Amazon Prime Members Use Cloud Drive to Backup your Photos for Free

For photographers looking for an online backup solution, subscribers of Amazon Prime can now store unlimited photos and videos on Amazon Cloud Drive as part of their Amazon Prime subscription.

The Amazon Prime subscription also includes free 2 day shipping on many products, streaming video of movies and TV shows, streaming music, and access to free Kindle books.  The cost for a 1 year subscription to Amazon Prime is $99.

Amazon Cloud Drive

There are some limitations to Cloud Drive.  Photos must be smaller than 2 GB and videos must be less than 20 minutes long.  There is also a 255 character limitation for file and folder names.

Cloud Drive supports most file types including RAW file formats for most cameras.  Amazon Cloud Drive does not recognize the Olympus .ord raw photo format.  I got an out of space error asking me to upgrade when uploading the last of my Olympus raw files.  Amazon offers unlimited storage for photographs, but evidently doesn't recognize .orf files as photographs.

There is a desktop application for the PC.  However, the Mac application is still in development.  Mac users can access Cloud Drive using a browser.  There are also iOS and Android apps available to backup from your phone or tablet.  Cloud Drive does have automatic backup from the photo library on your mobile device.

For Mac users, Safari does not upload folders of files.  You will need to use the Chrome browser to upload entire folders of photos.  Cloud Drive does maintain your photo structure referring to them as Albums in the menu.  You can also sort the photos and videos by Date Taken or Date Uploaded.

Amazon Cloud Drive Albums

Album Cloud Drive Albums

From the browser, you can also download files to you computer, delete files and share a link to the photo.

With Cloud Drive you have to manually manage new photos that have not been backed up.  If you need to manage a large amount of new photos, this may be a deal breaker for you.  However, this may be a small price to pay for free photo backup for existing Amazon Prime subscribers.

Here are a few ideas for how to manage new photos that need to be backed up to Amazon Cloud Drive.

  • Put them in a separate folder until they are backed up.
  • Flag them in Lightroom.  However, you still need to navigate to the folder, find the file and upload it.
  • Use the tags feature on the Mac to flag files that have not been uploaded.  You can then search for those tags using the finder and then back them up to Cloud Drive.

For comparison, the pricing and features for some other online backup services are listed below.

  • BackBlaze – $5 per month for unlimited data.  You can also backup any attached hard drive at no additional charge.  Backups happen automatically.
  • CrashPlan – $5.99 per month / $59.99 per year for backup from a single computer. $13.99 per month / $149 per year for a family plan up to 10 computers.  Backups are allowed from attached external hard drives.  Backups happen automatically.

Written by Martin Belan

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