Test driving ownCloud

I’ve wanted something like this for some time, so I’m glad I met this beautiful project called ownCloud. It is an open source cloud storage service that has some pretty neat features.

The installation was laughably easy: I just ftp’d and extracted the zip file to my www root and provided a username and password in the install page that came up. That was it. It took me quite a bit longer to get webdav working in my stupid windows pc. Anyway I wasn’t too keen on the synchronization aspect so I didn’t bother with it too much. FTP’ing some music and pictures directly to my account’s data directory was sufficient for my purposes.

This is where the project starts to shine. An in-built media player allows music to be streamed automatically. It even persists when navigating to other sections in the ownCloud page (there’s just a momentary skip between page loads). Similarly, uploaded pictures show up automatically in a gallery. For text files, there’s an in-built text editor that refused to work for me (saving a file ended up in a 0 byte file.. maybe a permission problem?)

That’s not the end of it, so far I can see that it has facilities for bookmarks, calendaring, address books, sharing, and so on. Although it occasionally feels buggy, it does a fine job on the whole.