Julian Ranger's DAD app hopes to set your digital assets free

There’s no doubt that managing and sharing digital assets – photos, videos, music, contacts and other documents – around the home or indeed with friends and family can be a pain. Services such as Dropbox and SugarSync have gone someway to address this problem but, arguably, the problem hasn’t yet been solved. In fact, by some estimates, digital data is increasing tenfold every five years, so it’s actually getting worse.

Enter DAD, a new desktop app and service from DAD Solutions Ltd. founded by UK angel investor Julian Ranger, which is attempting to tackle the problem head on.

The Windows-only application (Mac version “coming soon”) enables users to “organise, store, reuse, share and manage their digital assets easily and securely” either across computers on the same home network or remotely. At the heart of the app and paid-for service is the way DAD creates a central index of a user’s content in a way that understands various metadata, such as images, music, contact details, content from social networking sites and documents. Additionally, content can be tagged.

From there on in, using a fairly simple and hopefully intuitive interface that uses a shopping basket-type metaphor, the user can set up ‘rules’ so that, for example, if instructed, DAD can send any file of a particular type, say photos, that’s tagged with a friend’s name to that friend. Or members of your family and so on. These same rules can also be used to ensure that certain digital assets are backed up across computers. It aims to be both infinitely versatile and easy to use. The app also offers search, an image gallery viewer, and contact book.

Perhaps more interesting, in addition to the app itself, DAD is offering an API to third-party developers who want to build apps on top of a user’s digital asset index. Through these 3rd party add-ons, for example, DAD users would be able to “pull together photos and other material relevant to them that they or their nominated friends and family have put onto social networking sites, even if they are located elsewhere and their PCs are not networked together.” In others words, with permission of course, new apps built on top of DAD can interrogate and converge elements of multiple users’ indexes, making for quite interesting mash-ups of those digital assets.

The DAD app and service costs £2.49 per month for up to 4 computers, although there is a free one month trial.