Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Google Storage At Cutrate Prices? Very, very tempting...

I'm an avid user of Google service. Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Reader, Blogger--and even the now defunct Google Notebook. The only thing I'm not using? Picasaweb, which is Google's answer to online photo storage and sharing.

Don't get me wrong. I love the Picasa desktop application--especially now that it offers facial recognition and easy geotagging support. And the way it integrates with your photos on Picasaweb--it's just sublime.

Despite all that, I'm a full-on Flickr user. I put everything on there. Outtakes, short videos, scans, you name it. The site says I have 19,590 items posted at this moment. Flickr makes it quite easy to upload and share (or not share) your photos with whomever you please. And it's a snap to organize things however you like. Plus, it offers unlimited storage--and unlimited uploads--for a mere $25/year.

So why Flickr instead of Picasaweb? Up until now, the main issue has been cost. I have far more photos than can be contained in the free 1GB limit imposed by Google. And purchasing 10 more GB cost $20--again, far short of my storage needs. I estimate I would need at least 40 GB, which need will only grow over time, and I'm not prepared to drop $40/year or more on that.

This week, that all changed. Google drastically reduced its storage price to $5 per year of 20GB storage.

I would require the 80GB plan, which costs only $20/year--and that would last a good while before needing even more space.

I am truly tempted to migrate my photos from Flickr to Picasaweb--except that

1) Despite my love of Google products, I'm quite happy with Flickr;

2) it would be a HUGE pain to move all the photos over; and

3) my annual storage needs will undoubtedly continue to rise, eventually pushing me over the 80GB limit, at which time I would need to purchase 200GB at a cost of $50/year. Which, despite the cut-rate cost per GB, is still too much for me to consider.

Five years from now, I very well may have 100GB of photos stored on Flickr, and unless Flickr doubles its rates between now and then, I'll still be paying less than I would on Picasaweb.

All that aside, I may still pay Google $5/year for an extra 20GB of storage. After all, the limit applies to all Google services--including Google Docs, on which I'm amassing quite a few PDFs and Word documents. To say nothing of my ever-growing email archive.

Summary: Great job, Google, for providing an awesome storage option! I just won't be purchasing any today.

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