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Getting My Feet Wet With Amazon S3.

Logo_aws For a while now, I have been reading about Amazon S3 services.

Amazon S3 is an online storage service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It provides unlimited inexpensive storage via the web.

The first time I heard about it, was by reading Paul Stamatiou’s blog: How I Use Amazon S3.

I own and use a MacBook Air (MBA), first generation. Unfortunately the MBA does not have a lot of storage capacity.

The hard drive which is the same size used in an iPod - 1.8-inch 4200RPM disk- is not rapid. I also do not trust it because I’m concern that the OS is soliciting it too much to function.

Only advice: Backup! ........



To backup my MBA, I use TimeMachine with TimeCapsule at home. It is when I’m away from home that the problem begins. At the office or when I travel, I have no solution to backup my MBA

When I’m away from my office iMac I unable to access to my work files.


The size of my iTunes folder over 100GB prevents using iTunes on my MBA. For the 35GB of my iPhoto, I use a portable external HD that gives me more storage but not more security.

For months, I have been thinking about and searching for a way to have my ITunes and iPhoto accessible from wherever I am without taking “them” with me.

For iTunes, I found one solution: the Application Simplified Media. It is an application you install on your computer (Mac or PC) where the shared library exists and on the computer (Mac or PC) you want to listen to it from. The downfall, I don’t like leaving my office iMac on when I leave.

For iPhoto I have not found another solution except to take an external HD with me when traveling.

Amazon S3:

This week I decide to go ahead and start downloading my iTunes folder using for the first time Amazon S3.

First I opened a new account. The one I use to shop on amazon is a family account so I decided a new one would be better. It was rather painless. Once you get your personal access keys you can use it to enter your Amazon S3 storage space. It can be accessed using your Internet browser, Panic Transmit, S3Fox or JungleDisk


To connect to the S3 storage I use JungleDisk. This utility is used to connect a computer to the Amazon S3 Servers. After launching the JungleDisk application, you enter an Access Key ID and the Secret Access Key of your Amazon S3 account.

You can connect to your Amazon partition on a mac: In the Finder, choose GO - Connect to Server



and enter: http://localhost:2667/


Then you can access to your Amazon Storage space like it was an external HD (exactly like your iDisk on a mac).

What it Does:

JungleDisk offers you a great tool to backup your entire computer including your external HD plugged into the computer.

I start using it this week. Of course the first backup will take weeks if you do it in once. There are different tools offered by JungleDisk look at them they are quite useful. You can backup files in groups by simply selecting them. This limits the backup time. You can schedule a start  up time and limit the backup duration according to your schedule. It will stop and restart the next cession where it left off.

I chose to start the back up at the end of the afternoon and stoped it in the morning before I start working.


Concerning iTunes: I tried to download my iTunes folder. I simply slid the iTunes folder into the appropriate window. Unfortunately some data stopped the download. The transfer failed. I did not succeed and I don’t really understand why.

So, I created a new iTunes library. I reconfigured iTunes to pickup the new library and started downloading some songs. It took a long time to complete but I was quite impress to be able to listen to the music without problem. That was encouraging.

Today, I am using the backup tool to save my original iTunes Folder. When it will be done I will find out if I can use it or not. I will update you here with my results.

What do you use to Backup? Do you use Amazon S3? If yes, how so? I’m still searching for the best way to have my iTunes library accessible from wherever I am and am open to suggestions.