So I am building a web service which is going to be hosting files up to 500mb in size, and am finished with the coding and now deciding on hosting. I see that Amazon Web Services is very popular, but Google Compute Engine + Cloud Storage seems a viable alternative. Now if a get a lot of traffic I will probably want to implement a CDN, and I've heard that GCS is kind of sort of like a CDN/storage hybrid? Which of these is less stress to set up and implement? If Cloud Storage basically has CDN functionality then it will just work from day 1, but using S3 + Cloudfront seems more expensive. Cost is a major factor because we are bootstrapped as heck.
Neal, IMO I would go with AWS, utilizing S3+cloudfront. S3 is extremely cheap storage, and cloudfront is very inexpensive as well.
I suggest checking out the AWS Simple Monthly Calculator to figure out your expenses: http://calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html
Depending on your needs, it might be worth checking out the AWS Free Tier, as if this is your first time using the platform, you can take advantage of a lot of awesome AWS service offerings for free: http://aws.amazon.com/free/
Hope that helps-