Cloud formation

So here goes, I am currently using the following cloud services:

  • Box for Docs
  • Amazon for Entertainment
  • iCloud for Email, Contacts, Calendar, Notes, Photo Stream, iMessage, iOS backups, Things & Bookmark syncing
  • My Yahoo! for News and Social networking

Box finally stopped forcing users to pay for the high-end account (cheap for businesses, but expensive for personal use), so now I feel more inclined to use it as I can now easily sync docs between my MacBook Pro and iPhone.

I am sticking with Amazon for all of my digital entertainment needs. I’ve been doing tests all week between Amazon’s Cloud Play and Apple’s iTunes Match. Amazon’s Cloud Player is so much better at streaming music over the cellular network. This is what my test consisted of:

  1. I created identical playlists on each service
  2. On Monday’s drive to/from work I used only iCloud to stream my music while on the cellular network. End result = could play one song in its entirety, but for the most when it was time to move on to the next track it would time out and the music just stopped. I think the best I achieved was two songs in a row, but then it crapped out on the third. Made a couple of attempts to pause/resume, but I don’t like using my phone while driving, so I gave up.
  3. On Tuesday’s drive to/from work I used only Amazon’s Cloud Player on the same cellular network. On the way there it crapped out on the 9th song in the playlist. Far better than iCloud, but yet it still crapped out. However, I was able to easily resume playing the next track. On the way back it was flawless
  4. Wednesday I tried using only iCloud again. I didn’t even make it past one exit before it crapped out mid-song! Bad buffering. Traffic came to a halt, so I switched over to Amazon Cloud Player and have used it ever since.

The only thing that gets me down about Amazon Cloud Player is the web interface, but as part of the transition from iTunes to Amazon I have all 8GB’s of my music stored locally on my MacBook Pro, so I just use iTunes as a player. If iOS 6 includes some enhancements for streaming music over the cellular network then I may not need Amazon, but until then I am sticking with it.

For everything else iCloud is great and I have been making more use out of iMessage and Notes on Mountain Lion, which sync disgustingly well with my iPhone. Add to that the fact that I use Safari as my primary browser with iCloud being the keeper of my bookmarks I am a very happy camper!

Here’s a new thing I have started doing. I am now letting My Yahoo! take care of all my news and social media. It’s set as my homepage and is now my one-stop shop for all my favorite news feeds, it integrates with Facebook and Twitter, so I can see all the latest posts/tweets on each platform and a whole host of other stuff that I am playing around with. This is what I used to do years ago, but as a culture everybody migrated to Facebook. That’s not a complaint, but in addition to that I started separating out all my feeds. As you may know I have an entire bookmarks folder called “Tech News” and every morning I’ll grab my coffee and open them all at once. Over time I would add more and more sites to the list, which required more and more tabs and pages to load. In an effort to consolidate as much of that as possible I am going back to my roots and using My Yahoo! as a way to display everything that I need on one page. If I see something interesting I’ll open the link in a new tab and read it.

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