Originally Posted by caliminius
And when Apple announces an extremely similar service later this year, it will be the greatest thing in the world.
Maybe it will be. From what I’ve seen so far Amazon’s service isn’t too far from what Apple has offered for years with iDisk. They even have iDisk app for iDevices will pull media and play audio in the background using the iOS 4.x backgrounding APIs, as noted in the article.
That’s not to say that iDisk is great. Far from it. It’s also not free but part of a paid service that has many great functions, the least of which I’s say is iDisk. Personally I don’t use iDisk. It’s been slow, WebDAV and FTP support from my Mac has been unreliable, as well as inconvenient if your transfer stops for whatever
reason therefore requiring you to restart an up/download from scratch.
What I expected from Amazon’s Cloud Drive is something more akin to Dropbox, a service I absolutely love. Cloud Drive doesn’t seem to work like that thought they do use Amazon’s S3 service. This bests sums up the benefits of Dropbox as the future of cloud storage.
While Dropbox functions as a storage service, its focus is on synchronization and sharing. It supports revision history, so files deleted from the Dropbox folder may be recovered from any of the synced computers. Dropbox's version control also helps users know the history of a file they may be currently working on, enabling more than one person to edit and re-post files without complications of losing its previous form. […]
The version history is paired with the use of delta encoding technology. To conserve bandwidth and time, if a file in a user's Dropbox folder is changed, Dropbox only uploads the pieces of the file that are changed when syncing.
That’s brilliant! I am manually backing up my Notes in Mail because syncing between my Mac and iDevices will sporadically delete a note when I edit it. This is a known issue with no known pattern or resolution. It would be great if I could access previous edits of my Notes or any other files so I can restore them as needed. Of course you also need a way to permanently delete them, too. Dropbox offers this option as well. I don’t see this option on Amazon’s service and hope this is part of Apple’s cloud service.
I tested Amazon’s Cloud Drive today to find out two important things.
- If a file already exists on their servers will it re-upload that file again or just update my Cloud Drive file list and show a link to the file almost instantly, like Dropbox?
- Will it allow me to change a small portion of a large file but only upload the changes?
No and No. With the 1st item I uploaded a song to my account last night, then today I Dropboxed that exact file to a friend and asked him to see if the progress bar uploads it to his account in the normal manner or it was nearly instantaneous like with Dropbox when a file already exists. It did a fresh upload without checking the file’s contents.
Then I uploaded that exact file again to my account in the same folder and it still did a fresh upload. That’s not an intelligent system, not to mention it’s not seamless the way Dropbox and iDisk works by using folders in Finder (or the website).
For the 2nd query I wasn’t confident since the first one didn’t work, but I checked just to be sure. I grabbed a 2MB Excel file, uploaded it, changed the local file a little (deleted about 20 rows of data), and then uploaded the file again. It did the full the upload; there is no delta encoding.
Apple uses something like that with their Time Machine backups (and possibly now with their Mac OS X “Lion” Local Snapshots), so I hope they are making whatever technology they use for this part of their cloud service. If not, then it too will missing a feature in which Dropbox excels.
In conclusion, Dropbox is still the [I] greatest service in the world [/I ] with no major equal. Apple has all the ethnology and a lot more money to make their service better than Dropbox, not to mention a better OS-based interaction with the service but we still don’t know how it will fair.
PS: I don’t think it’s fair to say that because it’s from Apple it will be deemed the “greatest thing in the world” by Apple customers. I don’t recall anyone thinking iDisk was great because it’s an Apple service.
edit: This has only evaluated the storage system, not the ability to stream media as I do not have an Android phone to test it. I have tested it from my desktop browser and saw nothing unique to make me want to use this product in that manner.