Waiting for Google's online hard-drive service to launch? Check out Digital Bucket, a new storage service that's simple and intuitive. We've seen plenty of virtual desktop services here at Webware, and the one thing many have in common is attempting to emulate an existing GUI. In the case of Digital Bucket, that look and feel is the Microsoft Windows file explorer, and as I've found by using the service this morning-- this isn't a bad thing.
When it comes to files, drag and drop is by nature a very effective way of moving things around. In the Web world, this was a relatively difficult thing to manage until recently. Getting your files onto Digital Bucket in the first place involves hand picking files off your hard drive. There's also a simple mode that will sync an entire drive or folder of your choice. Once they're on there, you can drag and drop at will, sorting them into various music, video, and document folders. There's also a tagging system to let you quickly group and sort similar files.
What makes Digital Bucket "webby" is its collaborative nature. During the beta test you get a 1GB storage, and two collaborators. These folks gets access to your virtual storage space, and you can place all sorts of permissions on your files on a per-user basis to control access. You can also monitor their bandwidth usage through the admin controls, and set up file feeds that they can subscribe to see the newest additions without having to log-in. Digital Bucket is rolling out the multiuser feature only with their $149-a-year business user tier, so users of the less expensive basic and pro accounts are on their own--literally.
Another handy feature of Digital Bucket is the integration with Zoho to let you edit any documents or spreadsheets you've got stored. Box.net and Omnidrive have this feature, and it's wonderfully helpful if you don't feel like firing up another app on your computer to quickly view what's on it. Likewise, there's a picture viewer that does full-screen slide-shows, and music and video previews that play right inside the file browser.
I really enjoy the look and feel of Digital Bucket. In terms of value for your buck, ideally the company could transition the beta into a free service, and add shared accounts on the two lower-tiered subscriptions. If you're really looking for a free gigabyte of space (or more) to stash your stuff, there are already a handful of services like the aforementioned Box.net and Omnidrive, along with others like Xdrive (5GB), eSnips (5GB), and MediaMax (25GB).