[Updated] The fail that is Photos on Amazon Prime Cloud Drive

by Dirk Moeller


Fellow Photographer Chris Zielecki (circle him if you haven't yet, he posts great stuff) pointed out that you can't download multiple files from the web interface, nor folders. 

I tried it out, it's true. So, in case you want to restore a hundred files, you need to download one hundred single files.

I suggest you don't read any further and forget about this crap, but if you insist, here's my original text:

The first time I heard about it, I thought it a brilliant way to have an additional backup of my photos. You can never have too many, right? RIGHT?  

Any photographer should take backups seriously, and I do my share: the drive on my workstation is two hard discs in a RAID1, which will then be backed up on two additional drives next to the machine and a time capsule in a different room. It also is continuously backed up to a could service.

So, of course, I thought Amazon Cloud Drive could become my new addition to the family and maybe a midterm substitute to my current cloud service, www.backblaze.com (which works fine, but hey, since I already pay for Prime, I might as well use all of its services).

Granted, the Amazon solution states that it is intended for non-pro use - doesn't bother me much, considering that I often shoot less than the average enthusiast. 

What does bother me is the atrocious interface I have to deal with. 

There is no auto syncing of folders. There is no program that allows you to queue files for uploads. 

There is only this: 

 The web interface: the only way for a Mac user to upload and maintain files.

The web interface: the only way for a Mac user to upload and maintain files.

Yes, it's a very basic web interface, to which as a Mac user, you're fixed to - there's no alternative for that. As a Windows user, you also can use their Windows application:

 Windows users can use this - but only to upload.

Windows users can use this - but only to upload.

This is the Windows application of Amazon Cloud Drive, which allows you to...wait for it...upload files. For everything else, like "view files on cloud drive", your browser opens and you'll be sent to the same web frontend everyone else uses.

You have two options for uploading: drop a complete folder in there to upload it, or drop files in there to upload them. They always end up in the root directory of your cloud drive.

It's easier that way, you're welcome.

The upload speed is good - no reason to complain there. The standard german VDSL pipe has not a lot of upstream power anyway, so it really doesn't matter - it'll be a matter of days to get a couple of thousand files up there. But that is most likely not the use that it is intended for anyway. There are mobile apps that I haven't tested yet, and those seem to enable automatic uploads to the service - something that's not really necessary, considering that Google as well as Apple have that integrated in their OS already.

So, who is this for then? It certainly is useful if you don't have any backup at all. It probably still is if you only have local ones, but none offsite and you "just" want to save your holiday photos. But then the bad interfacing strikes you already and you're probably better off with a Dropbox account - or use the brilliant Copy who'll not only give you 15 GB for free, but will also throw in additional 5GB if you use this link!