Category Archives: Online Storage

Put That OneDrive Space To Use: Move Music Collection to the Cloud and Stream It

Do you have a ton of space in your OneDrive account and don’t know what you want to do with it? How about taking the bold step of moving your music collection to OneDrive?

Wait a second, you may say. OneDrive does not “support” music files, you may say. Well, maybe not openly and definitely not as a streaming music service could. However, as I coincidentally found out over the weekend, as long as you have the OneDrive app (I tested on Windows Phone, iPhone and Windows 8), you may at least be able to play your music, one song at a time.

Through a variety of promotions and tie-ins, I have almost 240GB of space on my OneDrive, and very soon, it is going to be 1TB because I have an Office 365 Home subscription.

To The Cloud

First though, moving the collection. If you are like me, and have many ways to listen to your collection, and have multiple forms of backup running, you may be wary of moving things around. I took a deep breath and took the plunge, although I knew what I wanted to achieve: move the music to the cloud but not lose the local files, and still continue to back up to my cloud backup service, Crashplan.

So, on my Windows 8 “home server”, I took the music off the data drive and moved it to my OneDrive’s sync location under a convenient location like OneDrive\Music. It took a while to move my 120GB to the cloud, but once I copied it to the location, I let it do its thing uploading the music to OneDrive. This step should be identical if you have Windows 7 (or even a Mac) with the OneDrive sync client installed.

The advantage with this approach as opposed to leaving the music on the home server is that I now have the ability to access my music from virtually any device connected to the internet. At the same time, since the music is still on my home server, I did not lose the ability to play the music from devices on the home network like my Apple TV.

Backup vs Sync

One common confusion is mistaking backup for sync, or vice versa. I think of it this way: I want my important data to be backed up without any manual effort, and I want some of the digital memories synced so that I can access them from anywhere, at anytime. The nuance here being, the backup is a one-way data transfer from my home server to the cloud whereas syncing enables me to add to my music collection from anywhere. So the next time I see a great deal on Amazon Music for a $5 album, I can not only purchase it but also download it and make it available to my other devices.

OneDrive Website Album Listing
OneDrive Website Album Listing
OneDrive Website Download Prompt
OneDrive Website Download Prompt

 

Use the OneDrive apps

Speaking of being able to access from anywhere, what happens when you try to open one of your (DRM-free, of course) audio files? Well, it depends. If you open from a browser, it simply opens the dialog to download the file. This is because the OneDrive web app is not set up for streaming music. It is only meant to interpret documents (Office formats, text and PDF), pictures and video. In the mobile OneDrive apps on the other hand, you can navigate to the folder with the songs, and tap on the actual song and it will start playing the song.

OneDrive iOS App Artists
OneDrive iOS App Artists
OneDrive iOS App Albums
OneDrive iOS App Albums
OneDrive iOS App Songs In Album
OneDrive iOS App Songs In Album
OneDrive iOS App Song Display
OneDrive iOS App Song Display
OneDrive iOS App Streaming Song
OneDrive iOS App Streaming Song
OneDrive iOS App AirPlay Option
OneDrive iOS App AirPlay Option

I hadn’t noticed this earlier, and while this is good, it by no means makes the OneDrive app a music player like Amazon Music app or Google Play Music app. For example, the app does not play an entire folder. It does not understand playlists. When you skip a song, it simply returns you to the folder instead of playing the next song.

OneDrive Windows Phone App Albums
OneDrive Windows Phone App Albums
OneDrive Windows Phone App Album Listing
OneDrive Windows Phone App Album Listing
OneDrive Windows Phone App Streaming Audio
OneDrive Windows Phone App Streaming Audio

 

But the fact that it can now stream (not download and then play) is a good sign that perhaps the OneDrive app may unbundle the photos/videos, documents and music features into their own apps just like Google and Amazon have done. I can see a OneDrive app like it is today, for general storage features, an Office app to only surface the files that Office mobile can open, OneDrive Photo app for pictures and videos, and OneDrive Music or Xbox Music app to surface audio files.

OneDrive Windows 8 App Album Listing
OneDrive Windows 8 App Album Listing
OneDrive Windows 8 App Streaming Music
OneDrive Windows 8 App Streaming Music

 

Owning music vs renting

I say all of the above but I am one of those who has slowly learned to give up trying to deeply control the music collection. I mostly rent music via one or more of the streaming services like Spotify, Rdio, iHeart, etc. I am also a paying subscriber for Xbox Music Pass which lets me play any song from their catalog on-demand. As a result, the real need to listen to music I “own” (because you know, this collection goes way back to the Napster and Kazaa days), has gone down tremendously. There are still some comedians whose performances I have in my collection which are not available on iTunes or Xbox Music catalog. There are also some Bollywood songs which did not match when I tried iTunes Match and also Xbox Music matching, but those are general the exception rather than the rule.

