MiMedia's web log in page. Fairly standard!
When Google Drive launched a couple of weeks ago, everything was cool and groovy until some eagle-eyed types noticed that the permissions clauses weren't altogether straight forward. It turned out that unless you did some fastidious box-ticking, your images stored there could, theoretically, wind-up spearheading Google Drive's advertising campaign. That wasn't exactly blowing back everyone's hair, and some bigger names in online storage donned their halos and smiled angelically, convincing consumers that they were the safest and surest guardians of our online content.
That's all very well and groovy, but cloud storage isn't necessarily just about backing up your content and falling asleep relaxed in the knowledge that what's on your external hard drive is also in two different clouds and on a disc at your Ma's. What about if you want to actually use your media, and not just store it? Step forward MiMedia.
Based in Portchester, New York, MiMedia was founded by Erik Zamkoff and Chris Giordano in 2009. The idea behind it isn't just that you use it to back up your photos, your music, and your films, but that it's a cloud-based personal media platform. Wherever you are with an internet connection, so are your favourite playlists in an easy-to-access format.
MiMedia's aim is to provide consumers with a great experience every time that they want to look at their photos from their latest holiday, share a video of baby's first steps via email, or post snaps from Grandma's 80th birthday party to Facebook. It's this focus on being personal and user-friendly that makes MiMedia believe it's different from other cloud storage options.
Every subscriber receives their first 7GB of data storage free; after that you can pay $49 for 100GB of data for a year and there're a range options, right up to a terabyte plan, if you've loads of stuff. If you're a Windows user, you can download the client that will allow you to store and synch your data easily in the cloud. No such luck for Mac users yet–we're still consigned to using the web interface–but Zamkoff told me that Mac-compatible desktop software should be available later this year. But there are iPhone and iPad apps, all the same.
Even without the desktop software, it's still an easy-to-use interface. As soon as you log in, you have your photos, videos, and music laid out in front of you. You can choose to stream music immediately, or upload something. Head into your photo folder and your images are organised in galleries and by date. The music-streaming function is at the top of your screen, so some tunes can accompany your picture-perusing, too.
Hit the 'Share' button and you can email a photo straight to your Dad, or unleash it directly Facebook, Twitter, or 14 other social media operations. You can look at them in a slideshow, or download them if you need to. Once you've uploaded your media you can also organise them into folders. This is useful, but I found it tedious because there wasn't a drag-and-drop mechanism for doing so, and they had to be moved individually. Still, it was all self-explanatory, and there's online and phone support if you need it, too.
It doesn't matter how many different locations you have designated for media storage, you still want to know that the cloud storage companies you employ are doing their best to make sure your photos, music, and videos are safe. MiMedia's system resides in multiple tier one data centres, with redundancy, so you should always be able to access your favourite Meatloaf album for those moments when only Bat Out of Hell will do.
Right now, when I'm suffering from hellishly slow connections, that's if I have one at all, and without a specific Mac client, MiMedia isn't quite what I'm looking for. But the more storage options there are, the better, and this is a neat and tidy operation giving super value for money. It's definitely worth a look.