Its been a long time since I have done an application review. Todays app, DaisyDisk, is one I have been using a while. Its designed to visualise in a very funky way, the contents of your hard drive. In a nutshell it allows you see which files and folders are taking up the most space. The interface does look quite complicated at first, however with a bit of understanding you can quickly get to grips with it. Once as you have learnt what everything does it is a very powerful application.
When you first start the application you have to scan a drive. This is so the application can gather the required data for the visualisation. Scanning takes a minute or two. The bigger the drive the longer it will take to scan. My 120Gb drive took about two minutes in total to complete, and its quite full. When it has finished you will be presented with something similar to the following.
So space age, however it is really simple to understand. The app is split up into two main features. The right hand side is the key to each folder. The left hand side is the interactive pie chart, as you can see I have used about two thirds of my drive. The colours in the pie chart each define a different section, red it for core system files, purple is for system files such as preferences and minor apps (such as Finder). Blue represents applications, finally green and yellow are user documents and files.
The pie does look a little bit complicated. Each step from the centre is another level on your hard drive. At the moment it only shows a couple of folders deep. In the centre you start with the size of the disk you start at Macintosh HD, the first green segment is /Users/, moving out we go to /James/ the documents and so on. Every time you hover over a segment the side bar will change to show you the size of the folder and any files inside of it. You can quickly gather which files are the biggest. I can clearly see that my Home folder is the largerst, as you would expect.
The application has more than simply showing you the size of files, you can also navigate through your hard drive. Clicking on any coloured segment will allow you to zoom into that folder, the screen and pie chart will then populate with that folders and sub-folders contents. You can then see which files take up the most space. The zoom in and out animation is really smooth and quickly populates the screen. You can go to many different levels to find the information you need. You can then quickly get back to where you want to by either clicking on the centre or using the navigation bar at the top.
DaisyDisk also has a couple of other features that I would like to point out. To can access Quicklook, so any time you hover over an item and press the space bar it will activate the preview, a quick way to check what a file is. One of the useful tricks is the ability to right click on a item and show it in Finder. You can then investigate the file further and then possibly delete it.
Overall I really like this application. It is well put together the animations are smooth, most of all it is useful. The only think that I would like to see is the app slightly cheaper. Currently it costs $19.95 and I feel that it is just a little too expensive for what you get. However it is really useful and I have found hundreds of large files that I didn’t know existed.