Tag Archive: cloud
Amazon Cloud Drive Photos, the photo-uploading utility that helps move photos from a mobile device into Amazon’s online storage, may have to change its name. Now, the tool doesn’t just support photo uploads, it supports videos, as well. Videos can be manually uploaded one by one, or users can opt to have videos auto-save from their devices directly into Amazon’s cloud.
This automatic upload option was already available for photos through an update out at the beginning of the year, but videos within Cloud Drive Photos had not yet been supported, whether manually or through the auto-upload feature within the application.
Amazon says that videos are restricted to 2 GB in size or 20 minutes in length, whether they’re being uploaded or downloaded from the Cloud Drive service – that’s slightly longer than YouTube’s default setting ahead of account verification. This is fine for the majority of users’ personal videos, of activities, pets, kids or events, for example, recorded on their mobile devices.
After the files are in Amazon’s cloud, the video can be played back to any device, including, of course, the Kindle Fire and other Android tablets. According to a post on Amazon’s Web Services blog about the technical underpinnings to the new feature, Amazon’s Elastic Transcoder service was used, which supports over 20 file formats and 40 video codecs. The team says its goal was to have videos transcoded within 15 minutes after uploading, but ended up achieving videos that are often ready within a minute or two. They also went ahead and processed all the videos stored in Amazon users’ Cloud Drive libraries ahead of launch.
Though the company offers a version of its Amazon Cloud Drive Photos app on iOS devices, too, only the Android version has received the video support at this time. That makes sense because not only is the Kindle and Android-based tablet, and therefore Amazon’s priority, the Android app was also the first to launch, back in November 2012.
The iOS version didn’t arrive until this May, and it serves as a viable alternative to Apple’s own iCloud sync and storage service, with reasonable pricing of 5 GB for free, then $10/year for 20 GB, $25/year for 50 GB and so on, all the way up to 1,000 GB for $500/year. Keep in mind that the storage goes up so high not because users need so much space for photos (and now videos, too), but because Amazon Cloud Drive is meant to serve as a competitor to Google Drive or Dropbox, with support for a variety of file types, including office documents and music, which can also be streamed back through Amazon Cloud Player.
In other words, this isn’t the first time users could upload videos to Amazon’s cloud. This is just making it possible to do so within the Cloud Drive Photos application.
The updated Cloud Drive app is available now on Google Play and Amazon’s Appstore.
SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 has a secret weapon no one’s talked very much about. It’s actually pretty amazing, in that small sort of way that doesn’t change much, but still manages to completely alter how you use something. In fact, it might just make SkyDrive the best cloud service around. If you install Dropbox, SkyDrive, or even Google Drive on your desktop today, you’re going to sync the whole of your folder to your drive, at once, and keep all the files there whenever they’re synced. If you don’t have enough space, tough. Delete something you don’t have synced to the cloud, or just stop syncing. SkyDrive has a different solution. Microsoft calls this its “secret sauce”. Basically, SkyDrive makes files and folders you store in the cloud behave as though they’re stored there anyway, without taking up space on your computer. You can browse, inspect, and even preview them, even though the whole file isn’t taking up space on your drive.
Read the full story at Gizmodo.
SkyDrive is already one of the best cloud storage and syncing services around, and it’s about to get even better. Microsoft has been working away in secret to add a cloud-based media player to SkyDrive, and it could be arriving very soon. For those of you who signed on way back when, that means 25GB of free space in the Azure cloud where you’ll not only be able to store your music, but you’ll be able to stream it, too.
And heck, even if you only signed up recently and snagged a 7GB account, it’s still a pretty nice no-charge bonus. It should provide plenty of room for a handful of your favorite albums, and you won’t even need to do any heavy lifting to upload them — just drop them into your SkyDrive music folder.
When is the SkyDrive cloud player coming? Nothing official has been announced yet, but LiveSide spotted some changes in the SkyDrive HTML source code just the other day. Shortly after finding references to the player, they turned up a set of icons for the playback controls.
New features often pop up in Microsoft’s web apps with little or no notice, so SkyDrive might get its cloud music player later today. It could also be another minor coding slip-up like the ones that have seen so many new Microsoft software downloads posted ahead of (or behind) schedule. But with key rivals like Google and Amazon already offering similar functionality, Microsoft is determined to make SkyDrive as attractive to users as possible. SkyDrive is the glue that binds together Microsoft’s many platforms, after all, and its importance will only increase in the future.