My very ownCloud

30 12 2011

A few days ago I was talking with someone about how frustrated I was with the current cloud providers. I mostly just disapprove of how badly my data is treated by the cloud providers. I am not a massive security zealot but I do try to be careful with my data. I have tried several different providers and I just am either not happy with their service or their policy agreements.

While stumbling around on the net in frustration trying to answer this question, I ran into http://owncloud.org/. I was very skeptical at first as it seemed like a very new project. I figured it was worth a try though.

As I prepared for the install (by reading all the docs I could find about the project), I got really super excited. I was going to toss it up on my virtual machine but I got so excited that I ended up doing the install to my ‘production’ system (well about as “production” as it gets for my personal home system…still I don’t like to muck it up). All went well and it was quite easy to get working really fast.

I uploaded a few files and enabled a few plugins and thought ‘Ok. Not perfect. But a decent start.’ As I poked around on the site I really began to like it.

Here is a run down of the plugins I am using.

Files:
Simple enough. You can create text files or directories and you can upload files. When I created a text file I was able to edit it with a basic editor that does most everything I need. I created a few directories and uploaded a few things. The download button worked for files but not for folders. The share button was nice as i could share with a person, group, or public. Most seemed to work as expected.

The only two things I really feel should be addressed are:
1) When uploading a file, all I see is a spinning icon. No display of progress or how much longer the upload will take.
2) It would be nice if I could upload a folder. I tried a few things but they didn’t seem to work. Uploading a file just works, but folders were not working.

Music:
I was surprised and delighted to see that after uploading a (legit!) music MP3 download in the Files section that the tracks appeared in the Music section. The player was working and everything seemed pretty good. The interface was a bit kludgy but it wasn’t hard to figure out. I decided to upload more music. A new album I got for Christmas. An album I ripped to FLAC (like I do all my CD’s). A good 90% of my music collection is in FLAC. The music player stopped working. It didn’t start working until I deleted all the FLAC files.

This was highly disappointing and in my opinon really needs to be addressed…

Contacts:
Simple interface. Handles all the contact information one would expect it to hold.

I do wish there was a notes section.

Calendar:
I set a few appointments/events and while it worked I don’t know how much I will end up using it. I am going to try to use it more because something seems off about it but I can’t place what. Maybe it is just me. But until I can figure out what is bothering me, I can’t write a just and descriptive review of it.

Gallery:
This didn’t seem to auto update after uploading files. Maybe it just had not had the chance to scan. However, a manual scan picked up the files. The preview pictures seemed to be only partial center portions of the image and as such the thumbnail view didn’t really show anything useful in the pics I uploaded. However, clicking on them brought up the full image and I was very please about how easy it was to navigate.

No comments on things to do here.

Bookmarks:
Basic bookmarking feature. Nothing too special. Works just as I expected it to. I found another webpost suggesting that I should be able to link my browser on KDE (Rekonq) to the bookmarks feature. I have not tried this yet, but if it does work that would be very nice as it would be my own bookmark sharing utility.

Over all I am very impressed and I can’t wait to see what they do in the future.

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2 responses

17 01 2012
Frank Karlitschek

Thanks for you nice review of ownCloud. The suggestions are really helpful. We have a bugtracker now so it would be great if you could fill you suggestion into bugs.owncloud.org

Thanks a lot! :-)

Frank

17 01 2012
~Stack~

Thank you for your work on the project!

I have been following the mailinglist and most of the issues I have seen with open cloud appear to be a work in progress. I am following the progress of 3.0 closely and I can’t wait to see it in action. Hopefully I will have some time in the near future to upgrade to the beta and give you some useful feedback while the project is in the bug crunch mode.

Thanks again!

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