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There are many solutions for storing photos and videos in the cloud, and Stream Nation is the latest to offer a range of affordable options. Users are initially given 2GB of free storage for photos (JPEG, TIFF, RAW, and others) or videos (MOV, AVI, MPEG, or even MKV), which can be uploaded from Mac or Windows applications or via the free, universal iOS app.
If you’re willing to jump through hoops, this free storage can be bumped up to 10GB by performing various tasks such as friend referral (500MB per signup) or following Stream Nation on social networks. This kind of stunt typically annoys us, but the service redeems itself with competitive paid tiers starting at $4 per month for 100GB up to unlimited storage for $19 monthly.
The iOS app includes the option to automatically or manually upload new photos and videos, but we’d prefer separate toggles for each media type. Videos are uploaded in full resolution, but Stream Nation performs server-side optimization to make them playable from anywhere. Even with a fast broadband connection, playback was sometimes grainy; you can force playback at specific resolutions, but this feature wasn’t always reliable in our testing. And in landscape mode, the iPhone photo viewer requires an extra tap to use and doesn’t entirely fill the screen.
Otherwise, the app is quite slick – photos and videos have separate “stream” views, while Collections keep content sorted by date or event. Media is private by default, with users in full control of what they share. It’s also secure: Stream Nation saves content on its own servers as well as Amazon S3, so chances are slim that you’ll lose those precious memories.
The bottom line. Nineteen bucks a month for unlimited media storage is a pretty tempting deal, but the Stream Nation app needs a few more tweaks before we’d call it the ultimate cloud option.
iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 5.0 or later
Separate views for photos and videos. Accepts wide variety of file formats. Content can be downloaded for offline playback. Generous, affordable paid storage tiers.
Additional free storage requires jumping through hoops. Auto video playback doesn’t utilize highest resolution on fast broadband connection. Photo viewer isn’t as intuitive as video playback. Automatic upload is all or nothing.