I remember how difficult it used to be to get media onto a phone. Actually, I don’t have to remember too far back, since you can’t sync a Pre with iTunes any longer. ;) Videos used to be a particular pain due to different codecs and screen sizes. These days, there’s less of a need for this type of activity thanks to YouTube clients and cloud services to store and synchronize media files. But there’s still a need, especially when it comes to not-so smartphones, digital audio players and even handheld systems. Enter Dazzboard, which launched in public beta today.
Dazzboard works right from your web browser thanks to a special plug-in. It’s PC-only for now, but the company is working on a Mac version. You can check the list of supported Windows versions and browsers here. Once you have an account and the plug-in loaded into your browser, you can transfer photos, videos and music to a connected device. I like how the company didn’t just target phone devices, because phones offer wireless connectivity and other ways to get at media. Dazzboard supports plenty of non-phones — devices like Sony’s PSP, GPS units, and various MP3 players.
Using the plug-in and a browser you can easily move YouTube videos or Flickr photos to a mobile device, for example. Dazzboard also supports file uploading, so you can share your media files with other Dazzboard users, offering a bit of social element as well. There’s even a “Dazz me!” bookmarklet that can import pics, music files and video clips from web sites. Plus you can shoot pics and media files up to Facebook from your device — useful if that device doesn’t have Internet connectivity of any kind.
At the moment, I’d remember that the service is still in beta. Even on a supported OS and browser, the Device Manager wouldn’t appear for me. And the “Dazz me!” bookmarklet couldn’t be installed for some reason. I’ve tried various combinations of OS and browser, but no such luck. The issue could be that I’ve connected my Palm Pre in USB Drive mode, but the Pre is on the Dazzboard supported device list. Either that or all of my machines are in funky configurations from testing. In any case, I’ve got some feelers into the Dazzboard folks and will update when I hear back.
If you’d like to give it a shot, registration is free on the Dazzboard site. This isn’t the end-all, be-all solution for media synchronization, but it shows promise and it leverages software you already have — your web browser.