RapidShare introduced an interesting desktop app, but still has some way to goThe world of cyberlockers and the world of cloud sync services is colliding. Not that this is any surprise, the two type of services fill pretty much the same need even though they're coming from different angles.
But they're moving in the same direction. Dropbox has started to make it easier for people to share files publicly, albeit with some limitations. On the other hand, cyberlockers are starting to offer desktop apps that bypass the need to visit the site.
Case in point is RapidShare that is now offering RapidDrive, which is exactly what it sounds like.
RapidShare has been trying hard to escape the stigma that comes with cyberlocker sites, and the arrests if MegaUpload's case is anything to go by, even at the detriment of users.
RapidDrive is available to paying users, i.e. those with RapidPro. In practice, RapidDrive shows up as a network drive in your Windows PC. This means that you'll be able to do anything you can do with your local files with the files in the cloud as well.
Dropbox users know what it's like. Recently, Google released Drive and Microsoft's SkyDrive got a desktop app as well and those are hardly the only ones.
The idea is to make the life of (paying) users easier by enabling them to manage their files with a tool that's much better suited for that than anything RapidShare offers on the web.
Note though that RapidDrive's approach, i.e. to show up as a network drive, is not the equivalent of how Dropbox or Google Drive work in one crucial aspect. The files on the network drive are not cached locally, meaning that anything you want to access will be downloaded from the cloud every time, unless you copy those files to a local drive.
This means that uploading will be a cinch, you just copy what you want into the network drive, but using the remote files will depend greatly on your internet connection. What's more, no internet connection means no files.