Audio Podcast: Episode 1 – Playing in the Cloud
I’m Bily Foster, and I’m that iPad guy. Called that because I’ve almost always got my iPad with me. And in some cases two.
This is my little podcast for my friends and family to keep them updated on the tech world around us. And this week I’ve been playing in the clouds!
What is the cloud?
Well here is how I define the cloud for the general consumer. An online service that stores a copy of a local folder on the internet and when you make changes they are sent up to the cloud, then the cloud pushes it out those changes to the other computers that are connected to cloud and it allows you view the content of the cloud from a browser or mobile device.
For example Dropbox, Google Drive, Live Drive, Microsoft Sky Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive are what I would consider consumer level clouds.
Unfortunately Apple’s own iCloud isn’t there yet and Box doesn’t offer that to the ‘personal’ market.
Dropbox is by far one of the most commonly service known out there. And of course I’m signed up and have been recommending it to friends, clients and co-workers. However I’m also going to start letting people know about Live Drive. They offer the same type of service at a fraction of the price.
Dropbox offers 5GB of free storage with the ability to expand that to 18GB by spreading the word of Dropbox via referrals. After that it’s going to cost you $9.99 a month or $99 a year to step up to 50gb of storage. Which breaks down to about $1.98 GB per year.
Now I was going to break down all the different services and how much they were until I came across Live Drive.
Live Drive offers 2TB of Cloud storage for $15.95 a month or $159.95 annual. However if you take advantage of the current special like I did and you get the annual plan for $139.95 and breaks down to about $0.07 per GB! Because 2TB is 2,048GB and that is perfect for me. So what I’ll do is use Dropbox for me to interface with my clients and Live Drive to keep my clients files backed up and universally organized across my systems. It also allows me to share out files without needing something like uSendIt any more.
They do have a mobile app seems to cover the bases so far. I’ll continue to keep you updated as to how it goes and if I keep it, which unless it fails miserably I can’t see how or why I would not keep this service.
Alternatively the other ‘cloud’ I’ve been playing around in is the Creative Cloud.
At first I was dead set against the idea of ‘leasing’ the software, and there is still a part of me that cringes at the thought that if I can’t make a payment I could get cut off. But I digress Adobe does offer the option to purchase the CS Suite of your choice through traditional methods. However they really sweeten the pot of making you want to use the Creative Cloud service. By paying to access the cloud you get much more than just access to the applications. You also get 20gb of storage for sharing (again think no longer needing to use something like uSendIt) and if you are like me and have a tablet and smartphone they some really cool ways that they all work together.
For example, I can start with Adobe Ideas on my iPad, sketch out some rough ides of what I want to do for a logo, save it to the cloud and then open it up on my computer and then start to finish polishing it up for presentation.
The same is suppose to go with Adobe Proto Type. I sketch out a wireframe using the app. Save it to the cloud and then I’m suppose to be able to get the HTML, CSS and JS however right now I’m stuck getting a proprietary file that I can’t do anything with.
Not everything is honky dory in the Creative Cloud, but I think they are off to a really good start.
What all do you get in the Creative Cloud? You get access to just about everything Adobe makes. CS6 Version of Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, After Effects, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash, Audition, Acrobat, Fireworks and coming soon Photoshop Lightroom. The mobile apps unfortunately cost about $9.99 each and I picked up Photoshop Touch, Proto, and Ideas.
And don’t let the term ‘cloud’ fool you. It doesn’t mean that you have to have internet access to use the application, it does however mean you’ll need to get it from the internet. It works almost like a private app store where you have access to install whichever apps you need. Yes you’ll need to connect to the internet every once in a while for it to verify your license but it is now where NEAR as painful as it was with what I’ll call the traditional licensing.
Here is an example. Before when I bought CS5 I got a download and I could install the suite on two computers and those two computer would be the only ones that could have the software installed. Now however I have the cloud access on a few computers and the software I require for the different systems installed. I’m still only using one at a time, but I can have it living on different computers so long as they aren’t all running at once. Much nicer for my situation where I have a computer that I design and code on and another that I do production on without needing separate licenses.
Also Adobe says that people using the Cloud won’t have to wait for the next major revision to get new features as they are developed. I’m still chalking this one up to, I’ll see it when I believe it kind of thing. I hope that doesn’t mean we all become beta testers when something new comes out that isn’t ready. But we’ll see.
The creative cloud doesn’t come cheap as it’s $50 a month however when you consider to buy the Master Suite would cost you $2,599 the $600 a year in monthly payments doesn’t seem so bad. Granted not everyone is going to need access to ALL of the different Adobe applications, but it’s nice to know that if you want to try it, it doesn’t cost you any more money. I will say that because I was already an Adobe CS user I was able to get in at the more resonable $29.99, and I’m hoping that’s going to be the end price once everything gets worked out.
Don’t worry I plan on doing podcast that focus on each of these apps and the benefits, this was just an intro of some of the cool things we’ll be talking about.
Thanks for watching, I’ll see you next time.