Thursday, June 28, 2012

Amazon Brings Full Cloud Storage to Market with Amazon Cloud Drive

amazon cloud drive.jpg
 Over the weekend, I installed the Amazon Cloud Drive app on my MacBook Pro.  The app allows me to simply drag a file onto the icon and the file goes to the Cloud for storage.  It's quick, easy, and efficient to use.
It seems that recently many players have entered the Cloud storage market, with the 2 largest being Google and Amazon.
I got hooked on Amazon's Cloud capabilities when they debuted their Cloud Player last year.  The premise of that was a good one.  Any purchase from the Amazon MP3 store is automatically stored on their Cloud servers and any MP3 file you own can be uploaded to the Cloud server as well.  This means that you can store all of your MP3's in the Cloud which is a great way of backing them up.  Add to that, the Cloud player which allows you to stream your music in and listen to it on any device that has an Internet connection.
So… due to the above success with their Cloud Player and storage, I was excited to be able to also use their Cloud Drive.  This allows me to store, more or less, any digital file in the Cloud.  So, I'm no longer limited to just music.  I can store documents, images, presentations, you name it.  Oh, and my storage of Cloud Drive is different from the Cloud Player.  I have unlimited music storage and have a variety of choices for the Cloud Drive size.
The normal starting size of an account is 5GB, but somehow I ended up with 20GB which may be because I am an Amazon Prime member.  However, the 20GB account is only free for one month.  After that I need to pay $20 a year for it.  This is really my only complaint.  It seems that everyone that has some type of storage offering, is making it fairly expensive to have more than the minimum amount.  Amazon offers up to 1 Terabyte of storage, but no matter what the size, it costs you one dollar per Gigabyte per year.  So, 100GB is $100/year, 200GB is $200/year, and so on.
I understand the need to turn a profit.  I also understand that there are hardware costs, employee costs, etc that go along with the service.  However, that being said, a 1 Terabyte drive can be purchased pretty much anywhere for under $100.  That price even applies to portable drives that can fit in your pocket.  So when I think of a portable 1TB drive that I can carry with me for $100 or the same storage in the Cloud for $1000, the cost outweighs the convenience for me.
What I think we'll see is that as this concept of offsite always accessible storage matures, prices will fall as they always do.  At that point, especially with the proliferation of high speed wireless networks either through Wifi or the mobile phone companies, we'll see a huge surge of usage as the prices fall and bandwidth becomes everywhere and cheap.
Years ago, Scott McNeely said "The network *is* the computer."  He missed it by a few years, but we're definitely headed in that direction.

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