And then there’s services like Apple’s iTunes Match. It allows one to “match” their local collection with iTunes’ catalog and whenever there is a match, iTunes allows you to listen to the songs from any authorized device. The service is not free, but at $25/year it is a small price to pay for hassle-free management of your music collection. It also allows customers to upload the songs which do not match, although the uploaded songs would count against the iCloud storage quota. Once Apple’s newly announced storage plans go in effect, it would be a good idea to let iTunes completely manage the collection, which is taking one more step towards freeing up your collection. Xbox Music advertised long ago that this feature was coming to the service but so far it only does matching but does not allow you to upload unmatched music to the cloud.

Use the cloud, any cloud

To conclude, I recommend that you start thinking about simplifying your data management. Why leave stuff on your hard drive when you can use the cloud? For digital stuff like music and photos, it is better to make the cloud your primary “drive” and sync it to the devices you use. I used OneDrive as an example in this article but feel free to explore the cloud of your choice. It won’t harm going instead with Google, Amazon, or coming soon, Apple because all of the big ecosystem providers understand that providing a reliable storage solution is key to keeping customers “sticky”. Start planning the move to the cloud, as long as your bandwidth permits.

What’s your personal cloud situation? What about owning vs renting music, do you use any of the streaming services? Which ones? Why? Let us know!

Evernote Breached; Enforces Password Reset

Popular note taking service, Evernote has announced that they suffered a data breach recently. But thankfully, according to a blog post made at the Evernote blog, the hackers were not able to break into and access stored notes of individual users.

However, they did get access to usernames and encrypted passwords. Evernote stores passwords after hashing and salting process. So there’s little chance that even if the hacker did get the encrypted passwords, they will be able to decode the original ones.

Nonetheless, Evernote is asking its users to reset their password to ensure maximum safety.

After signing in, you will be prompted to enter your new password. Once you have reset your password on evernote.com, you will need to enter this new password in other Evernote apps that you use. We are also releasing updates to several of our apps to make the password change process easier, so please check for updates over the next several hours.

Evernote hacking is in the wake of a series of data breaches on high profile tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple etc. Now, they haven’t released any details on how the actual hacking occurred, but props have to be given to the company for quick action on their part in letting the users know about the hacking and taking actions to reset their passwords as soon as possible.

Microsoft Settles with Defendants in Nitol Botnet Case

Last month, we reported about an operation conducted by Microsoft to disrupt the Nitol botnet. The operation, titled Operation b70 was a result of a study conducted by Microsoft which discovered pirated copies of Windows embedded with malware. As a part of the operation  Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit had asked to be allowed to take control of the domain 3322.org which was used to host the botnet.

Assistant General Counsel for Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit,Richard Domingues Boscovich has stated in a blog post that they have reached a settlement with Peng Yong, operators of 3322.org domain. He states:

Today, I am pleased to announce that Microsoft has resolved the issues in the case and has dismissed the lawsuit pursuant to the agreement. As part of the settlement, the operator of 3322.org, Peng Yong, has agreed to work in cooperation with Microsoft and the Chinese Computer Emergency Response Team (CN-CERT) to:

· Resume providing authoritative name services for 3322.org, at a time and in a manner consistent with the terms and conditions of the settlement.

· Block all connections to any of the subdomains identified in a “block-list,” by directing them to a sinkhole computer which is designated and managed by CN-CERT.

· Add subdomains to the block-list, as new 3322.org subdomains associated with malware are identified by Microsoft and CN-CERT.

· Cooperate, to the extent necessary, in all reasonable and appropriate steps to identify the owners of infected computers in China and assist those individuals in removing malware infection from their computers.

In accordance with the settlement, Peng Yong will work with Microsoft and Chinese Computer Emergency Response Team to remove all malware associated with the domain and bring to justice all those responsible for spreading the malware.

Richard also shared some statistics regarding the blocked domains.

Of note, in 16 days since we began collecting data on the 70,000 malicious subdomains, we have been able to block more than 609 million connections from over 7,650,000 unique IP addresses to those malicious 3322.org subdomains. In addition to blocking connections to the malicious domains, we have continued to provide DNS services for the unblocked 3322.org subdomains. For example, on Sept. 25, we successfully processed 34,954,795 DNS requests for 3322.org subdomains that were not on our block list.

