Announced at the London Web Summit, Pipe intends to use Adobe’s Real-Time Media Flow Protocol (RTMFP) to allow Facebook users to transfer large files. While it is already possible to transfer files via Facebook, there is no method to transfer large files. Using Adobe’s RTMFP, Pipe will allows users to transfer files up to 1 gigabyte using the users cache so no Facebook or Pipe server space will be used for file handling.
Users can move videos, music, ebooks and the like via the Pipe app while avoiding some of the speed bumps associated with traditional file transfer. However, unlike traditional file sharing, Pipe is not built to share files with multiple peers. Pipe will only transfer files from a single user to another single user using what amounts to drag and drop. In order to share a file with multiple users the process must be repeated for each user.
There are a few catches to using cache based file transfer. A user with several browser windows or tabs open will have less cache for Pipe to use to transfer files since the browser tabs and windows will use a portion of the cache for their duties. So watching videos or power browsing will decrease the amount of available cache Pipe can utilize to transfer files. Closing all browser windows and tabs, clearing the browser cache and restarting the browser should free up space for larger file transfers.
According to an article on Digital Trends, the limit on file size and absence of cache space should only affect a small portion of users that try to send files larger than 500 megabytes.
Facebook recently acquired Caffeinated Mind which dealt in file transfer and browser file transfers and Pipe releases in what appears to be a beta test on March 18, 2013 using Facebook are it’s starting point. While Pipe is not limited to Facebook specifically, Facebook’s endeavors in browser file transfers might be a hurdle the people behind Pipe should begin planning for soon.
If you have good or bad experiences with the Pipe app, please share your experience in the comments below.