers.

While you can upload as a guest, it is recommended that users register for an account so they could keep track of their files in the long run. Anonymous uploaders can track their upload history, but it only lasts as long as the IP address stays the same, otherwise they would have to manually note the URL of their stored files.

Image Hosting

One of the biggest competitors to Minus is Imgur, which has gained popularity mainly because of the huge Reddit fanbase, and because of how tightly would Imgur is to Reddit. Minus offers the same great service, with superfast servers for dealing with heavy traffic inflow (especially from social sites like Reddit and Digg). Their image gallery allows you to view a reduced version of the image (zoomed out), the original size within an HTML page, or the direct image itself. Below you can see one of my photographs zoomed out to 20% of the original size. You should also notice the stats at the bottom, including the original file name, dimensions, size, number of views and the time it was uploaded.

General File Management

As mentioned before, users can manage their uploaded content via the Timeline. What’s great about it is that it tries to show a preview for as many file types as possible. For instance, I uploaded a PDF and the front cover was displayed as the preview. However, you’d need to download the file to view the entire document. Perhaps this would be a good place to have some sort of integrated PDF viewer like Scribd?

Each file uploaded has the options to download it, share it on social networks, as well as get a short link and control the level of privacy (must be logged in for privacy control). You can also change the name of your files, to better reflect the contents.

Management Tools

Finally, there are a number of tools for personal computers, mobile phones and web browsers. There also seems to be an developing opensource code for integration into other applications. Imgur also has a range of opensource features, including integration with the popular blogging tool WordPress.

Conclusion

To wrap up, Minus is a top-notch sharing service with a lot of features jam packed into a darn simple interface. We’ve already switcher over to using Minus over Imgur, mainly because of the ability to drag/drop/upload instantly, and because we can host other types of files without having to download additional software to your PCs (as compared to Dropbox). It is still yet to be seen how Minus will stand up when put to the test, but we wish them well.

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