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Which cloud sites are best for home movies and home videos?

Home Movie / Home Video Storage Sites (over 20 minute videos)

The following analysis was performed to compare how seven popular cloud sites organize and present digitized home movies, and stream them to connected devices. It also evaluates share features and other attributes that make the viewing and sharing experience better, and addresses pricing.

Bottom Line - We rank Google Drive and Vimeo as the best, for reasons shown below.  Please make sure you see why we do not recommend Amazon Drive or DropBox for your home movies.
 
Rating Criteria:
Site Management - Ease of uploading, organizing, viewing, and sharing your movies.
Guest Viewing / Streaming Experience - Viewing-window aesthetics and ability to view the entire movie via share link.
Viewing Resolution -  Streaming in full 480p resolution. This may sound low, but most home movies, home videos, and even digital tapes up until about 2012 will be captured and digitized at 480p. Few formats transfer at a higher resolution if not recorded with a high definition camera. We do not rate the quality of playback of high-def 720p, 1080p or higher resolution video, but it's likely that all of the sites below accept and stream higher quality videos.
Thumbnail Scrubbing - "Scrubbing" is the act of holding and dragging the dot on the slider bar at the bottom of a video to move fast-forward or reverse.  "Thumbnail scrubbing" is the presence of a small image when doing this, which is quite helpful in knowing the contents of the video at a given point.
Start Movie at a Specific Scene - A few sites allow adding a time mark to the share link, enabling a video to start at a specific scene. This is helpful in sharing an important scene found anywhere in a long movie or video.
Price - Basic pricing for each service.
 
Summary of Cloud Sites (Ratings 0 - 10)

 

Site-by-Site Analysis

Note:  All images below are those of the first screen seen by a guest viewer when they click on a share link from a given cloud site.  In all cases, "full screen" mode can then be selected, which usually eliminates excess information and up-sell messages.

We add notes on Google Photos, Amazon Photos, iCloud Drive and Box at the end of the presentation.

 
DropBox - overall rating: 4
Has a great clear presentation with good thumbnail scrubbing, but ranking is low because guest viewing is limited to the first 15 minutes without an account.
 
Dropbox clearly doesn't prioritize the concept of sharing long form home movies.  Requiring login to view the whole movie makes it a non-starter.

Pros - Easy uploading and sharing, good picture at highest resolution, awesome thumbnail scrubbing, can disable downloading with premium account level.

Cons - 15 min sharing limit unless guest logged in, and movies can't be started at a specific point.

Cost - 2 TB for $9.99 per month
 
YouTube - overall rating: 7
Great video presentation, but its rating is hit hard due to its distracting sidebar of additional suggested videos
YouTube is a feature-rich site made for storing and sharing videos. So it should be perfect for our needs, plus it's free. But the sidebar is simply too distracting.  Advanced users might consider creating a private channel to get around this but it's not made for clean sharing of just one video.
 
Pros - Made for viewing and sharing videos, free service to host and view videos, guest viewers need no subscription, great picture displaying at highest resolution, great visual scrubbing.

Cons - The sidebar

Cost - Free to upload, manage, view and share
 
Google Drive - overall rating: 8
Great presentation and quality, and can set specific start point. Unfortunately, there's no thumbnail scrubbing.
Google Drive is just a solid workhorse of an app. Site graphics aren't beautiful but nested folder organization is quite clear, it's easy to move files from one folder to another, presentations are clean without ads or up-sells, and it does a good job with streaming.

Pros - Easy upload, organizing, and sharing; and viewers do not need subscription. Scrubbing when viewing on a mobile device does provide a preview image of that point in the movie.

Cons - Thumbnail scrubbing not available on a desktop.

Cost - 2TB for $9.99 per month
 
Amazon Drive - overall rating: 3
For storing and streaming Home Movies, Amazon Drive is a non-starter due to the 20-minute time limit.
Like DropBox, Amazon is pretty much a non-starter for your home movies.  Here's why:  per the Amazon Drive Wikipedia entry "Amazon Drive streaming is not available for videos longer than 20 minutes or larger than 2 GB, but these can be stored in Amazon Drive to download and watch offline." 

Pros - Easy upload, good file management and presentation.

Cons - Several concerns, including streaming size limit; does not show all folder levels in same view, and share link takes you to a line entry not the movie.


Cost - $5.00 per month for 1 TB, but only if you have an Amazon Prime account.  

Perhaps of interest:

      Amazon Photos and Amazon Drive Help Topics
 
Microsoft OneDrive - overall rating: 6
OneDrive has a good presentation but the constant "create account" up-sell is visible even in full screen.  
OneDrive does a great job manage your movies but its rating is dinged by not having visual scrubbing and forcing on your viewers an up-sell "sign up" banner even in full-screen videos.

Pros - Easy upload, good file management, 

Cons - Distracting up-sell banner, no thumbnail scrubbing, can't start at a specific scene.

Cost - $5.83 per month for 1 TB ($1.99 for 100 GB)

 

Vimeo - overall rating: 8

Beautiful site with only drawback being videos only and no thumbnail scrubbing.
Pros - It's a made-for-videos site with a beautiful presentation and great sharing, and the ability to start at specific scene. Seems to squeeze the highest resolution from each video. Scrubbing when viewing on a mobile device does provide a preview image of that point in the movie.

Cons - No thumbnail scrubbing on a desktop and this made-for-video site is not made for all your other files, so you may need another cloud site for documents.  5GB/week limit on Basic plan will limit speed of adding to collection.

Cost - $8.00/mo. with no storage limit, but it has a 5GB per week (about 5 hours of 480p MP4 video) limit for uploading that may be constraining.