Cloud storage provider Box.net has announced a new free Mac app called SimpleShare to make sharing screenshots and screencasts with others a piece of cake.
When installed and used with a free (5 GB) or paid Box.net account, SimpleShare appears as yet another menu bar icon. To capture a screencast to demonstrate a feature or bug, selecting “Start Screencast” from that menu brings up a selection tool to drag around the area you want to capture. The capture begins immediately, and is stopped by clicking a “Stop Recording” button that appears on the screen. Once recording has ceased, the screencast is uploaded to Box.net’s servers and the light blue menu bar icon “fills up” as a progress indicator.
As soon as the file upload is done, a unique address is generated for sharing the screencast or screenshot with friends or coworkers, and that address is copied to the clipboard for pasting. I noticed that every time the screencast was viewed for the first time, I received an email — that’s a nice touch if you want to make sure that your co-workers have viewed the content. To send other files on your Mac, you just drag them up to the menu bar and drop them on the Box.net icon. For screenshots, just using the traditional Command-Shift-3 or Command-Shift-4 shortcuts automatically sends the full screen or selection to your SimpleShare folder.
I wasn’t happy with the fact that the screencasts are saved in the Adobe Flash Video format, as that makes it impossible to view the videos on iOS devices. But this is a 1.0 app, and hopefully Box.net will migrate to a more compatible screencast format in the future.
While cloud storage services like Box.net are not unique — I tend to use Dropbox for most of my cloud work — SimpleShare is useful for collaborating with others thanks to its drop-dead ease of use. For me, it’s a keeper.