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Cloud file sharing (dropbox, GoogleDrive) is failing our shared folder use case
2 points by socialist_coder 920 days ago | 7 comments
I am a cofounder of a small indie game development company. We have 2 real employees and 5 contractors (almost all artists), all contributing to the project.

We want an easy way for them to send their art files to us, view the existing art, and play the latest build (a native app).

Dropbox fails at this because our project folder is 2+ gigabytes large (due to many huge art files) and none of our contractors have a paid Dropbox plan so this pushes them over their quota.

Upgrading to Dropbox for Teams doesn't seem like the right solution because it requires converting their accounts over to our Team, and Teams have a few problems that seem like deal breakers to me ( http://colinsmillie.com/2011/11/23/the-problem-with-dropbox-teams/ ). Since we have all contractors, what do we do when we no longer need their services? It's not easy with Teams.

It would be great if we could just setup a new Dropbox account for each contractor (and put that on our Teams) but the Dropbox app only lets you sync 1 account per computer. Sigh

We then tried to use Google Drive since one of us could buy extra space, put the whole project in there, and then share it. Great, this works awesome. The space doesn't count against anyone else's quota.

But, Google Drive has a severe and almost laughable problem- new files are owned by the person who uploaded them and not by us. So, if we remove them from the project, all their files disappear. Their files also count against their quota, not ours. And, there is no way to change ownership of the new files unless both accounts share the same account domain (so everyone would have to use a new Google drive account just for us, which is not a solution since Google drive only supports 1 account per computer, just like Dropbox).

This type of security model makes sense when it was just a flat hierarchy of Google Docs but it doesn't seem appropriate for entire shared folders.

So, we're kind of at a loss as to how to do what we want to do. It seems like a simple use case. We want to pay for a bunch of space and then have multiple people use it, without it impacting their own space quotas and any file added is owned by us.

Another idea is to just use real source control for the art files (we're already using Github for the actual project), but git / svn / mercurial have terrible workflows for Artists. Perforce would be the only thing I would be comfortable with using (since it's so much easier for them to add their new files without having to sync) but that would require setting up our own Perforce server, creating accounts, etc etc a lot of hassle.

We're leaning towards just using Dropbox for Teams and dealing with the problems. I also see that some people have had success in using multiple Dropbox accounts on a single computer, but since this is not a officially recognized workflow by Dropbox I'm not sure I want to go down that road since it might break or have other undocumented problems.

This type of workflow seems simple and common. I'm amazed that none of the cloud storage providers seem to handle it. Any ideas? Are we doing something wrong here?




I find http://www.pixelapse.com/ is an interesting solution when it comes to work with creatives. It's called a github for creatives.

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Wow, great suggestion. I will check this out for sure.

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Cloudpic (http://www.cloudpicglobal.com/) is also attempting to address this problem. I can't vouch one way or the other and have no affiliation.

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i wonder if http://sparkleshare.org would do you any good? I've not used it, but it seems like a friendly frontend to such an operation.

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We're solving exactly this problem at Filosync. I can give you an alpha version of the Mac app before end of February. Email me at stefan@filosync.com if you'd like to try it.

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couple of other suggestions:

https://www.aerofs.com/ http://mega.co.nz

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Try Otixo -- www.otixo.com

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