The operation is a part of Microsoft’s larger MAPS program intended to provide protection to the users of its Windows operating system.

Via: Technet 

Box Brings Windows Phone App to Marketplace

If for some reason you’re not a fan of DropBox or SkyDrive on Windows Phone, then the fine folks at Box.net are here to save your day.

Box has announced and published their Windows Phone app – which allows you access to your cloud storage while mobile. If you can afford free, that is. In addition to their monthly plans for personal or business use, if your Fortune 500 company jumped on the “cloud” bandwagon and is riding it into the sky, you’ll get access to your company files while on the fly, with the Enterprise plan.

Following along with the Metro UI guidelines for Windows Phone apps, Box allows you to upload, download, and move files around in the cloud. As you can see from their banner (above) and some screenshots (below), they like to tout Word, Excel, and PDF document storage. Quite clear they are still aiming for the enterprise crowd.

In order to keep up with their tradition of free storage (Box gave 50GB to Android users, as well as 50GB to new iOS users) Box has partnered with Qualcomm to give out the staple 50GB again, except now it’s platform independent. Regardless if your new phone is running iOS, Android, or Windows Phone you’re covered with storage AND will get 50GB with their promotion. When you purchase a Windows 8 device in the future, if it’s powered by a Snapdragon SoC, you’ll also get 50GB of free cloud storage for life. Of course this is for new accounts only. Your own personal 50GB cloud, always above your head and right in your pocket.

The app is completely free, the storage is completely free, and it’s very cross-platform. Heck, you can even mount it right in Windows via WebDAV and get a seamless experience. So if you’re sick of gaming or needing referrals for getting more free DropBox space or if you think DropBox a is security risk due to their breach, Box gives you 50GB right off the bat, and is used and trusted by over 100,000 large corporations. Of course with any cloud service, you’re giving your data away and should understand the risks of doing so.

SkyDrive Refreshed with New Features and HTML5

Windows Live SkyDrive is the underdog of Microsoft’s Windows Live suite of web services and applications since it launched in 2007. While similar services like DropBox garner a lot of fans, an iCloud announcement from Cupertino gets favorable press. However, with 25GB free storage space offered and over 100 million users, I think SkyDrive deserves better.

Continue reading SkyDrive Refreshed with New Features and HTML5

Send Large Files Easily with WeTransfer

file-share-icoWhat can you do if you want to send an entire CD to someone? Sending large files as an email attachment is usually a problem. Most email providers have limits on the size of attachments. For example, Yahoo’s and Gmail’s limit is 20mb, with Hotmail trailing behind at 10mb.

You could use any one of several online file storage sites, or even set up your own FTP server. These all take time and usually require some setup. There are easier ways to send large files if you don’t want to waste time.

we-transfer

A new service called WeTransfer allows you to attach several files, up to 2Gb in total, and send a download link to a person or group. There is no sign-up required. You can use any fromaddress you wish and include a short message to the recipients.

WeTransfer couldn’t be much easier to use. However, if you need alternatives, take a look at YouSendit, which has been around a long time and is just as easy to use.

I like to use WinDroplr, which allows you to quickly upload and create short URLs to share in email, Facebook or Twitter. It’s fast and easy but it requires you to install a simple program on your PC.

One of my rock-star friends likes to use Box.net to share his unique creations online. It’s free, and you can even mount Box.net as a virtual drive on your PC.

What’s your favorite method for sending large files to people? Be sure to tell us in the comments below.

AVG Announces LiveKive, Offers 5 GB of Free and Secure Cloud Storage

AVG-LiveKive-Cloud-Storage In a surprising move, AVG, the software firm behind one of the most popular free antivirus solutions in the market, has announced the launch of a new cloud based storage solution called LiveKive. While cloud-storage options are a dime a dozen these days, AVG plans on utilizing its expertise to give an edge to its offering.

With AVG LiveKive, AVG is taking its passion and expertise in free security technology to the cloud-based storage market,said J.R. Smith, chief executive officer of AVG Technologies. By storing information on our safe and secure servers, customers significantly reduce the temptation for thieves and hackers to attempt accessing files stored on an individual PC or mobile device.

During the beta testing phase, AVG will be offering 5 GB of free storage to all users. AVG is promising quick and easy access to stored content from any synced device. Although, the sparsely worded official announcement doesn’t specify which devices will be supported, given AVG’s presence in the Android Market, as well as its availability for Windows and Linux, we are anticipating these platforms will be supported (at the very least).

