About Transferring Files Between Cloud Storage Services

If you store a lot of files in the cloud using services like Dropbox and OneDrive, then you know what a hassle it can be to move your stuff between them, especially when it’s en masse. You have to download it all from Dropbox, say, to your PC or Mac, then upload it all to OneDrive. This is not only a time-wasting hassle, but it can be expensive if you have limited bandwidth available to you and get penalized for over use, as I do.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do it that way. There are services available that offer direct transfers of files between cloud storage services. And, oddly, some are free.

I’ve found two companies that enable you to move full directories, or “folders,” of files between service providers: Mover and MultCloud. Of the two, Mover is more robust and better designed. It offers a free tier of service with some limitations for personal use, and paid tiers for businesses with multiple users or lots of data. MultCloud is totally free and, as far as I can tell, unlimited for any type of use. The only drawback to MultCloud is that the user interface isn’t quite as well designed.

Both companies basically let you set up large file transfers between cloud services, then close your browser and walk away. None of your bandwidth is used and the transfer takes places directly between the cloud services without your involvement. You just get an email when it’s all done.

If you want to transfer individual files back and forth between service providers on the fly, JoliCloud offers that service for a fee of about $7 a month. JoliCloud doesn’t permit full directory transfers, though, just files.

It’s worth mentioning that JoliCloud has a free tier of service that’s pretty useful, too. It lets you “manage your digital life” by consolidating all your social media and cloud accounts in one browser window. That way you can browse and manage them all simultaneously.

Many of us have been hesitant about storing too much stuff in the cloud for fear of being trapped with one service provider. It’s expensive and time consuming to move files back and forth from your devices to the cloud. So it’s nice to see this “cloud migration” industry mature, enabling us to simply move stuff around up there.

Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive: Where There’s Clouds, There’s Thunder

Wow, what a thunderstorm this week, eh?

We heard it approaching on the horizon for a while, but I don’t think any of us expected anything like that!

What? Oh, no, I’m not talking about the weather.

I’m talking about those clouds on the internet.

You know, services like Apple iCloud, Dropbox, and Microsoft’s SkyDrive. And I’m especially referring to the new one that caused this week’s huge storm, Google Drive.

“Clouds” are basically places up there in the internet where you can put all your digital stuff. Think of them as online hard drives.

I’m not going to give you the run-down on the various clouds’ features, or even try to assess which might be best. I’ll refer you to, “Google Drive vs. Dropbox, SkyDrive, SugarSync, and others: a cloud sync storage face-off“, on The Verge for that.

Instead, I’m going to provide a primer on what these clouds are for, why you might want to use one, and what you need to be careful of. Continue reading

How much is that song worth to you?

In an age when our Canadian currency flirts with US dollar parity, the abstract qualities of value reveal themselves.

It shows that how we measure the actual worth of anything is difficult to explain in a coherently logical manner.

Take currency, for example. Its value is based on some arcane mix of commodities prices, interest rates, economic performance, and pixie dust.

But at the end of the day the buck stops with the consumer.

The Canadian dollar is only worth more than the US dollar if people believe it is.

Value is therefore in the eyes of the beholder. This is an important thing to keep in mind when we consider the future of digital media. Continue reading

google notebook’s demise and the dangers of living in the cloud

Google NotebookI think the the cloud (aka the “internet”) offers some of the very best opportunities for data storage and sharing. In fact, I think it represents the future of technology, beyond traditional computing. Cablevision’s legally-challenged network DVR is a great example of this.

But there is tremendous risk in committing to the cloud, as the re-trenching Google has recently demonstrated its the withdrawal of support for its its Notebook service. Notebook was a brilliant tool for collecting information, organizing it, and sharing it with others. As with most Google services, it was 100% cloud-based, so all of the data you collected and shared was stored on the internet and accessible anywhere via a web browser.

That’s incredibly convenient, but therein lies the rub: any data that’s been collected into Google Notebook is now at risk of being lost irretrievably. Google isn’t cancelling the service outright, but if the Notebook environment breaks in a future update of web browser technology, that’ll be it, all users’ Notebook data will be gone forever. Continue reading

plastic discs to be trumped by the cloud

LG Internet TVI couldn’t resist posting on this.

Two articles in the Technology section of the New York Times today, Blu-ray’s Fuzzy Future and LG Adds a Direct Internet Link to a Line of HDTVs, add credence to a column I wrote almost a year ago when Toshiba threw in the towel on its high definition disc format, HD DVD (Smart Nerds Always Finish First: Toshiba’s HD DVD Victory; February 22, 2008).

I still think that last year HD DVD died more as a result of the future threat of the cloud than Sony’s Blu-ray format. The days of physical media are numbered as, more and more, consumers will realize the greater efficiency and affordability of downloadable content (assuming, of course, those consumers don’t live in the Horse where bandwidth restrictions actually increase the cost and reduce the efficiency).