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Jungle Disk 2.0 learns to share

Jungle Disk, one of the slickest ways to access your Amazon S3 account, has officially updated to version 2.0. I have two words to say: compatibility and bucket. Compatibility buckets are by far my biggest cause for celebration. You see, I have a disorder that doesn't allow me to do things with just one utility or application, I have to make use of every tool available. I guess it's similar to more mechanically inclined folks who fetishize power tools. I digress. The long and short of it is that compatibility buckets no longer store my files in a flat, proprietary file system. Not only does this mean other tools can access my Jungle Disk buckets, I now have the ability to move and rename files, which I didn't previously. Upgrading your buckets to the new format is optional, and in my experience can ruffle a few feathers if you use it in a shared environment. For reasons noted previously, I was willing to take the flak.

I've only toyed with -- but never used seriously -- the offsite backup features of Jungle Disk. I would say from my brief forays, though, that they rival CrashPlan's abilities. As noted by our friends at the Download Squad, the interface is much nicer now on every platform (Jungle Disk is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux -- there's even a USB version). There are also new command-line tools included, which is great for scripting and automation. If you use Amazon S3, or if you're looking for cheap and massive storage options, Jungle Disk has officially become worth looking at, in my book. The release notes shed light on quite a few improvements I've neglected to mention.

The program is $20 and is a one-time purchase with free upgrades for life. You get licensed versions for Windows, Mac and Linux, and free reign to install on as many machines as you like with a single license. For $1/month more, you can get Web-based file access, block-level file updates and upload resume features. The storage pricing itself is direct from Amazon and runs about 15 cents per gig with additional charges for transfers ($0.10/gig upload, $0.17/gig download). Jungle Disk is free to try.

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