The beta testing phase was expected to have started from this week. However, it seems to have been delayed. I have reached out to AVG, and will update this post when I hear back from them.

Get 250MB Dropbox Storage Space Free For Getting Started

Dropbox is one of my favorite ways to synchronize and backup files, however, the limit on basic account is only 2GB which is pretty less considering that you can easily fill it up with few vacation pictures and videos. You could use the multiple Dropbox account trick to backup more files though.

Also see: Other Online Free Storage Websites and Tools

Dropbox Increase Storage Space by 250MB

Dropbox also provides users with an option to invite friends and get 250MB extra storage for every friend of yours who signs up. But did you know that you can also get 250MB of storage space for free by just clicking on the "Get Started" link in your Dropbox account?

If not, go ahead and login to Dropbox and click on the Get Started link to increase your Dropbox storage space by 250 MB, if you don’t have a Dropbox account yet, you can always use my sign up link to add to my quota Smile. Sign up for Free 2GB Dropbox Storage Account.

(h/t Life Hacker)

Comparison Of Popular Online File Storage Services

Guest post by Srikanth.

There are many services available. It is a very good idea to store your data on secured servers, this not only saves your hard disk space but also allows you to sync and recover any lost data during a system crash or any other natural disasters.

Here in are some of the paid and free online file storage services that provide tons of free and paid storage space to store your data securely. Many of these services also allow you to share files over the web and by using specific clients, you can also backup your data automatically without the fear of losing data. The table below shows a detailed comparison of some of the popular online file storage services, look at the table and decide which service best suits you.

Web host/ Features

Adrive

Box.net

Mozy

Windows Live Mesh

Language supported

English

English

English

English

Free trial

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Storage Space

50 GB free

For multiple accounts $6.95/month for 50 GB and $13.95/month

1 GB Free

$7.95/month for 5 GB and $19.95/month

2 GB Free $4.95/month unlimited for home users

5 GB Free

Maximum Upload file Size

2 GB

25 MB for Free users and 1 GB files for Paid users

No Limit

Unknown

Bandwidth limit

No limit for paid users and 1 TB for free users

10 GB for Free users and No limit for paid users

No Limit

No Limit

Upload Options

Web based uploads, Windows and Mac Adrive clients for automatic backup

Web based

Through Windows and Mac sync clients

Through your web site and internet explorer plugins

System Compatibility

Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Mac OS x 10.4 and above systems

Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Mac OS x 10.4 and above systems

Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Mac OS x 10.4 and above systems

Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Mac OS x 10.4 and above systems

Option to delete files

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Sync option

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Encryption

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Web host/ Features

IDrive

RapidShare

Drop.io

MegaUpload

Language supported

English

English and German

English

English, German, French and Italian

Free trial

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Storage Space

2 GB Free

500 GB for Paid customers

100 MB

50 GB Free and 1 TB for Paid customers

Maximum Upload file Size

None

200 MB for Free users and 2000 MB for paid users

100 MB

1024 MB for free users and not applicable for paid users

Bandwidth limit

Not applicable

500 kbps for free users and paid users can download 2.66 GB per day

None

No Parallel downloads for Free users and unlimited for paid users

Upload Options

Web based and through client

Web based or Direct upload

Web based or Direct upload

System Compatibility

Windows 2000, XP and Vista systems

Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Mac OS x 10.4 and above systems

Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Mac OS x 10.4 and above systems

Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Mac OS x 10.4 and above systems

Option to delete files

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Sync option

Yes

No

No

No

Support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Encryption

Yes

No

Yes

No

Guest blogger Srikanth writes on Tech Inspiration blog about tips, gadgets, and technology. Check out his blog or Linkedin profile for more.

Upload Web Files & Documents To Box.net With Firefox

There are many times when you may come across document and files on the internet, many times you may download the document and then upload it to a service.

If you are Box.net, you can now directly upload files to your account from a Web URL with the help of a . This add-on is a updated version of the previously mention Open it Online extension which allows users to open documents online without the need to have software installed on their PC.

After installing the add-on when you click on any document or download link, you will see a additional option to save the file directly to Box.net.

openwith-saveitonline

Selecting the option will open another confirmation window asking you whether you want to save the file to Box.net.

import-to-boxnet

Select the folder you want to save the file to and it will automatically be saved to your Box.net account.

If you are looking to directly copy your documents to box.net like you do on a local drive, check out our earlier article on how you can mount box.net as a local drive.

To learn more about the add-on visit the Box.net blog. Download the Open It Online  add-on to directly upload files from the web to your Box.net account.