In light of recent disclosures many people are feeling reluctant to stick their data in the hands of service providers like (ahem, Google, cough). This has been a project I have been working on for a little while and thought I’d share some of the things I have found useful over that time to help folks who are looking for the same information.
I won’t go too far into this, since it’s a world in itself, but I prefer to use IMAP/SMTP over mail services from Google, Yahoo, etc. Especially given Google’s drift away from standards (and their drift away from the old Don’t be Evil pledge).
CalDAV and CardDAV are fairly well recognized standards for managing calendars/contacts. There are a variety of servers out there. If I were looking to manage mail with the same suite I would probably go with Kolab.
I use DAViCal for the server. It’s one of the more tested options out there, and it’s well supported by clients. It’s relatively easy to install, and once you grok the admin interface it’s easy to configure.
On the desktop I use KDE‘s built-in support (it even has presets for DAViCal!). CalDAV is natively supported by Apple, so there are no issues there. On Android it is easily supported by installing the excellent CalDAV-Sync.
The author also has a CardDAV client available as well.
I floated between Google’s Picasa service and Yahoo’s Flickr for a while, but was furstrated by their limitations. After that I was a long-time user of the SmugMug and still like the service, but I wanted to bring my photo-management in-house.
I have found a home in Piwigo. It has all the normal advantages of online photo-management and the ability to share without requiring the people you share with to buy into Facebook, Google+, etc. But you can also add a directory of photos directly to the underlying filesystem and have it pick it up as a new album. This feature alone makes me very happy.
The thing about music services like Spotify, etc al. is that they only provide me with a subset of the music I want at too high of a price for something I already paid for.
Although the “Premium” version has a ugly subscription model, really the only solution I have found is Subsonic. At least the fee is a reasonable $1/month. And the Subsonic Android app is pretty nice to use as well.
I’ll add more as I think of them or find them for myself. If you have one you love feel free to reach out to me.