With my Luxsci IMAP account and lifetime web hosting from TextDrive, not to mention Flickr, I’ve never even considered a .Mac account from Apple, which seems far overpriced for what it offers. However, for the film, we were recently looking at ways to transfer large files over the web. I found three very good overviews of all the new file transfer services which are now available (here, here, and here), but nothing seemed to fit the bill.
Then I read this great article about alternatives to .Mac, and discovered Jungle Disc. This is really revolutionary! It doesn’t quite solve our problem (it isn’t really set up for sharing files with other people), but it is great for backing up your own files or moving them between different computers. (For tools to share files with strangers look at the reviews I link to above.) Jungle Disk allows you to store virtually unlimited amounts of data online for just pennies a gigabyte.
I’d heard about Amazon.com’s S3 service, but it had mostly seemed like something that would be useful for big businesses, or web developers, not the ordinary computer user. Jungle Disk change that by making S3 as simple to use as an iDisc! Imagine paying just fifteen cents per gigabyte for encrypted online storage!
Jungle Disc is still very much in development, so I don’t recommend it for everyone. For instance, they still create local cache files of everything you upload, which could quickly fill up the hard drive of an unwary computer user. However, future versions will allow you to limit the size of the local cache, and they even promise software for syncing local and remote files.
As far as I can tell, Jungle Disc is only charging what Amazon.com is charging. It may be that they will sell the software at a later date, it currently looks like a free interface to Amazon’s service! I should also add that it works on all platforms, it isn’t just a “mac” thing.