Amazon.com offers a great data storage service called S3. On this service you can store video, audio, PDFs, backups of your computer, etc. Many hosting companies charge hefty overage fees if you exceed the bandwidth allotted to your account, like when your web site visitors play videos you have embedded in your site. Watching videos on your site can burn through the bandwidth allotment on your hosting account before you’re aware of it. Amazon S3 offers a very inexpensive alternative for all media usage on your site. However, the downside of Amazon’s S3 service is that it isn’t very user-friendly.
Now, there’s a Firefox plug-in you can use to help you manage all of your files on Amazon S3, the S3 Fox Organizer. The S3Fox Organizer offers the ability to upload or download files to and from Amazon S3. The interface, which opens in a Firefox browser tab, looks much like that of FTP clients with a dual-pane layout. It displays files on your PC on the left, files on Amazon S3 on the right, and status or information in a panel on the bottom. The plug-in works on Windows, Linux and Mac.
After setting up your Amazon S3 account, S3 Fox Organizer will prompt you on your AWS Access Identifiers, which includes your Access Key ID and Secret Access Key. Note that Access Key ID and Secret Access Key are as good as your username and password so you should keep them safe. Click on Amazon on Your Web Service Account, choose AWS Access Identifiers to retrieve them.
Your Amazon S3 account starts with a clean root account. On the root is where you create buckets. Bucket is Amazon S3′s terminology for root folder. You can create multiple buckets, and inside buckets is where you place your folders and images. To launch S3 Organizer, in Firefox, go to Tools, and select S3 Organizer. Then create your first Bucket (folder) and upload your images, audio, or video. To make your file accessible to the public (your site visitors), right click on the file name and choose “Edit ACL.” Make sure Everyone, Authenticated Users and me(Owner) has read access.
To get the URL of any uploaded file, right-click on any particular image, select “Copy URL to Clipboard.” Your URL will look something like this: https://hongkiat.s3.amazonaws.com/10yearsago/amazon_10ya.png. Lastly, if you right click on your file and go to “Get Pre-signed URLs,” you can set a time limit on how long the URL is available for download.
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