In the last years, more and more companies and even home users started to rely on cloud storage. No matter what the future holds, I think that cloud computing looks really interesting and, when you see such services freely available, you should at least try to see what’s what. After all, we’re also talking about photo management here, because Cloudatag is much more than just a photo manager or a cloud service, as we’re going to see right away…
Cloudatag 188.8.131.52 Beta is the last verion of this piece of code I have here today, but I think that doesn’t really matter, since the time I already spent with it made one thing clear: this may be a Beta release, but it’s clearly better than some programs with version numbers that make you believe they’ve been around for a thousand years!
According to its official page, Cloudatag 1.2 works with Windows XP/Win 7/Vista and it’s completely free to download and use. Unfortunately, free usage comes with a price, if I can put it this way: you can easily create a free account to take advantage of the cloud storage capabilities, but that will only give you 1 GB of storage. To get more, you’ll have to pay – most of the available plans are decent, starting at about $50/year for 30 GB and going as far as $250/year for 250 GB.
Cloudatag’s setup package has about 5.2 MB in size and installing the program is a piece of cake – no strange options, no toolbars and no spyware to be afraid of. Since this is supposed to be a beta, I hope to see the final release offering a chance to create your cloud storage account during setup and not after you start the program for the first time. I don’t know about you, but I think this is better…
Using Cloudatag is really easy, since its interface doesn’t hide any features. All the goodies can be easily accessed and the Web-based Help offers more than enough information to get you started without headaches. There are no skins/themes available for now, but I really hope to see such a feature implemented in the future, as well as additional languages – only English seems to be available at this time. These being said, the time has come to see what’s hidden inside the cloud, don’t you think?
As soon as you start Cloudatag for the first time – at least for now – you should create an account. It’s not complicated and it only takes a few minutes, so there’s nothing to worry about, especially since all you need to enter is your name and email address, no payment information is needed. After all, 1 GB of space should be enough to help you get started and see how responsive is this application, right?
When working with Cloudatag, you have two major choices: you can work with local images, or you can upload them and work directly “in the cloud” for maximum safety. More than just using tags, you can also use the GeoTags feature – nothing really out of this world, but I surely enjoy integration with Google Maps a lot and I’m sure most of you will enjoy that, too.
While I must confess that importing from my local folders felt a bit slow, uploading images is really fast (I think it can go even faster than it did in my case, by my upload speed is much slower than my download speed and, even this way, I noticed a solid difference when comparing the speed I get with Cloudatag and what I get with other file upload services/programs).
More than just tags and GeoTags, your images can be sorted by date, but why do I only say “images,” huh? After all, Cloudatag also supports a wide range of video formats, allowing you to upload videos as large as 5 GB! Obviously, you’ll have to buy some storage space if you can’t live without uploading such huge files…
Cloudatag is surely no competitor to ACDSee or IrfanView when it comes to image editing/viewing, but it already has some basic features, including brightness/saturation controls, Red-Eye removal, crop/resize or sharpen/blur filters. Viewing images and retouching them is pretty fast, even whem working with Cloud-based images. Sure, you can’t expect that to be as fast as it is when working with local images, but still…
… I am sure you’ll enjoy working with this program and a lot of great things are waiting for its users in the future! These being said, let’s move to the final parts of the review, shall we?
Tips & Tricks
1. If you don’t feel like spending for storage yet, feel free to use Cloudatag as a local image manager and only upload really important photos. There’s no problem with purchasing cloud storage at a later time…
2. To invite a lot of friends to Cloudatag, best thing would be to send an email or use the link to the official page as your IM status – you can only invite 5 friends at a time directly from the program, at least for now…
3. To check the amount of space left, go to Account and click Your Account – it’s just as easy as that!
Cloudatag 1.2 looks and feels great, offers support for most image/movie formats out there, works with Vista/7 and comes for free with 1 GB of cloud storage. Despite the fact we’re talking about a Beta, the program feels pretty solid and it doesn’t use a large amount of system resources, either.
Multilanguage support would be great, as well as support for uploading to Facebook/Flickr and other similar sites. Oh, yeah, since I mentioned uploading, I would really like to be able to send the upload status window to background and be able to work with the program while uploads continue. At last, I should also mention the fact that I am sure storage prices could be lowered a little, especially since you have to pay about the same amount as the price of two 1 TB hard drives for a year of 250 GB cloud storage…
… but all these problems won’t stop me from granting those five stars to Cloudatag, especially since they seem to have had a premonition and added the Download3000 Pick badge to their official page before I even thought about reviewing the program (yes, this could be considered a really bad thing). Well, now they can link to this review and, hopefully, try to fix the problems I mentioned here, since this program gets five stars more for what it could be than for what it is at this time. That’s all, folks!