To store or not to store FLAC files in the cloud? That is the question, here is the answer!
Holla, music enthusiasts! After a long hiatus, I’ve finally returned with a whole new set of cloud storage providers for your tunes. Read on to see which provider has gotten himself in the limelight today!
This time, my quest for quality cloud storage providers led me to none other than the famous Google Drive. Now, I’ve read multiple times that the service is one of the best online cloud storage providers out there, so sooner or later I had to try it out. To be honest, my experience with Google Drive wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t something out of the ordinary too. In fact, I was a bit disappointed by the embedded audio player and how “dry” its design was.
To begin with, activating the service was quite easy. I had no problems logging in, as all you need to have is a Google account. After you log in, Google gives you 15GB of free online storage, which is a fair amount of space. Catch is – it is redistributed among your Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos, which limits you to store files up to 10GB in the drive alone. The platform is customizable to a large extent. There are no preset folders and you can choose the design density from Comfortable to Cozy and Compact to your liking.
You have the option to synch your files with your computer, which when I tested, was insanely fast. A feature that gained my attention was “Shared with me” in the left-hand side navigation. It helped me organize the music, which my friends sent me. I could also share large files without a problem, kudos to Google.
Now let’s get to the main point, here – audio playing. First of all, uploading my music was fast and easy, which left me with a good impression. Google Drive has an embedded music player, which is a nice touch other cloud storage providers don’t take into consideration. However, its design was more than horrible. The audio player was too small and it occupied the whole screen, which, in my opinion was unnecessary.
At first I thought, that there were no playlist options, but later on I found out that you could activate them from the app settings. I’m happy that Google offers this option to its users, but it could have saved me some time by actually pointing it out somehow rather than hiding it so well. Something, which was not hidden, though, was how much space I was using. Located in the bottom left corner, it gave me a detailed information how much of the storage I have used and how it’s distributed, and that made my experience a little more pleasant.
Verdict: In my opinion, Google Drive tried to go for a modest and minimalistic design, however, losing the main idea along the way. Even though managing and backing up my files was quick and easy, some of the functions I used the most were hard to find, therefore taking up my time and nerves. If you like the idea of having full control over the organization of your cloud and use the provided space for the simple purpose of storing and sharing information, Google Drive’s just the thing for you. However, though, if you’re like me and use cloud services mainly for music, you might try and search for another option.
The Microsoft cloud storage service OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive) now appears with a new face and multiple user-friendly options. To use the service, first you need to set up a Microsoft account. Initially you get 7GB free storage space plus up to 8 GB bonus space, using OneDrive’s referral scheme. This is quite a good deal for storing your audios, but there are services that offer better quotas.
First, to test the platform, how about trying to upload some audios to the cloud.
The upload goes fast and nice, but when uploaded, my files look unrecognizable. At first I thought the format was problematic (I uploaded flacs). So, I tried to upload some other files in more common formats, such as mp3s. Well, a music note sign appears as an icon of the file, so, apparently the system recognizes it as an audio, but can you play it? Nope.
When you click on your file, it automatically starts downloading. When you right-click on it, you get the additional options list. No play option there. Really sorry to see this. So, Microsoft, you get my thumbs down in terms of audios. I tested the cloud storage platform for playing videos. It goes quite nicely. So, why not provide the same for audios? I really wonder.
However, you get the option to embed your audio files, which is rather nice.
By clicking the embed option, the platform provides you with an embed code, which you can paste into your website or blog and this way provide your audios for playing by yourself and other users on other platforms.
However, since I am looking for online storage space where I can store and play my favorite audios, I would not recommend OneDrive for this purpose. It works for storage, but not for playing, so… stay tuned on other ideas of good places for your audios.
I’ve been playing with the Bitcasa “Infinite Storage” service for some time, and I must say I have difficulties commenting on whether I like it or not. It works quite nicely for a lot of things I keep on the online storage platform, but it also has certain bugs that may need to be fixed before I say the service is a really good one. First of all, what I like about it is that the desktop application creates a virtual drive on your computer. The documents you place on this virtual drive won’t take space on your computer and will be accessible from any other devices you use. Also, you can simply drag and drop your valuable files (in my case mostly music) to the folders in your virtual drive. This way they will be automatically uploaded to the online cloud storage platform.
The Bitcasa virtual drive works and looks just like any standard hard drive, except it does not run out of space. This is in case you’ve ordered a paid version. Simply place your digital data in the virtual drive and it is safe. This way Bitcasa helps you save space on your non-virtual drives, which is particularly helpful for mobiles.
The Bitcasa platform provides effortless auto-backup. All you need to do is simply right-click on a file or folder on your computer and select Mirror to perform an automatic backup to Bitcasa. The cloud storage system automatically backups your files even on mobile. You just need to download and install the Bitcasa application for iPad, iPhone or Android.
The greatest flaw I saw is that the service is somehow moody and non-responsive in terms of sorting files. It sometimes works. Other times it doesn’t. The platform provides a number of embedded folders, such as Photos, Music, Videos, Documents. It also has an external upload section, which, when used, uploads your files to the root folder. When you upload audios, you would expect to see them also in your embedded Music folder, wouldn’t you? At my first attempts what happened was that half of the files appeared there, and half not.
Then, I tried to move the files from the root folder to the Music folder. Some of them moved, some didn’t. Well, after a number of refreshes it all looked normal, but still… My best guess is that the file sharing system does not recognize music files correctly. It works for mp3s, but has difficulties with other formats. Of course, this may be some temporary error of the system, but bad luck, Bitcasa, for having this flaw right at the moment in which I’m testing it.
Unlike other similar cloud backup services, Bitcasa allows you to play or stream any type of music files without additional software required. When you click on a file it is automatically played on the online storage platform.
If you install the Bitcasa application on your mobile device, in my case iPad, you can also play your music files quite nicely. It provides an embedded audio player for your favorite music.
An embedded player is available for Android devices as well.
You can also play your favorite music in an offline mode, if you first favorite your files on the mobile application.
Hi there, music fans! Yesterday I decided to take a look at the Amazon online cloud storage service, because it has been a subject to a lot of buzz these days. And what did I see? With a notebook like view, it provides a decent cloud service at a reasonable price. However, since I am not a fan of paid services, I decided to test its free version, so that I see if it works for storing my multiple audios.
Amazon only gives you 5GB online storage space for free, which is not much, compared to other services I’ve tested. So, thumbs down on this one. The main view of the service is not bad, actually. It provides embedded folders for your videos, documents and pictures, but you can create and manage your own folders as well.
So, first I created my custom Audios folder, then I uploaded a number of files to the cloud. The uncool thing about Amazon is that its embedded free player only plays .mp3 files, while for other file formats you need to purchase its own, native player.
The player is available for Web, Mac, PC, and any mobile devices, as well as Kindle Fire. Through Amazon’s paid music service you can also purchase music files in a .mp3 format or entire music collections for very reasonable prices. All music files and albums you purchase from Amazon, as well as those you have purchased in the past will be automatically saved to the Cloud Player, which means you’ll have a secure online cloud backup of the music you buy at Amazon, free of charge. Amazon Cloud Player lets you keep a safe backup of your music in its secure cloud, then download or play those mp3s anytime. All imported songs are instantly made available in Cloud Player and upgraded to high-quality 256 Kbps audio, or so they claim. You can also create and manage playlists, stream your music from the cloud, or download it for playback offline.
So, shortly, Amazon offers a number of services, grouped in a cloud storage system, which, for those, willing to pay a particular sum, may be a very comfy way of creating and storing large collections of music.