Every once in a while, a new technology comes along that makes you stop and wonder — why didn't anyone think of this before? This is one of...
Every once in a while, a new technology comes along that makes you stop and wonder — why didn’t anyone think of this before?
This is one of those times.
Glide Effortless lets you store, organize and share every piece of media you own — every digital photo, every song, every video and document — through a Web browser.
There is no shortage of ways to share your photo albums online or upload videos. But this is the first time anyone has created a single Web-based repository — a multimedia scrapbook, if you will — for sharing online every little bit we make.
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And because everything is streamed through a Web browser, you don’t have to worry about whether Grandma in New York has the right software on her computer to watch that Quicktime video of the granddaughter’s school play. There’s no software to load or configure.
You can check out Glide Effortless for yourself by downloading the application from www.glidedigital.com.
Once you download the compact application, you’ll be prompted to upload your digital media files. Anytime you have to pack and move your digital life, it’s tedious even though the photos, music, videos and documents are transferred in the background as you do other things.
Pros: After downloading the Glide Effortless, no other software is needed. Has robust sharing capabilities. Works with lots of different media and file types. Accessible from any Web browser.
Cons: Takes time to upload all of your digital media to the Web. Some features promised, but not delivered.
Requirements: Web browser and Macromedia Flash 8 player. High-speed Internet connection.
Price: Free (100 MB); $4.95 per month (1.5 GB); $9.95 (3 GB)
When you launch Glide Effortless, you’ll see the album art accompanying Kanye West’s song “Jesus Walks.” Each file is organized by file type, so the digital photos get separated from the MP3 files and videos.
The opening screen, Glide Personal, gives an overview of your digital collection. You’ll see thumbnail images of your pictures, album art depicting the music and — most impressive — snippets of the video playing within a pane. Roll over the image with your mouse, and you’ll hear and see a preview.
From here, you can throw together multimedia bundles — literally dragging and dropping favorite music, photos or videos — to publish to a Web site or update a blog.
Move the cursor over the “container” where you deposited the files, and a colorful bubble will appear of your options — to publish, blog or discard. Good riddance, FTP sites.
I would have been able to create a Web site for my daughter’s Pink Diamonds soccer team in less time than it has taken me to distribute photos via e-mail. I could have chosen from options in a template, and the site would have been published automatically — or at least that’s the promise, had this feature been live.
It was just as easy to create a multimedia slide show with Glide Photos. I dragged photos into a big green container labeled “slide show,” then, by using a pull-down menu, I added a soundtrack from among my collection of MP3 music files.
In the future, you’ll be able to order print copies of photographs from the Glide Photo application. For now, I could share this slide show via e-mail.
Naturally, TransMedia designed Glide Effortless with sharing in mind. It comes with a built-in e-mail application that lets you distribute your multimedia wares without launching a separate piece of software.
TransMedia has a novel approach to sharing digital media. You don’t actually distribute copies of your digital photos or video; you send a link so that other people view the images through a Web browser.
The photographs, videos or music files are streamed, not downloaded, and you maintain control over them at all times. You determine whether someone can download, upload or modify your files and how long they can access them. You can even revoke access.
A word about “sharing.” TransMedia has taken steps to prevent pirates from hijacking its software. It analyzes each audio file it uploads and compares it against a database of songs, to prevent people from redistributing copyrighted works.
If, say, I attempt to send Madonna’s “Confessions on a Dance Floor” to everyone I know, the e-mail recipients would merely hear a streaming preview of the tracks and be pointed to a place where they can buy the music online.
TransMedia will collect a commission on such digital downloads and other online purchases it enables, such as photo printing. It plans to sell ads and make money by encouraging people to increase their online storage.
You can download a free version of Glide Effortless, which gives you 100 megabytes of storage and the software for organizing and editing photos, music, video and documents.
Price for more space
For $4.95 a month, you’ll get more space — 1.5 gigabytes. And for $9.95 monthly, you’ll gain double the storage and added features, such as video and audio conferencing.
Some features are promised but not yet available to test, such as Glide LifeShare. This would permit you and your friends to watch videos or listen to music or read documents together.
Even though it’s a nuisance to move your files, albeit virtually, this application is well worth the effort.