Stream Nation: cloud-powered media storage and streaming service

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 24, 2013
Updated • Jul 24, 2013

Many popular file synchronization and hosting services such as Dropbox, Google Drive or SkyDrive ship with media streaming and viewing capabilities. These services have been built on top of a service's basic functionality however and it shows at times that this is the case.

The recently launched Stream Nation service aims to change that by making media storage, streaming and viewing its prime purpose.

Anyone can join the service right now and start using it right away. New free users get 2 Gigabytes of storage which they can increase to up to 10 Gigabytes by inviting friends or completing a selection of tasks such as installing the Stream Nation uploader on the computer or a mobile device, or adding the first video or photo to the service.

Unlike other services, bandwidth is not unlimited, at least not when it comes to the free account. You get 5 Gigabyte of streaming bandwidth per month, and if you need more, your only option is to subscribe to one of the premium plans.

These premium plans start at €4 per month (if paid annually) and offer unlimited streaming and more storage. There is even an unlimited plan that gets you unlimited storage and bandwidth for €19 a month.

Uploading media

You can add content to Stream Nation in a variety of ways. This includes uploading videos or photos directly from the web, your computer or mobile, or from Dropbox. The web uploader is particularly interesting as it enables you to upload media by pasting a link into the upload form. The service supports several popular media hosting services such as YouTube, TED, Vimeo and also magnet links, the latter meaning that it is capable of downloading torrent files to the account.

If you want to upload files from your computer, you do need to use the uploader for that. It is available for PC and Mac at the time of writing. It will suggest a couple of source directories for upload including local photo and video folders but also media from Picasa or LightRoom if installed on the system.

According to the uploader, all albums, tags and events will be imported alongside the media. The service supports the majority of picture and video formats so that you should not really run into any compatibility issues in this regard.


Once you have uploaded your first batch of images or videos, you can start to stream or view them online. Just click on the video stream or photo stream links on the left to get started.

You will notice that a couple of videos and photos are already stored there so that you can preview the feature even if you have not uploaded media of your own. The videos act as tutorials that explain core concepts of the service, while the photos demonstrate the slideshow and photo viewing capabilities.

All media can be downloaded from the site to the local system. This includes the original format and also other formats that the service may convert the videos in to. This did not work well for all test videos that I uploaded, as the suggested conversion to mp4 increased the size of the original video so that it would take longer to download it even though the download overlay suggested otherwise.


Stream Nation puts the focus on relations with other users. You can invite friends which we have already discussed, and also make new friends on the site. A difference to Dropbox and comparable services is that you cannot make your videos or photos publicly accessible. You can only make them private, share them selectively with friends, or with all friends on the site.

The service side-steps issues with copyright holders and rights-organizations because of this.

You can share individual videos or photos, or create and share so-called collections, which are albums of sort that may contain several media files (think photos of the last family vacation or videos of college courses. Photos and videos can be mixed in a collection, which may come in handy as well.


The 5 Gigabyte streaming limit for free accounts has already been mentioned. There are a couple of other issues right now. There is for instance no Android or Windows Phone version of the application (only iOS), no Linux uploader, and only an extension for Chrome and not for Firefox.

The video player adjusts its size automatically to the window, with a large part of it being occupied by a sidebar that lets you add people, events, tags or notes to the video in question. An option to hide that sidebar to make additional room for the video player would be really helpful.

Closing Words

Unless you only want to move a small collection of media to Stream Nation, you will probably need to subscribe to a premium account to make full use of the service as 5 Gigabyte of streaming bandwidth is just not enough to get started.

The functionality on the other hand is excellent, especially the ability to download magnet links right to the storage is a great addition that other major file hosting and syncing services do not offer.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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