Most netbook users treat their little laptops as second or third devices. It’s the computer you grab when you need to head out the door when you might need a computer on the road but don’t feel like lugging around a bigger, more power hungry machine. But that means that your netbook might not have all the documents and other files on it that you need when you need them. A number of companies have tried to address this by offering file synchronization software or web-based storage services that let you upload files from one computer and access them on another.
Box.net is one of the simpler web-based storage services. The company offers 1GB of free storage space for pretty much any type of file. Users can also pay for additional space. You can share links to your files with other users or keep them private. And there’s a Flash-based document viewer that lets you see pictures, play audio files, or view Office documents.
Now Box.net has also launched a new HTML5-based feature that lets you drag and drop files to your online storage account from your desktop using web browsers including Firefox 3.6 and Google Chrome. Plenty of other cloud-based storage services have offered desktop apps, sometimes even allowing you to map your storage account to a virtual hard drive for easy drag and drop file transfers. The new Box.net drag and drop system almost eliminates the need for that kind of solution.
I say almost, because it won’t let you do things like add audio and video files to your local media player playlist. But still, it could make the process of starting a Word document on your desktop, throwing the latest copy online and then picking up where you left off on your netbook a lot easier. You know, if you don’t just use a web-based word processor like Zoho Writer.
Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a drag and drop download feature. You need to manually select the download link for each file.
You can check out a brief demo of the drag and drop feature after the break, courtesy of the folks at the Box.net blog.