Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Amazon offers Free, Unlimited Photo Storage to active Prime Members in the U.S. Updated for link to main Prime Unlimited Photo Storage page

Updated same night to include the main PRIME PHOTOS link
The new Unlimited Photo Storage plan for Prime members actually is quite an offer because photos can be huge, with today's many-megapixel lenses.  My Nokia Lumia 1020 cell phone's camera is a 40 megapixel one.  In the past, Amazon customers worldwide have received 5GB of storage free, to use for miscellaneous files, which could include normal work files, photos and even videos, but one video could use up most of it.  The popular sharing host, Dropbox offers all of 2 free Gigabites for storage of anything, although with flexible features and fast upload time and encourages us to refer others for an additional storage allowance of 500 megs (half a Gigabyte).

Amazon's existing file requirements for photos (videos are not part of the new Unlimited Photo Storage feature) include a limit of 2 GB for a photo.  Well, I've never made a photo that huge.  The new feature is for non-commercial use, for which you'd seldom see any photo be that large, even in 'tiff' or normal Photoshop-file size.

So, to have free, totally unlimited, photo storage as yet another feature for the Prime membership program is amazing.  As most customers know by now, Prime membership includes free 2-day shipping on most of Amazon's products; free access to Prime Instant video (about 40,000 movies and TV show episodes); Prime Music (ad-free Prime stations plus over a million songs, with X-Ray feature of scrolling lyrics); and the Kindle Lending library, which allows Prime mebers to borrow one Kindle book each calendar month without waiting periods or due-dates.

According to their Prime Photos Help page:
' Store your photos safely in Cloud Drive and you can access them anywhere, from almost any device by signing in with your Amazon account. Cloud Drive offers free mobile apps, secure access from any computer, and it's built in to all Fire devices. '

I've used the app that lets me back up photos to the Cloud, and access for viewing them is unexpectedly fast with a normal fast connection.

CAVEATS - This is also from the help page.  Read these carefully (I've bold-faced some of the points).
  . Prime Photos requires an Amazon Prime, Amazon Mom, Amazon Student or Amazon Fresh membership.  If you cancel or do not renew your Prime membership, you will lose the unlimited photo storage benefit associated with the membership and your uploaded photos will count toward your Cloud Drive storage limit.
  For more information about your Cloud Drive storage limits and what happens to your content if you exceed those limits, go to About Cloud Drive Storage Limits.

  . Prime Photos is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You may not use it in connection with a professional photography business or other commercial service.
Certain photo formats are excluded.  For more information, go to Cloud Drive Photos & Videos File Requirements.

If you're not already a Prime member and are interested in this, Amazon has a 30-day free Prime trial.  This is a strong incentive for those for whom photos are important.

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  1. Apparently it will accept raw files as well (do they really need to have file extension '.raw'?), but I haven't tried that.

    I already have photos on my mobile devices backing up to OneDrive, with an Office 365 subscription that's unlimited storage for up to 5 users (plus of course desktop Office on 5 machines, browser Office, mobile Office etc.). There are no restrictions on file type. $99/year is almost worth it just for the backup space, and apparently you can sometimes find discounts from retailers that can make it even less than that.

    Of course this is what makes subscriptions like Prime and Office 365 'sticky'. At any rate, I've no incentive to subscribe to Dropbox, as my free storage there is plenty for storing my library of 3rd party ebooks (a number of reading apps have Dropbox integration).

    1. Tom, I actually choose to -never- automatically back up photos to either OneDrive (I got 200 GB free with my Surface Pro 2 laptop) or Amazon - mainly because most of what I do with the mobile device cameras are not 'keepers.' but I do like the option of not worrying about server or cloud space for photos when it's now available without my spending another dollar.

      So, without being an Office 365 subscriber, I'd have to get a New Subscrption at $48/yr for that 200 GB of OneDrivethat I already have because of my laptop purchase.

      I'd wondered about whether I should spring for yet another subscrption though, since the Office 365 Personal subscription would be just an additional $70/yr for me for that Unlimited storage -- and, as you said, OneDrive's Unlimited feature s for ANY file, not just photos, a real draw. Especially when that includes videos.

      Office 365 subscrptions limit video files to 10 GB per file - OK in my case, since the only videos I want to back up are short ones. Even then, when I actually edit today's HD videos taken, I have to do tricks to keep these in original HD resolution after edits that are more than simple cuts or joins (no brightness/contrast changes) without going over 10 GB for desktop versions that fill the screen although easy enough if accepting edited mp4s that are further smaller sizes for mobile use. Worth $70/yr to me? Not yet, as I'd also want easy, fast Restores if I'm paying additional $ for a subscription. If already on a Prime or OneDrive subscription and there's no further $-annual fee, a no-brainer subscription though!

      I sure agree on Dropbox and its paltry 2GB for a free membership. With referrals, I have my limit there up to 12 GB so far, and that will max out at 16 GB. I use it for really easy, flexible sharing now of larger files and fast uploads, and it costs me nothing.

      My overall storage concerns though, are mainly for photos, so Amazons new storage offer of unlimited storage for photos *without* my having to add a new subscription to my life since I already have Prime for so many other reasons, is a real plus.

      Microsoft's OneDrive final pricing announced on October 27 would cost me $70 per year for unlimited but I hardly use Office -- in fact, I didn't go for the latest Office for that Win 8.1 laptop/tablet, instead installing my old Office 2010, which didn't cost me anything more and works well for me.
      But if you already have an Office 365 subscrption, very nice!

      At any rate, with no restriction on file type, as you say, OneDrive is really attractive.
      The Restore features are what I have to look at next when comparing file-backup hosts for what is, for me, an added subscription cost. Versioning is for Office files only, another concern (inadvertently overwriting earlier versions that may be needed).

      Mozy is now not so competitive, with only 125 GB available for personal backups. Have been looking at Carbonite's home-user plans for these features in addition to their what's now Unlimited storage for one computer:
      . Automatic cloud backup
      . U.S.-based support, 7 days a week
      . Sync, share and access files remotely with free apps -- these 3 are $60/yr.
      . External hard-drive backup
      . Mirror Image backup -- All for $100/yr
      ---- and adding these two features:
      . Automatic video backup
      . Courier recovery service -- for $150/yr total.


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