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TUAW first look: Papaya personal filesharing


Papaya is a new utility for personal file sharing, and TUAW got a chance to put through its paces. We were pretty impressed with the ease of use it provides for getting your files across the office... or the globe.

Papaya provides a simple window and a multitude of methods for adding files to be shared. You can drag on to it, manually select files, snap a picture with your iSight or add the currently playing track from iTunes. You can even paste text snippets onto it for quick sharing of code or prose. It allows for the creation of folders – which it can automatically archive and compress at the time of download – and a web interface for navigating remote libraries.

Papaya sets itself up as a web server on port 6900 and takes very little network configuration (you will have to map that port to your machine if you're behind an Airport base station or other NAT router). When you add a file to Papaya, it automatically copies an address to the clipboard (an option in the preferences) which you can send directly to another user. While I wouldn't recommend broadcasting that address far and wide, it makes for a very convenient means of getting a larger file where it needs to go, without dealing with an interim server.

Papaya provides Quick Look previews, and the web interface is iTunes-like and easy to navigate. It can also resize images and define its own folder hierarchy without disturbing your original files. The files are served from where they exist on your drive, everything else is handled on-the-fly. It even provides access control on a per-file basis. Basically, it's file sharing at its most personal.

If you need to share files with friends, family or co-workers quickly and conveniently, give it a shot. The download is free, but a license will cost 20 Euros which, with the current state of the U.S. Dollar, is almost $32. While Papaya is extremely fluid and well though out, I do think that's a bit of a high price point for a file sharing utility, especially considering it's a convenience layer over the built-in functionality of your Mac. Fluid to use and pretty to look at, to be sure, but you'll have to make the decision as to whether the convenience is worth the price.

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