In the next year we are going to see quite a few remote file access services pop up. I was reading my Wired RSS feed today and found out about a free one, Avvenu. I just installed it on my Windows desktop and I have to say, I plan to make good use of this!
You install the Avvenu client on your computer and it runs in the background. This client ties your computer in with the share.avvenu.com website. When you log in on a remote computer/cellphone/PDA with your user name and password, avvenu.com gives you access to all of the files on your computer(s). It presents you with icons that represent the drives, folders, and files on your computer, just like using windows. It even displays thumbnails of images, making it much easier to find a specific picture. Once you find your file, you can download it through your web browser onto whatever remote computer you are using. If you have Google Desktop installed, you can enter in a search term and Google Desktop will search your computer and return the results through Avvenu! This makes finding files extremely quick and painless. Your computer needs to be on in order to access these files though, as the connection is real time.
Another cool feature is the ability to share files and folders with other people. You can select a file/folder and click “share” on the Avvenu webpage. Then you enter in the e-mail addresses of the people you want to share with, choose the duration of how long you want those people to have access to the files, and then hit send. E-mails are sent with links that provide access to the files. After the specified period of time, the links will quit working. You can also go in and manually end a share before it expires. This makes it extremely easy to share large files without having to buy hosting space. If I produce a video, I can push it out to my friends without needing to tax the bandwidth quota on my web hosting. Isn’t that slick?
The Avvenu client currently only exists for Windows computers… but I’m happy to see that they do address the issue in their FAQ:
Can Avvenu be used with Macintosh computers?
The host computer must currently be a Windows-based computer. This will be extended to include the Macintosh in the future. You can share your content with anyone on an Internet-connected device—including a Mac.
So there’s something to look forward to!
I can already imagine the countless times I will pull Avvenu up in a school computer lab, or on my laptop while on campus, to retrieve some important work or to grab a new album or video to keep me entertained. I encourage you to head over to Avvenu.com to try it out for yourself. If you don’t have a Windows machine, or want the same access to a Mac machine, be sure to shoot of an e-mail to the development team and make plenty of noise!