A software package a day. Day 2: CloudBerry Explorer

I'm working on a project that requires distributing videos to an indeterminate size audience. We have a pretty robust server in place for the project, but media files are by far larger than the web pages that reference them. To avoid creating a denial of service attack on ourselves if the file becomes popular, we decided to host the videos using Amazon's S3 cloud file service. This required creating S3 buckets and files... so out comes CloudBerry Explorer.

Manipulating files on S3 isn't a great experience. Despite being a web based service, there are no web based tools on Amazon's site to handle uploading and managing files within the service. Instead there is a vibrant community of third party tools for doing so. I am using CloudBerry Explorer for this purpose because it provides a clean user interface that reminds me of a FTP tool, which is an appropriate metaphor for what the S3 service does. The program gives clean access to all of the S3 features for creating buckets, adding files and setting permissions.

One thing to remember about S3 in general is that you don’t need to make a bucket public to allow access to the files contained in a bucket. When using CloudBerry Explorer, this is pointed out by creating a s3share.me link to any buckets you share directly… this can be disconcerting, but is actually a good thing in that it highlights a setting you may not want to have made.

Overall I have enjoyed using CloudBerry Explorer, although I must be honest that I’m not sold on the premium version’s features enough to run the beta version of it. Our group only works with S3 files on very rare occasion and our needs are modest. For those modest needs I found CloudBerry Explorer to be more than up to the task though, so if you are needing those advanced features, I would check it out.