Virtually all of my software applications and most of my personal data--documents, digital photos, and music files--live on my computer's hard drive. But I, like many, store some data on a central server that can be accessed from any computer. In fact, I use Yahoo Mail and Hotmail to store bits of important info so that I can retrieve it wherever there's access to a browser. Pretty soon, most of our data and even applications will be Web based, or "untethered from the desktop" as Microsoft (with its Office Live), Google, and other big shots usher in the age of Web 2.0.
But truly revolutionary ideas often come from the smaller guys. If you want to experience a fresh and organic way of storing, managing, and sharing your media, check out Transmedia's Glide Effortless Web-based application. Inside and out, the software/service, which officially launched today, represents a glimpse into a future where all of us can share media and data instantly, securely, and well, effortlessly from any Web browser. While it starts with the fun and hyper-intuitive interface, the real revolution starts with the back end. Once you upload your media files, real-time transcoding of any format of digital photos, music, and video files allows the system to feel very desktoplike to the end user. Conveniences such as instant video streams--no matter what media player you have installed--instant template-based blogs and Web pages, and an intuitive yet powerful interface that displays your media as thumbnails (video thumbnails actually play onscreen as soon as you login). Call it intelligent storage.
Glide Effortless goes further than media management. The full service offers you a host of "environments," from photos and music to videoconferencing and e-mail/calendar integration. Once you're within the Glide environment, you feel as if the application is the operating system. It's that responsive, immersive, and useful. Furthermore, the built-in security (basically, the real-time transcoding that keeps the original file safe) opens up a viable platform for e-commerce businesses, particularly music and video distribution or promotion.
Glide becomes really intriguing when you consider the fact that your friends and family don't have to be signed up as a member to enjoy the benefits of your sharing. Also, soon we'll see more hard-core applications (photo editing with multiple undos, for instance) built into Glide.
Definitely check out the demo. For $9.95 per month or $99 per year, you get 3GB of storage and a full-functioning version of Glide Effortless. If you can forgo the audio- and videoconferencing and make do with half the storage, you can pay $4.95 per month. Glide Free limits your storage to 100MB and gives you basic media management features, though you must still ante up your credit card info.