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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    The unequal offerings of photo-storage services




    BEST PRACTICES

    The unequal offerings of photo-storage services




    By Katherine Murray

    For prolific producers of digital images, there's one overriding concern: preservation.

    Online photo services provide a secure place to store and organize hundreds — or even thousands — of images. While none are ideal, some are more useful to the serious photographer than others.

    The full text of this column is posted at http://windowssecrets.com/best-pract...rage-services/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Kathleen Atkins; 2011-11-16 at 16:34.

  2. #2
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    I'm surprised you didn't mention Picasa Web Gallery, the only such service I use.
    They don't try to sell anything, you 2 GB free, 20GB is only $5.00/year, and coordinates with Google Docs.
    The Picasa tools offer substantial editing ability and uploading is a one-click process.

  3. #3
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    The thing that concerns me is the longevity of these services and whether one day they may disappear. I've used Flickr for several years but I still keep multiple copies of images on my own hard drives. Flickr, much though I love it, has not really been developed since Yahoo took over and there must be question marks about its future given what is happening at Yahoo.

  4. #4
    Star Lounger Techie's Avatar
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    I completely second Picasa Web Albums.

    While the price is cheap for additional space, my two favorite features are the ability to share full resolution albums with anyone else who has Picasa, and the easy integration for inserting Picasa Web Albums onto a "Google Site".

    Google Site are wiki-based website. For example, they can be used for making a family website with a blog where you can easily insert your Picasa Web Albums. The blogs even have an easy to use, non-RSS based subscribe feature which sends out any new blog posts to email addresses. This is useful for people who don't know or use RSS.
    Peter
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  5. #5
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    What about Kodak Gallery?

    I think Kodak Gallery is good, myself.
    I switched to Kodak Gallery when yahoo eliminated Yahoo Photos a few years ago, which I thought was great, and inflicted flickr instead, which I disliked altogether.
    Nice capability for creating albums, sharing by email, viewing photos as slideshows, etc.
    Of course they hope to sell you prints, album books, calendars, etc.
    Quality of these is excellent in my occasional experience.
    kodakgallery.com

  6. #6
    2 Star Lounger
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    How about hybrid solutions like Photoshop Elements?

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Has anybody read the Terms of Use for FILCKR / YAHOO?
    Like 8:
    (c) With respect to all other Content you elect to post to other publicly accessible areas of the Services, you grant Yahoo! the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully sub-licensable right and licence to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such Content (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed.

    How can one recommend a service with terms like that? Think of the possible ramifications.

    So is it worth it. To Yahoo / Flickr yes. To you?
    If your images are worth posting, they'll be worth a lot more to you elsewhere.

  8. #8
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    Picasa

    Picasa Web Album wasn't even mention.

  9. #9
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    I work for an agency, and we have 1.2M photos, everywhere. I've been successful at beginning the practice of geotagging here at work, but there are still the legacy collections. We have an excellent ESRI enterprise GIS, so we have several options, but no one here has thought of how to manage this huge collection, until now. Also, as we work out the details of our continuity of operations plans, we would like our response and assessment teams take geotagged photos, send to the "cloud" and get posted to a map for review by our emergency management officials...are you aware of anyone/product that has detailed out this workflow?

  10. #10
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    Unlike Snapfish, Shutterfly offers a "download" option in addition to "save picture as" when you use a right-click. The maximum available resolution for "download" is 1200x1600, but that is a much higher level of detail than the "save picture as" option.
    Snapfish does offer full-resolution downloads as a pay option(0.25 for the first photo and 0.05 for each additional).
    Snapfish requires at least one purchase per year to keep your account active.

  11. #11
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    Picasa Web has gotten even better

    First, my hi-res originals always stay local, stored on multiple NAS and DVD. I don't want to lose my photos.

    After that, I do all sharing using Picasa Web Albums. If you get a Google+ account, Google will allow you to store unlimited images on Picasa as long as the long side of the image is 2048 pixels or less. On most images this is the equivalent of 3MB resolution and is plenty for someone to download and print up to a 3x5 or 4x6 snapshot if they want hardcopy, and certainly more than enough for a full screen display on a high resolution monitor.

    I run my photos through FastStone Photo Resizer, which I keep permanently set to output at 2048. Then I drag and drop the resized copies into Picasa Web, name the new album and select a cover photo. It's as close to effortless as it comes.

    Picasa is as flexible as any other service as far as organization and has a very robust download capability, a mandatory item in my checklist. Google's philosophy of "it's your data" is very apparent in Picasa, something that sets it apart from virtually all of the other commercial solutions.

    And Picasa is not constantly beating you to buy something, so you can get on with what you're trying to do. That's worth a lot in my book.

    Picasa is Google's strategic solution for including photos across all of its products, especially its new reach into social, just as YouTube is strategic for videos, so Picasa is going to be around for the long term. And while no cloud solution should be trusted 100%, Google currently has the most robust cloud in existence.

  12. #12
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    Cloud Storage of Images

    I wouldn't put anything in the Cloud that I wanted, for sure, to be able to retrieve later. Nor would I post content that I didn't want to make freely accessible by the public, no matter how "secure" the service claims to be. If you really have a massive amount of digital imagery that needs organization plus secure backup and retrieval, consider a dedicated server on a local area network whose access you and only you control. Make CD-ROM or removable hard disk backups for off-site storage in a secure location, perhaps a safety deposit box at a local branch of your bank or credit union.
    "Things should be explained as simple as possible,
    but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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  14. #13
    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
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    One evaluation point that should be included with any photo service is the requirement to have to first register before you can view photos shared form someone else. I refuse to do this.

    http://minus.com/ is another new player in this area. And no registration is needed to view any link sent to you.

  15. #14
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    For my modest photo storage needs a free acount from Blue Melon is adequate: "Free accounts have a storage limit of 1GB, a photo count limit of 1000 photographs, and only the basic features enabled. You can keep it forever as long as you login at least once every six months."

  16. #15
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    For my purposes (*) Photobucket looks really good. One thing that bothers me is that one of the primary owners is News Corp/Fox...they are well known for their integrity (oh wait). I guess for now, I'll stick with DreamHost. They're a web hosting service so they're not actually in the 'file backup' business but they offer a 50 gb backup account that, if you exceed the max they just bill you a few cents per gig. Plus, you now own a domain.

    (*) - We have tons of photos. Any photo is stored on at least one computer and backed up to a network drive. The network drive is actually a twin drive setup using an NSLUG with mirrored drives so in order to lose any image, three drives need to fail. We then ftp the images to DreamHost. While DH doesn't backup my backup account, I now have an off site redoubt for our images. Photobucket offers ftp and unlimited storage for a bit less than I'm paying now for DH so it would be an excellent alternative if I could just get over my aversion to News Corp and Fox ownership.

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