Joukuu is software that helps to access and manage online storage. Through Joukuu (which is Japanese for ‘cloud’) you can manage your files in Google Docs, Dropbox and Box.net from a single place, just as if your files were on the desktop.
There are several online storage providers available that they offer free online disk space. For instance Box.net has 5 GB, Dropbox has 2 GB and Google (Docs) has 1 GB of free space.
Usually they have their own web interfaces through which You can access the online files. But Joukuu provides a single place to access all the 3 accounts, and it does so just as if the files were on Your desktop.
The good: This is a wonderful concept, and although here are also other programs that make online storage appear like a drag-and-drop-able folders (Dropbox client, SDExplorer for Skydrive etc), Joukuu is the first one that can access several online storage accounts at a time. So for instance it is possible to hold Your music in Box.net and your documents in Google Docs etc and access them all through Joukuu. Currently, they are testing Joukuu support for Skydrive, Sugarsync and a few other services and hopefully support for these will be available in the near future.
The bad: unfortunately Joukuu’s free version is (predictably) less attractive that the commercial version; the paid Joukuu Plus version allows creating several accounts at one storage provider and using these to multiply the online capacity. It also allows renaming files and folders, making automatic backups of your local files to cloud storage, creating and assign categories to files etc. None of these nice options are available in the free version, but most of them are ‘extras’ above and beyond the core functionality of this software.
Actually there are 2 free versions – Joukuu Web and Joukuu Lite. The main difference between the free local version and free web version is that the latter will let you have unlimited accounts from each online service, while Joukuu Lite enables to create 3 accounts, one for each service providers: Box.net, Dropbox and Google Docs. More differences are listed in this comparison. The Web version works online, You have to create a free Joukuu Web account on the home page, then log on and then create the access to the online storage accounts.
And this is pretty much all. You cannot copy whole folders, rename files and folders, synchronize local and online files and organize file categories. Joukuu Lite has 5 automatically assigned file categories (music, documents, videos, images, other) and You cannot change them like in the Plus version.
Joukuu has an excellent concept, but the interface is a bit weird – maybe too innovative. I am hoping that successive versions will be better. Unfortunately many good features are removed from the free versions; lets hope that similar fully functional freeware programs will be available in the future, but either way this program deserves to be considered, espeically for those who might have active accounts in either or all of: Dropbox account, Google Docs, and/or Box.net.
[Thanks to reader Panzer for the tip about this software].