Customize Your Input Devices

Drip Makes Sharing Large Files Simpler

I recently discovered Drip, a new small menubar filesharing app developed by Scott Savarie (@ScottSavarie) and Florian Denis (@Olotiar), released last month. After I got to take a look at it, I think I maybe know where the drop-down menu redesign in the latest Dropbox beta introduced yesterday got partly inspired by. Drip is a small, really useful tool for sharing large files quick and completely without hassle.

Drip uses the servers of hosting service sendspace to store files. Sendspace offers a completely free data plan (called sendspace Lite) with which users can upload files sized up to 300 MB which are available for download for 30 days starting from the time of the newest download; after this period of time they get deleted. The free plan is ad-powered, so you need to click through some ads if you download a file from the sendspace website. But this is the only disadvantage: as far as I know from the sendspace FAQs, there ist no upload limit in total for free users. Perfect for quick, temporary file sharing of smaller, but also suited for quite large files. If you want to upload even larger files and store them for a longer time on sendspace, you can sign up for a Pro or Premium account which support larger file sizes and higher download bandwidth (see detailed plan information here).

Drip is your desktop companion for Mac if you use sendspace. Download it for free from the app website, install and launch, and you can immediately start uploading files. There is no signup needed, new users automatically are connected to a free sendspace account without having to login. If you want to be more flexible with using the free account (maybe you want to use the web upload interface) or if you are a Pro/Premium user, you can enter your login data for sendspace in app’s preferences (I’ll come to them in detail in a bit).

Uploading files works just like you would expect it: drag the file you want to upload for sharing onto the menubar icon, drop it, and it gets uploaded. If the upload is finished, the related download link is automatically copied to you clipboard for sharing.

If you drop a file onto Drip’s menubar icon or if you click on it, a really great-looking drop-down menu appears listing the last uploaded files. You can change its height to view more elements without scrolling using a small draggable element at the very bottom of the list — I state this feature, since the dragging indicator is designed a bit too small in my opinion and is hard to aim at. You can click on any file in the list to copy its download URL again. Using the preference icon which always appear when you hover over a file list element you can do even more actions. The drop-down menu which appears when you click on it (my personal UI highlight of Drip) offers you to delete the upload, remove the file from the list to keep Drip uncluttered, automatically share the file download link with your default email client, or re-upload the file if you need a new link for any reason.

As you can see, Drip is very versatile, but still drop-dead simple to use. It also features extensive settings to make it work just like you want it to. You can bring them up by clicking the settings button in the top right corner of the main drop-down menu. Apart from the aforementioned sendspace account login panel, you can also activate Growl notifications (see example below), set up upload completion sound, clear the whole file list, or let the operating system start Drip at launch. However, the best option available in the settings are the shortcuts. Besides the standard one to bring up the app window, you can also set a custom shortcut for uploading the last screenshot you took, a truly great feature for quick thought sharing or reporting bug fixes.

After I researched a bit about the current free data plans of sendspace, I decided to make Drip my default app for quick, temporary file sharing. I had accounts for Droplr and Cloudapp in the past, as well as a free Dropbox account. But non of those services supports large file uploads (or they didn’t work like with Cloudapp), or in case of Dropbox I had to intricately delete unused files to free space for new ones. With Drip, all this hassle is gone (at least for now). It’s not just a new app supporting another web hosting service in the game, version 1 is already a serious competitor for apps like Droplr and iCloud. I can’t wait to see if they manage to develop a fitting iOS client of it as well to have all the uploaded files and links available on the road. Currently, Drip is Mac-only. But if the app gets as popular as I think it will, this will surely change soon.

You can download Drip for free on the app’s website. 

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