Saturday, March 22, 2008

I am officially an Amazon groupie!

I'm a pretty cheap date. Nachos and merlot, or some slick internet services that support linux, and I'm yours. Google kicked things off a couple of years ago with stuff like Google Earth and Picasa, all of which are cross-platform and run precisely as intended on my linux PC's. Google's online offerings like GMail, Google Chat, Google Docs, and YouTube are also deliciously O/S agnostic. In the span of about a year, linux users like me went from the back to the internet bus to the comfy "old people" seats up front! Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, Amazon drops in out of nowhere with a linux-supported MP3 store. And even better, it's DRM-free! Crazy, right? Now I can cozy right up next to iPod-owners so they can truly savor my cheaper, higher-quality, DRM-free MP3's from Amazon, on my cheaper, higher-quality no-name MP3 player.

And the Amazon just keeps on giving! Although I'm late to this party (hey, if it's new to me, it's new) by about four months, the Amazon S3 online storage service has been rated "The Bee's Knees" by the vast majority of the progressive linux community. Others have referred to it as the slightly less prestigious "Cat's Pajama's", although we're splitting hairs at that point. (Give me a break. I live in Wisconsin. I listen to this crap all day.) To be precise, Amazon provides the storage, but the real magic comes from the 3rd party interface. In this case, I'm referring to JungleDisk, my cross-platform interface of choice. Here's a quick blurb from their site:

"Jungle Disk is an application that lets you store files and backup data securely to Amazon.com's S3 ™ Storage Service.

* Store an unlimited amount of data for only 15¢ per gigabyte
* No monthly subscription fee, no startup fee, no commitment
* Your data is fully encrypted at all times
* Data is stored at multiple Amazon.com datacenters around the country for high availability
* Access files directly from Windows Explorer, Mac OSX Finder, and Linux
* Automatically backup your important files quickly and easily

Unlike other services, with Amazon S3 ™ there is no minimum and no maximum amount of data you can store. You pay only for the actual amount of storage you are using."


Seriously, this is the first time I have ever really looked at an online storage option. But now it's too cheap and too convenient NOT to use. For a few bucks, I can put my files in the cloud, and download or stream them whenever I want. Has anyone out there used this? How's the service? Good, bad or meh? I will soon try it and blog about my experience...
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