Introducing Carousel, a slick front-end to your Dropbox-stored photos and videos

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For me, one of the more useful features of Dropbox has always been automatic uploading of images and videos to my Dropbox account. It's nice to know I have a backup out there. The only drawback was that viewing my content was kind of clunky. You could scroll through an endless list of filenames like 2012-02-26 08.31.36.jpg with a tiny thumbnail, or you open a picture and swipe, one by one, until you found what you wanted. (This is the Android experience at least; maybe it's better on iOS.)

Yesterday Dropbox solved this issue with the release of Carousel for Android and iOS. At its most basic level Carousel is a Dropbox image viewer but it makes browsing your photos and videos so much nicer.

Instead of tiny thumbnails you have mid-sized ones broken out by day. On my Nexus 7 in portrait mode these fit 3 across. You can scroll up and down by swiping, or you can use a little timeline at the bottom of the page and quickly fly through dates. The timeline is 'dynamic' in that months with few images are closer together and months when you took a lot are fairly wide. It makes navigating to that trip you took in August of 2012 very easy.

When it comes to sharing you can choose to share all the photos from a given day at once, or select which ones to share. You can share via email or any of your device's supported apps (on my N7 that means mail, Google+, GReader Pro, Pocket, AllCast, Flipps, Twitter, etc etc). When I shared a picture of my dog to Google+ it linked to this page on the Carousel site which offered a nice big version of the picture.

You can hide photos by swiping down. You share them by swiping up. I got that mixed up a few times; the good news is that it's fairly easy to unhide a photo by going into your settings. Hidden files can then be deleted. As far as I can tell you can't delete without hiding first.

I happened to be sitting at my computer when I installed and fired up Carousel for the first time. And I noticed on my PC screen a pop-up saying that I now had 7 GB of space in my Dropbox account. Consider this hearsay because I can't find any official mention of it but it seemed to me that running Carousel gave me an extra 2 GB of space; I think I was at 5 GB before that pop-up. I would love if someone could confirm this happening for them as well.

Carousel is free; if you use Dropbox to store photos and videos, you should definitely check it out.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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