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Review: Cumulus (S3)

Cumulus (S3)—$3.99 Cumulus (S3)
Released: July 14, 2009
Developer/Distributor: Skye Road Systems, Inc./Matt Long
Genre: Utility
Version 1.1 tested on a 16GB iPhone 3GS

I‘m a big fan of Amazon S3 simple storage service. I store all the images and media associated with this site on S3 and it’s mapped to my media.sampletheweb.com subdomain. I also use JungleDisk to backup all my important files to my S3 cloud. One of the things that I’ve been dying for on my iPhone has been an application that can work nicely with S3. I had hoped that FTP On The Go ($6.99; direct iTunes link), which is a great application (I highly recommend it if you’re a heavy FTP user), would add S3 support, but after writing the developer, he said it wasn’t on his to-do list. I then began looking for apps that would work with S3. There are a few free options out there, but they weren’t easy to navigate and lacked any way to grab the URL of the file you uploaded to S3. Finally, I found Cumulus (S3).

Cumulus (S3) lets you download your S3 keys directly from Amazon, so that you don’t have to manually enter in those long keys into the application, which is a really nice touch. Once you have access to your account, it’s easy to navigate buckets, create new buckets, manage bucket permissions, and access your files. You can delete files, upload new files, and manage file permissions. You can also easily grab the URL of any of your files for sharing with others. Cumulus (S3) has support for both emailing a link to your files to your contacts as well as integrated support for multiple Twitter accounts, so that you can quickly and easily tweet a Bit.ly shortened link to your files.

This means that if you use Amazon S3 and you have an iPhone 3GS, instead of uploading your videos to YouTube or some other service where the file will be converted into a Flash file and you have to wait for the video to be processed, you can simply choose to upload the video directly to S3 and immediately tweet a link to the QuickTime file.

Here’s a link to the test video that I uploaded directly to my Amazon S3 account via my iPhone 3GS and here’s the video itself embedded in this post:

As you can see this QuickTime video is at 480 x 360 and weighs in at only about 5MBs for a minute of video, so it would appear that Cumulus (S3) does resize the video from the native 30fps 640×480 VGA that the iPhone 3GS shoots in, which would explain the odd “Trimming video” message that I received immediately before uploading the video. This was somewhat disappointing, and ideally, I would like Cumulus (S3) to offer me the option to upload the video either compressed or at full size (which for this minute long video meant a 25MB file, which I’ve uploaded here for comparison; please don’t load this multiple times as it’ll start to add up). However, the upload was much quicker than the same upload to YouTube and immediately after uploading the file, I was able to preview it in the application and then immediately tweet a link to it.

For comparison, here’s the same video uploaded to YouTube where it had to go through processing before it was available:

Although I’m focusing on video here, the application can also be used to upload pictures and create text files, like this simple one that I did for testing Here’s an example of both the image uploads (and the Twitter interface):

testpicture.png Recursive.png

Overall, I’m very pleased with the performance of this app, as it rounds out the set of tools I need on hand to do everything that I normally do on this blog directly from my iPhone. There’s a full gallery of screenshots from the application below.

Review Rating: YAY!


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