Jul 5 2011
Just the other day I was on a big 60s garage rock kick. I was checking videos on YouTube of all the classics – the Sonics, Them, and the 13th Floor Elevators. The latter band really blew my mind, and I promptly emailed a friend of mine, saying, “Man, why haven’t I heard more of them?” He wrote back and attached an MP3 to an e-mail. I downloaded it and it ruled.
He asked me if I wanted a full album, and I said of course, but I didn’t feel like downloading 13 songs via e-mail, or a Zip file, or even using one of those larger file-sharing services. Clearly there has to be a better way.
Well, today, I think I just found the better way: it’s called Addie, and it’s the simplest way to
collect, organize, and share your photos, files, and notes.
I’m not one for semantics or the newest internet crazes, but I know this: whether you call it “the cloud” or simply “someone else’s server” it’s becoming more and more common for users to store files elsewhere. Addie wisely takes this principle a step further: in addition to providing 2 GB of free storage, it does what other MP3 or photo-sharing “clouds” fail to do – and that’s enable you to easily and seamlessly share them. (Note: I realize you can easily share documents on Google Documents, etc. – but we’re talking about next-level content here like MP3s and photos.)
So let’s say you too are on a garage rock kick. You sign up for Addie and are taken to your Inbox. You upload a 13th Floor Elevators song (you can upload up to 50 MB at a time) and then the real fun begins. First and foremost, you can share the file with other people. Once you do, you can see who you’ve shared with and you can also create Groups (e.g. “Fans of Garage Rock”) so you can pass along files in one fell swoop to multiple people. There’s also a really nifty drag and drop feature where you simply drag a file to a user’s name and poof! They get it.
Addie is quick to note it is “private first – then social,” meaning you control who sees what. More importantly, unlike other un-named social sites, Addie won’t sell your content preferences to big, bad advertisers.
Addie also makes it fun to actually manage your files. By clicking on any item, you can view, edit, organize, share, or delete it. You can also see who you shared it with and their comments.
The practical applications are limitless. Take my aforementioned example. It’s a great site for musicians, artists, graphic designers, and photographers – namely, those who collaborate with other individuals. I also thought about how it could benefit small businesses. We all know the chaos that ensues after a meeting; using Addie, participants can exchange, edit, and comment on meeting notes – or sales proposals, marketing ideas, whatever – without the threaded anarchy that is e-mail.
Ultimately, Addie is a kind of super-cool-Frankenstein-of-a-site that cobbles together stand-alone functionality from other services into one user-friendly and utilitarian place. You get the document sharing of a Google Documents but with a friendlier interface. You get photo sharing capabilities of a Facebook without the whole creepy advertising hanky-panky. You can send large files like an entire album of MP3s as you would using, say, YouSendIt, but without having to rely on email. And you can share notes as you would on an email platform like an Outlook without having to, well, deal with Outlook.
So the Frankenstein comparison does fit. Addie is kind of a freak. But oh, what a freak it is.