I’ve just downloaded and installed Grouper, the first P2P app I know of in a category i’m going to dub F2F.

What makes grouper an F2F app is that its intended to let small groups (like friends or families, hence the F) share files in a peer to peer fashion.

I’m waiting for my brother to install it so I can see how easy it is to use and how well it works.

I’m certainly enthusiastic about the category. I’ve been looking for an app with similar functionality without much luck.

The closest I’ve come is Groove. Groove looks pretty cool, but its targeted at business users and priced to match. They do have a pared down file-sharing edition for $69 which would do the job, but even at that price, it seems a little much to expect friends and family to spend.

There is an open source project called Mnet that can do similar things, but I haven’t tried it out yet. (I seem to recall finding related software when I found Mnet, but I’m now at a loss for what it was.)

Back to grouper though. I can already tell it’s not going to work for me. It’s built on .Net, which suggests its going to stay windows-only for quite some time. Too many of the people I’d like to create a private file-sharing network with are Macintosh only.

Interestingly, this may actually throttle Grouper’s early growth, desipite the fact that an overwhelming majority of users are on Windows. The reasons are summarized by a guy recently hired as an advisor to Grouper. The upshot is, Mac’s have long had disporportionate share among “influencers” and creative types, which is part of the reason there are so many Macs in movies and is probably why the laptop featured in the header graphic on Groove’s site is a Mac, even though Groove doesn’t run on macs. There are a variety of reasons for this, one of them being that Apple has deliberately targeted these people.
In any case, people are less likely to write enthusiastically about things they can’t experience for themselves, so, if it doesn’t work on Mac, you can kiss a lot of free press goodbye (or so the theory goes).

The other thing about Grouper is that it doesn’t let you download MP3s. You can only stream them. This is going to hinder sharing songs with my brother.

Looks like my brother got the invite and downloaded the app without hassle, I see he’s streaming one of my audio files.

More impressions as I use the app.