ZumoDrive Public Beta Adds iPhone Music Streaming, Cheaper Clouds

zumodrive-logo ZumoDrive’s cloud storage offering, a hybrid backup/sync product, moves into public beta today. I took at look at it not too long ago, when it was in a private beta, and concluded that with so many cloud services puffing up on the horizon, I liked the subtle differences that ZumoDrive offers. The interface is intuitive, you can easily keep files locally and there’s excellent integration between web-stored music files and iTunes on your local computer. Your cloud storage appears as a mounted, removable drive in Windows or is easily accessed in the menu bar of a Mac.

Even better — in addition to opening up its beta, ZumoDrive now features a supporting iPhone application and updated pricing.

zumodrive-mainZumoDrive’s free iPhone application (App Store link) complements a paid ZumoDrive account by allowing remote access to files, photos, and music from your Apple (s AAPL) handset. I spent a few days with the app and it’s a great value-add. A simple but effective approach is used to access your information on the ZumoDrive servers. The Files menu offers detailed folder views of all data but there are also dedicated buttons just for Music and Photos.

Using the Music feature, you can stream music directly from ZumoDrive to your iPhone or iPod Touch. The minimal music player even has some iTunes touches to it: I can choose tunes by Artist, Album or Song, and there’s a nice Shuffle feature. There’s no support for DRM-encrypted tunes, but that’s common to most non-Apple iPhone streaming solutions that I know of. Simplify Media is the lone exception that comes to mind.

ZumoDrive’s Photos component is similar to the native iPhone Photos app with slideshow support, pinch-zooming and auto-rotation from portrait to landscape. The obvious difference for both Music and Photos is that you have nearly unlimited storage for those photos — or your music, for that matter. The “capacity” of your iPhone is now the same as your ZumoDrive storage plan, provided you have connectivity.

About those plans: like many others, I originally felt that the pricing model for ZumoDrive wasn’t optimal. ZumoDrive offers 1GB for free, but every block of 10GB was costing $2.99 per month. That’s a simple pricing model and offers a granular level of storage capacity, but it doesn’t compete well against competitors like DropBox, SugarSync and others, and there’s no discount for increased amounts of storage. ZumoDrive appears to have taken that feedback to heart with their new pricing plans. Here’s the rundown of new monthly pricing:

  • $2.99 – 10GB
  • $6.99 – 25GB
  • $11.99 – 50GB
  • $19.99 – 100GB
  • $37.99 – 200GB
  • $79.99 – 500GB
At these prices, ZumoDrive becomes much more competitive. With the free new iPhone application, they look to compete better on value, too.