Drop.io Launches Easy Phone-To-MP3 Tool

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New York based Drop.io launched a dead simple “drop box” for files last November. The service is online storage on the back end, with a very simple/clean user interface and upload features on the front end.

It is similar to box.net and a number of other startups. Users can upload files via a Flash tool or by simply emailing files to a designated address. Files an also be uploaded via a widget (see example here in the right sidebar). The page itself (example) can be open or password protected. The pages can be anonymous, and each one, called a “drop,” has 100 MB of free storage (you can upgrade to 1 GB for $10/year). There are also RSS feeds and email alerts for drops, although they do not contain enclosures. You have to link through to get to the actual file.

All in all, it’s a fairly generic service with a better-than-average but hardly revolutionary interface.

Today, though, they added a very nice niche feature called, simply, Voice. Every drop page has a phone number and extension associated with it. Call the number, dial the extension and record an unlimited length voice message (subject only to the overall 100 MB file size limitation). The file will appear momentarily as a MP3 file on the drop page.

This is an easy way to record a voice note, or even a simple podcast message. For now you can only have one person on the line, so conference calls aren’t a built in feature. Of course, you can always simply three-way dial the drop.io number as well as another person and record a call, or add drop.io to Skype to record a conference call there.

This reminds me of Dave Winer’s TwitterGram project that he created with BlogTalkRadio last year. There are also basic web-based recording functions that turn your voice into a MP3 (see Daft Doggy), although those do not tie into an actual phone number.

I like the service because it’s very, very easy to use and has no real restrictions. It would be perfect if they simply added the file as an enclosure to an email or RSS feed as well, but for now that isn’t an option.

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