cloud

Plug it in Pogoplug – think twice!

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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!

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Your Audios Residing in Google Drive

1_GDrive_logo

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.

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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.

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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.

4_Music player

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.

Store Your Audios on OneDrive. Or Not?

free cloud storage

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.

 online music sharing

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.

 free file sharing

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.

 send audio online

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.

How About Storing Your Audios in Bitcasa?

 

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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.

share audio online

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.

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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.

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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.

Mega for Music

My adventure through the cloud storage services continues.
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I’ve been playing with Mega all week now and at times I feel there is something wrong with it, and sometimes the wrong thing is with me.
The web access to Mega is easy to use, you get whole 50GB for free and the uploading is easy as drag and drop. You can organize your files in folders.
The coolest thing about Mega is that when you upload a file, in my case audio, it is stored on the Mega servers only in encrypted state. That means that only you and no one but you has access to the full files.
So Mega is actually the best secure cloud storage. The cons here is that the cryptography makes the service slow and does’t have desktop app to help you with the file-moving.
As for the mobile apps – I’ve tried both iOS and Android. If I have to be honest the Android app is a complete mess. On iPhone things are a little bit better and they even have a light audio player.
You can make your audio files available for offline and actually listen to them, which is great.
I have a few notes on the photo sync in both the apps, but since I don’t care at all about photos i will keep them to my self. Just note that they have a lot of work.
So, Mega is a secure cloud storage, gives you a lot of space and you can use it if you have sudden craving to hear a particular song. We are one step closer to the best cloud storage for audio.
This week I’m going to use MediaFire, so stay tuned!

My Music in Box

Storing my music in a cloud storage was the best decision in my life. It is safe, it is there and hopefully I will never lose it again.

First stop on my search for the best cloud storage for audio files is Box.
online audio sharing
On sign up they give you 10GB free space which is roughly 2000 songs, but there is a limit to the file size you can upload – 250MB.
The upload through the web access to box.com is easy and the drag&drop function makes the uploading of songs simple . You can also download the Box sync to your desktop and have your music moved there. Then you can open it on you phone or tablet, or on other computers.
Box has mobile apps for iPhone and iPad, Android and a desktop app for Windows.
The mobile apps have a really simple, but still useful music player although “player” is a bit exaggerated. You can play a single song with no next/back option, only play and stop.
Box has a feature to view you files offline, but unfortunately you CAN’T listen to your music directly from your box account when you’re not connected to the Internet.
If you tried Box and you liked it you can upgrade your accout to 1TB for $15 a month.
But don’t hurry, my next stop might be better.