He found fault with many existing cloud services. Dropbox capped video streaming at 15 minutes. iCloud, meanwhile, doesn't sync video files. Because of these limitations, Benassaya set out to create Stream Nation, which launched Tuesday, to store, share, and transcode media files.
"There are many verticals where cloud storage is the unit you sell but the utilization is completely different," said Benassaya, who previously founded French music service Deezer. "I'm a dad, I have kids, and I don't want to have any opportunity for anybody to get access publicly to my content. Privacy is at our core, and we will not be public sharing links ever."
Stream Nation users can store files by uploading from their mobile devices, computers, or existing cloud services. For now, media files can be downloaded and stored from Dropbox, but there are plans to integrate with other major cloud services, including Box and SkyDrive. Furthermore, users can save video files by pasting links to web videos. If the permissions allow for it (e.g., TED Talks), the files are stored into users' Stream Nation accounts.
All users begin with 2GB of free storage and can increase that limit to 10GB by completing certain tasks, like referring friends, downloading the desktop application, or following the company on social media. Paid plans begin at $4 per month for 100GB and go up to $19 a month for unlimited media storage. A price comparison of the major cloud services is below (keep in mind Stream Nation is a niche service and doesn't support documents and other non-media files).
Benassaya demoed the service with his account, which featured 250 ripped DVDs and Blu-rays. Though there's some legal gray room surrounding similar usage, he said "what is clear is you can have a private copy of your content," noting users aren't allowed to remove the copy protections. Files shared with users can only be streamed, not downloaded. "There's no notion of sharing a copy," he said. "Only one person can access content at the same time. The physical-life equivalent is like borrowing a DVD."
[Image: Flickr user Hubert Figuière]