Google Lets Users Store More Files Online

Date January 13, 2010

For years I’ve worried about storage and losing files. I’ve been online continually since 1992 now and have way too many files. Everything anymore to me are zeros and ones, and a few years ago I moved to Google tools for most everything. I am a Google whore, just short of flying to a Google teacher day (missed December’s deadline). The one tool I’ve never hooked onto for Google is their photo repository, Picasa. It just never made sense to me, and by then I’d been enmeshed in Flickr for two years (please please buy Flickr from Yahoo, Google!). Everything else has been Google for me.

In 2005 my daughter, Claire, was born and I videotaped my parents meeting her at the airport for the first time. I exported that video to an external hard drive that proceeded to crash and burn. I lost the video. I lost everything. You cannot replicate that sort of thing. I needed the cloud. I recently talked to a photographer friend who suggested that Flickr is my cloud repository for photos, but I need something for all sorts of files. I checked out DropBox, but didn’t like the pay scale. I considered Mozy or something like that, but still, not what I needed.

And then today. Tonight, I saw the follow Tweet. “Google Lets Users Store More Files Online – NYTimes.com http://bit.ly/6isWSp” from Traci Gardner . I immediately clicked on it and was thrilled. The title reads “Google Lets Users Store More Files Online”. Google’s mythological GDrive that’s been floating around the ‘nets since 2006 is coming true. For free, 1g has been added to your Google account now to upload any type of file with a maximum of 250mb per file (sorry videographers). This storage, your Picasa storage, and Gmail storage will equal close to 10G for free. You want more? I know I do! It’s $0.25 a gig annually. That means for $40 a year I can back up my entire hard drive, and for me that rocks!

It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty damn cool. You access everything through Google Docs, which for me is just ok. I’d like to see a file structure similar to a gui in Windows or OSX, but that’s because that’s the design with which we’re all familiar. I’d like to be able to set some files (or even folders) to nonsearchable (i.e. I know they are there, but they don’t show up in my everyday file searches… like archives that I need to keep. For example, grade sheets I will never need unless a student contests something).

DropBox seems to be a biggie right now, and wouldn’t it be cool for the Google API to offer something similar between GDocs and your desktop (I can see the arguments against this right now with the cloud, netbooks, tablet PCs, mobiles, etc… why bother with files locally?) My thought here is I want to sync my new GDisk directly to external hard drives (yes, I keep THREE now as backups). Talk about redundantly important. I don’t think we need (internal) computer hard drives that match or are larger than our personal cloud storage or external hard drive backups, but why can’t the netbook/laptop/tablet act as a funnel between the cloud and external backup drives? I bet they can! (Disclaimer: I am not a coder, but I bet one can comment below and tell me if: 1) this is a pipe dream or 2) this is already being done (provide me a link!)

A few other notes I saw when researching the GDisk include a YouTube sync that includes, for example, a button “Do you like this video? Save it to your GDisk now!” Google doesn’t necessarily need to make another copy of the file, but it can give you, the user, access to that same file. The same with uploading music. If the song already exists, give us access to that file rather than wasting some of our storage space by uploading another copy of that file? One user on the Google blog even mentioned, and I paraphrase, “If I upload my whole iTunes library, then I’ll have my personal streaming music anywhere I have internet!”.

And I leave you with “I want my GDisk!” (sung in Sting’s Voice from 1981.)

Your thoughts? Leave a comment!