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What once seemed like a gargantuan hard drive three years ago probably doesn’t seem quite as big anymore. As media collections grow and our iPhoto libraries bulge with higher-resolution images -- and now, HD video -- the time will come when your hard drive begins to creak under the weight of its contents. Aside from being a storage problem, a chock-full hard disk can also slow down your system. While OS X will alert you when available space reaches critically low levels, Disk Alarm can help you keep a closer eye on your storage scenario.
Visible and audible warnings let you know when space is scarce.
Unlike Apple’s warning, which pings you when you are within megabytes of your drive’s capacity, you can set Disk Alarm to warn you long before things get serious. Disk Alarm’s simple interface lets you set it and forget it, using a slider to configure the size or percentage of drive space you want to use as a buffer. With the option to launch and then hide Disk Alarm at startup, you never need to know it’s running aside from a small menu bar icon that can also be set to show the amount of free space available.
The basic one-window interface shows your main drive’s stats and also allows you to set how frequently Disk Alarm monitors your drive. Unfortunately, it only checks your main drive, ignoring secondary or external disks, but the developer assures us that support for multiple drives is on its way. Once Disk Alarm is doing its thing, you can add new files with wild abandon, knowing that the application will send up warning flags when your available capacity dwindles.
The bottom line. For video editors or MacBook Air owners, Disk Alarm can serve as a handy early warning system…although you could save yourself a few bucks and keep an eye instead on the capacity gauge at the bottom of every Finder window.
Intel Mac; Mac OS 10.6 or later
Useful for laptop and old-Mac users. Customizable interface.
Only scans startup drive. Not necessary for careful users.