This post is as much for our Dear Leader Leander Kahney as much as it is for you, our wonderful and ever-curious reader. It solves a problem Leander struggled with for a full thirty seconds before tossing it to us minions in the Cult of Mac HipChat room.
The problem: How to get all the photos snapped by Leander’s twelve or so children into the same Photo Stream on the main family iMac.
For the solution, read on. Hint: it doesn’t need Photo Stream, and it uses a great feature of PhotoSync v2.0.
Apple began sending out MobileMe eviction notices last week. The notices remind anyone still using MobileMe that they have until the end of June to transition to iCloud and/or copy all data stored in their MobileMe accounts to their Mac or PC. Any files stored in MobileMe’s range of services that can’t be converted to iCloud will be deleted. If you opt not to use iCloud, all data in your MobileMe account will be deleted.
Although iCloud offers several advances over MobileMe, there are some MobileMe services that don’t have direct iCloud equivalents. These include MobileMe Galleries for sharing photos and videos, website creation using Apple’s iWeb, and iDisk remote storage and file sharing. File and information sync is available using iCloud, but the functionality is implemented a bit differently than in MobileMe.
There isn’t a single online service that delivers quite the same mix of features and functionality that Apple offered with MobileMe but by combining some apps and services, you can get pretty close to MobileMe’s feature set.
Almost every cloud storage service on the Internet operates using a freemium model. Anyone who signs up gets a certain amount of storage for free. When someone uses up all their free storage, they can add more for a fee. Cloud providers usually layer on a few extra features for paid customers like the ability to stream audio files or the ability to restore deleted files or older versions of documents.
With so many free options, however, it can be tempting to use multiple services simultaneously. Add files to a free Dropbox account up till the free 2GB, then create an account with Box for the next 5GB (Box’s free limit), then create a SugarSync account and on and on.
This approach, known as cloud squatting, effectively nets users unlimited free storage so long as they’re willing to play an ongoing game of musical chairs with their data. iOS and other mobile apps that can access and edit files across different services make it surprisingly easy for users to become cloud squatters – and it’s surprisingly difficult for a business or IT department to prevent or deal with cloud squatting employees.