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Multiple items are automatically added to a stream, which can be edited or added to at any time.
There are plenty of cloud-based storage services to choose from, but most fizzle when it comes to simplifying the task of uploading files and immediately sharing with friends, family, or co-workers. Cloudup is the latest cleared for liftoff, but a couple of limitations prevent it from getting off the launch pad quite yet.
Cloudup is a clean, modest web app with OS X companion software that lives in the menu bar, waiting to upload files from the desktop. These can include music, photos, PDF documents, or just about anything else, including videos, which the creators of the service seem to have had in mind when they designed Cloudup.
The service is currently free, but limited to 1,000 total items, and it's invitation-only at launch. A paid Premium tier is planned for the near future. Unfortunately, there’s no native iOS or Android app yet, although Cloudup users can easily add a web link to their iPhone or iPad home screen, from which they can upload files using Mobile Safari.
It may not be a native app, but the Cloudup web app does its best to feel like one on the iPhone.
On the desktop, adding items is a straightforward drag-and-drop process using any compatible web browser (recent versions of Safari, Chrome, or Firefox) or the Cloudup menu bar icon. The latter option copies a link to the clipboard, then opens the default browser for keeping tabs on the upload. Finally, somebody gets it: No more waiting until an upload is complete to start sharing!
When uploading multiple items at once, Cloudup creates what’s known as a stream—a collection of items similar to Apple’s Photo Stream, which can be added to or edited anytime, with changes pushed immediately to everyone you’ve shared it with. This comes in particularly handy for organizing photos or videos around a certain event, such as a birthday or family vacation.
Items and streams are private by default, although anyone with a shared link (via email, SMS, Twitter, or Facebook) can view them. Content is unlisted and unsearchable unless you enable it for specific items or streams, which can also be password protected for added security.
Once uploaded, Cloudup creates thumbnails for each item—regardless of file type—and cranks away behind the scenes, making it compatible for viewing from any web browser. Cloudup doesn’t organize content by folders like Dropbox and others, instead dumping everything onto the main screen in the order items are uploaded. It may sound chaotic, but it’s quite convenient to have your most recent uploads front and center, and automatic thumbnails make it easy to find what you’re looking for.
As slick as it all is, video shooters won’t want to ditch their Vimeo Plus account just yet—Cloudup is currently limited to files 200MB or smaller, an artificial limitation we hope to see eliminated once Premium tiers are available.
The bottom line. Cloudup is one of the more promising methods for sharing videos and other content, but its full potential is currently kneecapped by file-size limitations and a lack of native mobile apps.
Mac OS 10.6 or later, supported web browser: Google Chrome 25.0 or later, Safari 6.0 or later, Firefox 19.0 or later
Up to 1,000 items uploaded free of charge. Generates sharing link while file uploads. Streams keep a collection of items up to date for everyone they’re shared with.
Invitation only at launch. No native mobile apps. 200MB file size limit per item. Currently no way to upload more than 1,000 items.