Dear Madam or Sir,
Having just signed on Amazon Cloud Drive, I started testing several solutions to manage my files stored there and sync them.
I’ve tried the Amazon client to upload a back-up of my lossless Music collection to the cloud: it works, but it doesn’t sync and the upload speed wasn’t actually all that great. Moreover, the interface is really bad.
I’ve tried Expandrive, which works well to manage files already stored in the Cloud, but in my case at least offers very slow upload speeds.
I’ve uploaded an encrypted back-up of my work-related and personal files using Arq, which is a great solution, but makes the files a bit harder to restore (you need to work through Arq itself). However, you get access to all the backed-up versions of any given file, just like in TimeMachine, and it’s secure, so for work and personal files it’s perfect.
Then I tried odrive. Which is really great: upload speed to my Cloud Drive is very good, uploads happens transparently in the background and do not interfere with my work, and the ability to sync external folders and to “unsync” files is a boon. So far so good.
There are, however, a couple of issues.
First, at $99 a year, odrive is very expensive. It’s 50% more expensive than ACD itself. I don’t think I’ll be using the encrypted folder feature any time soon for instance, since I use Arq for sensitive files (which I want to back-up incrementally anyway), so I’m not sure that the ability to “unsync” files and to sync external drives and folders is worth that much money year after year. And without those features I just don’t see much use in odrive at all. So I’d suggest having at least an intermediate pricing option, around $30-50 a year, with the unsync and external storage features, but without the encryption and the upcoming backup features. That I’d be willing to pay.
Also, I’ve experienced a serious issue while testing odrive with my Dropbox account. After having uninstalled the Dropbox client from my Mac and while using only odrive to sync my account, I decided to move a folder around inside my Dropbox “Documents” folder. Bad idea: all the files inside the folder were subject to numerous sync operations, whereas they hadn’t been modified at all, and ended up with current creation and modification dates, probably because they took a round trip through the Dropbox server instead of remaining in their original state, which was not at all what I wanted. Not to mention the fact that the whole process was very inefficient and somewhat terrifying: since those were the original files, which I had simply moved on my main machine, what were they being synced with!?!
I then decided to run some tests, unlinking Dropbox from odrive, reinstalling Dropbox, cleaning up my Dropbox account to start anew, restoring the original files from a back-up, and then moving them once again, but with Dropbox managing the sync. And all went well: the files kept their original creation and modification dates and were not modified in any way.
So… I’ve decided to keep using Dropbox for now to manage the Dropbox folder. I just feel safer that way.
I still have a few more days to test the premium odrive features, so I’ll keep on doing that. However, given my experience with the program so far, and despite its great promises, I don’t think I can justify the cost of upgrading just yet.
Which brings me to my last gripe: once my trial ends, I’ll lose the “unsync” feature unless I upgrade. Which means that if I ever, by mistake, double-click on a folder or file I don’t want to download, I’ll then be stuck with a local copy I can’t get rid off unless I actually delete it from the cloud and re-upload it. And as far as I can tell, setting the Sync options to “Nothing” and ckecking the two checkboxes doesn’t do a thing to prevent accidental syncs.
If I’m mistaken, please let me know, but that issue alone, to me, makes the free version of odrive more trouble than it’s worth. I can work around the lack of syncing for external storage, but I can’t work around the traps that the free version lays around for me to fall into. So at least offer a preference somewhere to ask users of the free version to confirm donwloading/syncing items, since they can’t unsync then afterwards. And make sure the “Sync” options, when set to “Nothing” and applied to subfolders and new items, are actually enforced.
As it is, it feels as though you’re actually forcing my hand: either I want to actually use odrive and I must upgrade; or I just can’t use it at all if I want to avoid any headaches.
I hope you’ll find that feedback useful.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you.