Need to Store Mountains of Footage? Google Will Upload Your Media to the Cloud for You

Google Offline Disk ImportEver need to upload massive amounts of data to cloud based storage but can't afford to commit the computing time? Don't have the bandwidth? For $80 you can ship a hard drive to Google and they will upload it to the cloud for you. While currently the service is only available in a 'limited preview' in the United States, this could prove an interesting option for filmmakers needing to store large amounts of data. Hit the jump for more info on Google's Offline Disk Import service.

Offline disk import gives you an option to load data into Google Cloud Storage by sending Google physical hard disk drives (HDDs) of data which we load on your behalf. Using this option can be helpful if you’re limited to a slow, unreliable, or expensive Internet connection.

As cloud storage is becoming more and more affordable, companies like Google are pushing us one step closer to existing entirely within cloud-based editing, storage, and delivery workflows. Go here to sign up to be part of their limited preview of the Offline Disk Import service.

How does it work?

To use offline disk import, write your data to HDDs and then ship the HDDs to a Google import center using a mail carrier. For security during shipment, the data on the HDDs must be encrypted. Upon receiving the HDDs, Google uploads the data into an empty Cloud Storage bucket that you designate. Because the data is loaded directly into Google's network, this approach might be faster or less expensive than transferring data over the Internet.


Offline disk import pricing is based on a flat fee of $80 per HDD irrespective of the drive capacity or data size. Standard Google Cloud Storage pricing fees apply for requests, bandwidth, and storage related to the import and subsequent usage of the data.

Poised to compete for the rapidly expanding cloud media market, Google aims at Amazon, who launched a similar service last year also for $80 but with an additional 3$ per hour transfer fee.

Does this type of service attract your attention? Will you try this out? Share in what ways these could be helpful to your media management habits in the comments below.


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You guys might want to do a write up about Backblaze ( as well. They will back up your entire hard drive (and any external drives you have connected) for only $5/month. It's a good way to get an easy back up for not only your footage, but everything else you have as well! No mailing hard drives or anything, they just take files over your internet connection over time; the initial back up can take a few weeks, but there is no limit to the amount of data they're willing to back up for $5/month.

The main thing is that it is a back up; if you delete a project or assets or something else off your drive, they will delete it off of theirs after 30 days. But as far as a cheap, all time back up for all of your files goes, I don't think a better cloud solution currently exists (or it might, but I haven't heard of it.)

June 20, 2013 at 5:22PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I agree that backblaze in an amazing, cost effective backup service. I personally have over 1TB backed up with them. However I think you might be misunderstanding the scope of the Google cloud - it's meant for MUCH more than backup, and in terms of data access and distribution, offers infinitely more flexibility than a backup service like backblaze does. In fact, while I haven't read all the fine print, I'm sure that using backblaze in such a way would be an egregious violation of the TOS.

June 21, 2013 at 6:34AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I just started using BitCasa.
$99 a year for Unlimited cloud storage (I talked to them about backing up 10TB +).
With cross platform too, so I can back up my computers, ipad and android phone data under the same service.
Only just started with them, but so far I'm impressed!

June 25, 2013 at 12:10AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Amazon does this as well with S3.

June 21, 2013 at 8:53AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Reminds me of this. :-)

June 21, 2013 at 11:07AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


After all the recent news about how insecure cloud data is -- no thanks.

June 21, 2013 at 11:58AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Cloud storage for archiving TBs of 4k footage is incredibly cost-prohibitive.

June 24, 2013 at 1:19PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


If we used google as a backup services vendor, I'd be concerned they'd be doing voice-to-text and facial recognition on my clients' footage.

June 28, 2013 at 9:16PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Cool idea. Send it to google so the feds can have a copy to fish through see if it's approved material.

June 29, 2013 at 5:38AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM



July 6, 2013 at 6:47PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

Daniel Mimura

This article is a bit old but being as it is still the only article specifically talking about cloud backup for filmmakers I thought I'd post this here. I've been looking for a solution for some time now and after looking at the relevant information, can emphatically say I recommend CrashPlan over BackBlaze.

BackBlaze requires you to reconnect external drives every 30 days otherwise your cloud backup of the external drive is deleted. This means if you have multiple hard drives with footage, you need to connect them every month. If you are out of town on a long road trip, your external drive backups are just going to expire and be deleted.

CrashPlan does not have this limitation. Your data lasts for as long as you have a subscription with them, their software is vastly more configurable - you can set backup order priority which is quite useful.

February 4, 2014 at 8:24AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM