Hightail's new Spaces make it easy to annotate any kind of file

Nathan Ingraham
N. Ingraham|10.15.15

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Nathan Ingraham
October 15th, 2015
Hightail's new Spaces make it easy to annotate any kind of file

Remember YouSendIt? Late in the last decade, you probably send or received some big files through the service, perhaps of questionable legality. Regardless of how pirates may have used it, the company found success with businesses -- but as online storage became more and more of a commodity, the company rebranded as Hightail and started focusing on collaboration around those shared files. Today, the company is officially unveiling its new vision for collaborating on work projects, called Spaces. It's been available in Beta, but now everyone can give it a shot.

Spaces is meant to be a visual representation of projects you're working on -- rather than a list of folders, each space is represented by large graphics made up from the files contained inside. You can add whatever you want to a space and share it with anyone, and Hightail's web interface ably handles previews of just about any file type you dump into it, including audio and video files. You can also pull in files from your Dropbox account -- Hightail doesn't really care where things are saved. Once you've shared your files, other users can comment on them, and that's where Hightail's Spaces start to get interesting.

Dropbox has had file commenting for a long time, but the differentiator for Spaces is that you can drag over any portion of a document or file and "highlight" it, and then attach your comments specifically to that point. It's kind of a way of footnoting a file and it could make the comments that follow along with it a lot more useful -- instead of just leaving a comment referring to the document at large, you can easily refer to specific parts of the file.

This useful commenting extends to video and audio files, as well -- you can drop a comment at a specific point in a video or audio file, so the people you're collaborating with know exactly what part you're referring to. It's a smart feature, and it's not just limited to the desktop; it'll be available in the Hightail mobile app as well. If you want to give it a shot, Spaces is now available for all Hightail users starting today. You can use the service for free, but you'll only be able to have two active projects open at a time -- a $15 a month subscription will open up unlimited spaces, storage, and file sizes.

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