DaisyDisk · Aug 15, 03:58 am

I love it when I find software that makes even a tedious task, such as working out where all your disk space went (hint, my Aperture library) and makes it such a delightful experience that you’ll be looking for excuses to run it again, even when you don’t need to.

The makers of DaisyDisk have done just that.

Where to begin on why it is so good?

Firstly, it scores high on easy to understand presentation of information. The exploding pie chart format it uses makes it quick to search for what is consuming all your disk space (hint, that Aperture library), and to drill down for the details. Hover over a segment and its details are shown in the right hand column. Click on a segment to make that the centre of the pie and allow you to see its contents in more detail.

Compare that with the insane treemap view used by the popular alternative Disk Inventory X, and it’ll not take long to work out which is easier to grok.

Secondly, it’s fast. Modern disks are large and full of stuff and as a consequence if you want to learn what’s on your disk a program like DaisyDisk has to trawl the entire lot to work out what is where, and that can be a slow process. But not for DaisyDisk apparently, which indexed the laptop’s half terabyte disk in about a minute, which I felt was jolly fast.

Thirdly, it’s full of polish. When you move between views it animates the change beautifully – this software would not be out of place in the kind of user interface usually confined to hollywood movies.

It has a few things I’d like to see improved – as admin it won’t let me delete files belonging to another user, and if you close the window it kills the app, which isn’t very mac like behaviour, and you have to rescan on launch (thank goodness for the fast scanning!). But these are minor niggles, and don’t detract too much from this wonderful bit of software, which raises the bar for the rest of us developers out there.

  1. Thanks for a great review! Let me follow up on some of your points.

    You actually can scan and delete as Administrator (e.g. folders belonging to another user), but this mode is available only in the stand-alone edition of DaisyDisk available on our website, and not in the Mac App Store edition. This is because Apple doesn’t allow apps in the Mac App Store to ask for Administrator password. Please contact our support if you are interested to get the stand-alone license.

    The app quits when you close its window, and this is standard Mac OS X behavior for “shoe-box”, i.e. single-window utility apps, in contrast to document-based apps. For example, try Disk Utility or System Preferences. An exception to this rule are those shoe-box apps that can be used often or all the time, like Dictionary or Things.

    The above problem of quitting the app and losing the scan results, however, dissolves entirely on Lion, with its new app state saving and resume APIs. Your point is taken here. We are currently working to implement these APIs in our next update of DaisyDisk.

    Thanks! :)

    Oleg Krupnov @ DaisyDisk Team    Aug 15, 12:38 pm    #

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