As we continue to await what Apple may have in store when it comes to their cloud-music service, one tidbit came out today that may or may not have been expected. Music industry leaders reportedly indicated that Apple made it known that they would offer the service free of charge initially, but would eventually require a fee.
Storing your data in the cloud makes for easy and convenient backup, but it does come with a downside. Where is all your stuff actually going? And what happens when today’s hot new cloud storage service goes belly-up and its hardware gets sold to whoever wants to buy it? Pogoplug lets you roll your own network-connected storage, giving you online access to your data and turning spare external USB drives into network attached storage (NAS) devices. And it manages to do all this -- and more -- while still being simple to use and quick to set up.
There’s a word so dirty that most computer users don’t even want to think about it. Even people who should know better, like IT techs or hardened tech journalists, quake at its mention. Backup: it’s one of the most hated words in the computer lexicon because it conjures up nothing but worst-case scenarios. Apple’s Time Machine does a decent job of backing up your stuff (if you’ve turned it on), but what if you primarily use a laptop? Or worse, what if your basement floods, claiming your camping gear and your backup drive as victims? Dolly Drive tucks your Time Machine backups into the cloud, giving you Apple’s built-in simplicity paired with the security of offsite storage in the event of a disaster.
Computing up "in the clouds" is the new craze. With an abundance of cloud services available from Google, Microsoft and independent companies like Dropbox, one might wonder why you’d need to build your own server solution. But, what if you don’t like the idea of leaving your personal data on another company’s server? Then, you build your own online cloud to store and retrieve your data remotely. In this article, we’ll show you how to use a Mac to set up your own cloud services, including storing and transferring files, streaming media, and even using your Mac to serve up web pages. You can then access these services remotely on your Mac or an iOS device.
For everyone who cares about music, it’s the burning question -- when will iTunes finally move into the cloud? While we wait to see if that’ll ever happen, several competitors are diving into iTunes’ gaping void by providing services that let you both stream music and sync it to your iDevices. In fact, these subscription-based, on-demand music services are the latest evolution in digital music. And while they bring their own strengths and weaknesses, they’re still more alike than different. Each service lets you stream music to your Mac or iOS device, buy tracks, sync tracks to an iOS device for offline playback, and create playlists or enjoy custom radio stations. This means success comes down to execution. A streaming service demands a greater investment of time for users than a simple download store, so it better be a nice place to visit -- and have exactly what you want to hear.
Google’s photo-management software comes in two flavors: desktop software you install on your Mac and an online version called Picasa Web Albums. While you’ll want to sort, organize, tag, rate, and edit the gigabytes of digital photos you’ve collected on your desktop, Picasa’s Web Albums interface makes publishing and collaborating on those photos easier.
By now you’re probably familiar with Docs’ basics. But just in case: Google Docs is a web-based word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation application that stores any files you create in it, as well as files you upload. While Google Docs doesn’t offer all the functionality you’d find in Microsoft Office, its web-based collaboration features present a whole new world of utility, and these tips will help you mine Docs for everything it’s worth.
Almost keeping with tradition from last year, where no sooner did we get the first generation of the iPad, we then saw an announcement about iOS 4 shortly thereafter. If the Google translation of a recent posting on German site Macerkopf.de is to be believed, April should bring us not only a glimpse of iOS 5, but also the long awaited MobileMe redo, again on the heels of an iPad release.
Growing up, your toys were cool and you were glad you had them, but your friends always had a cooler toy that you would have killed for. Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises such as Half-Life, Counter-Strike and the Steam online store, appear to have realized this and announced on Tuesday that the the PlayStation 3 version of Portal 2 will include cross platform play capable of communicating with the Mac OS X and Windows versions for multiplayer games, persistent cloud-based storage of saved games, and cross platform chat.