The problem with Carousel, the new app from Dropbox released today to organize, present, and share photos isn’t the app itself, it’s what it’s built on.
Carousel is a fantastic app for mobile presentation of photos. Quick and easy to find old photos and show and share them. It’s really one of the better cloud photo apps I’ve tried. The real problem is that it’s build on Dropbox, which is a service created for cloud storage of documents and not for media. And that service is still priced for documents and not media.
Let me back up a second. Dropbox is an amazing service. I’ve used it and paid for it for years. But I’ve never considered it a great place to store photos, video, or other media files. The problem is that is is really expensive right now. In a time where Google is charging $10/month for a terabyte, and Flickr gives every user a free terabyte for images, Dropbox is charging 10x what Google is, and without upgrading to a business plan users can’t even get more then 500GB in an account (for $50/month).
Media piles up quickly. Especially so with photos since every reader of this blog likely has a camera with them at all times of the day, every day. I myself have well over 700GB of images that I’ve stored up from 10+ years of digital photography. I’ve just now started scanning old family photos and there are thousands of those waiting to be completed. All in all I’ll probably need close to a terabyte for just my images to store a “lifetime of memories.” And that doest even count the birthday, vacation, and all the other special occasion videos. This type of media is easier and easier to take and edit, but they will also fill up a Dropbox account very quickly.
So for now, Carousel is a great app, if you have a few hundred photos, but it doesn’t really fit the first selling point that Dropbox is touting it as, it doesn’t allow a lifetime of memories. That is unless you don’t have a lot of memories.
I think Dropbox will be forced into dropping their prices soon. Perhaps they are ready to do it now but didn’t want to take the focus away from the new features. Cloud storage is a commodity, and Dropbox is way overpriced right now.