Dropbox is an online hard drive, so to speak. Following the freemium model (2GB account for free, with premium options available for purchase), Dropbox allows you to sync and access your files from any computer or mobile device that has web access. They have created custom apps for iOS, Blackberry, and Andriod and the desktop version works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Simply sign up for a free account, download the software that will create a Dropbox folder on your desktop. Simply add the files that you want to sync to Dropbox to the Dropbox folder and then, after it syncs to the “cloud” (remote server) your files will be available from anywhere.
So, this is a great service for keeping a backup of your files and having access to them no matter where you, but how can musicians make it useful? I have been using Dropbox and Apple’s MobileMe for several years with students and chamber ensembles. The way I use it most is, after a lesson or rehearsal, I can easily upload an audio file of the rehearsal and send them the MP3 or WAV file. The more people you need to share files with, the easier this becomes. If you need to share a large audio file with ten individuals, you only have to do minimal work, as compared to burning ten cd’s.
If you have other ideas for using Dropbox and other online hard drives, leave it in the comments.