Why the change to .7z instead of .zip?

WARNING: Bumpy road ahead!

The .7z is just one of the challenges we’ve had in our first week from a technical point of view. Our email wasn’t configured properly to the email got blacklisted by some .. That had to do with settings of DNS, SPF, DKIM and some more things we as drummers want to know as little about as possible. Our hosting provider Siteground has repeatedly tried to help us in various chat sessions and really deserve a compliment as does every SG employee who seems to have an unlimited resource of patience built in.

Unfortunately this didn’t solve our problem. Now it appeared to be in the WordPress plugin Email Before Download and the customization of the email template, number 9.1 for EBD users. When actually customizing this in order for clients to receive a nice email with the link instead of only the link itself, all goes mysteriously wrong. The download link works fine, so we thought we were doing fine, but now the outgoing server starts to get indentified as not being ours, and so the email starts to get picked up by spam filters and our server gets blacklisted by internet watchdogs. Okay, then screw the nice thank you note and just hand out the download. Yup, we did that on thursday and it worked beautifully.

Or so we thought.. The email was tested fine, but after a day or so it became apparant that while the download link looked fine from our side, it actually linked to a non existing .zip file! OOPS, SOOOOOORRYYYYY!! So immediately back to the old spam filter prone situation, because at least clients were getting the right download link. Clients who downloaded the empty link received an email with an apology and the correct link, which may have ended up in their spam folder depending on their email client and we’re back to square one. Let the search continue.

Eureka!

And now we (think we) have solved the issue people! The file which gets shared via EBD can’t be larger than 160 MB because it can’t be uploaded directly into the media section of WordPress. We linked to a file on our server and customized the email template in the settings to get around this. Now we simply uploaded a smaller file and we send only the direct link by leaving the customization box empty.

7z

This means we have to use another form of compression because .zip makes 161 MB of Level 1 Edition 2016.zip. Compressing the pdf using 7-Zip reduces it to 40,5 MB so this will be excellent. There’s only one downside. The .7z format isn’t as widely accepted as .zip and can’t be dealt with by default by Windows, OSX or Ubuntu. So our clients wil have to download this free tool to be able to decompress Level 1 succesfully. The upside is that 7-zip gets promoted in the process and our clients as a bonus get a nice tool which will open just about any kind of archive as a bonus.

http://www.7-zip.org/

Mac/osx users

Unfortunately the decompressing tool 7-zip is not for Mac users. But Mac has a nice free tool called Keka which can deal with about any form of compression. This can be downloaded here:

http://www.kekaosx.com/en/

As an alternative Unarchiver can be downloaded from iTunes or a third party

Future proof

This is a little more work for our clients than we would’ve liked it to be. But drummers are smart and flexible so a 7z file shouldn’t be a big problem. And as Level 1 will be growing in the future we are confident we have quite a lot of years to go before this system of compression won’t work anymore so we’re happy to say we’re future proof!

Price of innovation

We want to be different so this is a small price to pay really. As long as you fully agree with us on our methods that is. We can’t state clearly enough how much we need you to help us spread the word about spreading the word, and to come up wih suggestions how to improve Level 1 in future editions. This is a lifelong commitment we’re embarking on my Level 1 friends, so we hope to have made our reasons for this change perfectly clear. If there’s anything not clear about this explanation please let us know.

Spread the word about spreading the word about Level 1

Grtz,

Bob

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