I’m a big defender of apps and information in the cloud. So much that when I created my company we used Salesforce.com much before it was logical/practical because I loved so much the concept. And I have photos in flickr that I have nowhere else. And I get to all my email accounts through their web interface. And I mostly listen to streamed music. You get the concept.
A few weeks ago I discovered Turntable.fm and I was hooked. For those who don’t know or can’t access it, it’s a website to share your passion for music. In it you can create rooms to listen music and then you can be a DJ or just a listener. And there is a lot of interaction among users (votes, chat, follows). It’s addictive. One of the features I loved was the ability to add any song I was listening to my queue of music so I could play it in any other moment when DJing. I found many great songs and kept them.
But then, a couple weeks ago, they closed the service for all non-US users. They said they had some licensing problem. Suddenly, all those new songs were out of my reach. It was not only the music itself, which I can get in other places, it was the names of the songs/artists that I couldn’t remember. I had been using the service just for a few days and the damage was not that bad, but it made me think about the reliability of the cloud.
I had read about users losing information on many services on the internet, but it had never happened to me before. It can happen because the service makes a mistake and lose your information, changes its conditions or even disappears. Not all cases are equally severe, but they are all inconvenient. I still prefer to have my information away and accessible from anywhere, but in the future I’m gonna be more careful with which services I trust. Or maybe –likely– I’m just pissed off now and will forget soon.
By the way, last week I was in the US, so I could go into the service and recover the names of the songs. They are now stored safely in a txt file in my hard drive and I will look for the mp3 files when I have time. That list is also somewhere in the cloud because I still love Dropbox. Isn’t that a nice paradox?