Date: Wednesday, November 05, 2014
I am sure that many of us heard the news yesterday that Amazon Prime members would now enjoy the benefit of unlimited picture storage. Amazon also made available an Android app, Amazon Cloud Drive Photos.
My personal interest in this was piqued because my free Dropbox account recently hit its maximum limit and I had to clean out or pay up. While none of us should use these services as a secure backup of our digital pictures, we know that a lot of surely do that. I recently grabbed a couple of these 2TB Transcend "Military Drop Standard" external hard drives, specifically for family pictures that I could dump all those to fairly quickly and put in the gun safe for secure keeping in case the house burned down.
Anyway, barring a huge conflagration burning your family pictures along with your casa to the ground, it is nice to know that your pictures are quickly upped somewhere. We all know that is a "when" not an "if." The god of the digital underworld will strike you one day. You know it is going to happen.
The first thing that everyone wants to know is, what is the catch that will keep me from really using this service?
Amazon spells out this:
Requirements for Uploading Photos & Videos: The photo or video is smaller than 2 GB - The video is less than 20 minutes long - You have sufficient storage space available on your Cloud Drive and on your computer - File and folder names contain fewer than 255 characters
Supported File Types for photos: .bmp, .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .raw, .tif, .tiff
For videos: .mp4 (including mov, 3gp, m4v), .avi (including divx), .mts (mpeg transport stream), .mpg (mpeg program stream), .asf/.wmv, .flv, .ogg,
Note: Supported video codecs include: h.264, mjpeg, mpeg4, mpeg2, mpeg1, h.263, Sorenson. Supported audio codecs include: aac, mpeg1/2, amr, wma, qcelp, pcm.
So now that we know that, you will still want to know what is, what is the catch that will keep me from really using this service?
Photos or video file types that do not meet the above requirements can be found in Cloud Drive Files, but not viewed in Cloud Drive Photos & Videos. Unsupported photo file types are not covered under the Prime unlimited storage benefit and will count against your Cloud Drive storage limit.
If you are already an Amazon Prime member you have a 5GB cloud account whether you know it or not. If you are like me, you have a pictures folder somewhere on your hard drive that is stuffed with years of crap that is chock full of all types of files. So do you have to spend days organizing that stuff to get around the cap before using the unlimited photo storage? NO!
In my haste I simply dragged a 65GB folder of photos, videos, and whatthehellever else into the Amazon Cloud Drive upload frame and let it rip. After it filled my free 5GB storage with whatever was in that folder, as you can see above, it simply denied upload on that file and continued on with the rest. Now I am the happy owner of an Amazon Cloud Drive full of all my digital photos.
The "free" photograph storage stands up to its name, considering that there is a purchase price for Amazon Prime of course. I easily and quickly upped over 60GB of photos, over 30,000 pictures.
I did also install the Amazon Cloud Drive Photos application on my Samsung phone. After install and sign-in, it prompted me to up my photos and did so the moment it was WiFi connected to my local network. It worked automatically and now when I take a picture it is upped automatically to my cloud account. This part is the same it was with DropBox. The Amazon Cloud Drive Photo app also gave me immediate access to all 60GB worth of pictures that I upped previously on my smartphone.
This type of content is not our usual fare, and quite frankly you can count on it not ever being as this is not what we want to cover. However given that many HardOCP readers are Prime members, I figured it was worth a quick write-up.
One thing that I know [H]'ers would be sensitive to; is Amazon going to change the picture format or compress it in any way permanently? I found another article that addressed this, but could not find the exact statement on the Amazon Cloud website.
Prime Photos allows users to upload pictures in their original format "so customers never have to worry about losing the full resolution image," according to Amazon.
If you decide to cancel or lapse your Amazon Prime account, you have 90 days in which to find another place for your photos. Prime Photos seems like a hell of a deal if you are a DropBox member that primarily uses it for pictures. We want to hear your thoughts on this as well. Hit the discussion link below.