Archive for the 'Photo hosting' Category

Crisis, what crisis? Now I have a dilemma!

Posted by on September 24th 2007 in Photo hosting, Thanks

Those nice peeps over at Zoto have fixed the album-viewing / slideshow-playing problem. Their support team are to be commended for their quick response and exemplary communication.

So, now I'm left with a straight choice... stay with the html slideshows, or convert them to Flash.

Any preference, folks?

Zoto Photo Sharing – my preliminary verdict

Posted by on August 2nd 2007 in Photo hosting

I'm halfway through the 2-week free trial and I have to say that I'm really impressed with Zoto Photo Sharing. It does just about everything that I want it to do, and a lot more besides. I've had accounts with Flickr, Zooomr, Photobox and some others, but they don't match Zoto when it comes to flexibility.

Features that I'm particularly impressed with are:

  • Options for setting the order of pics (by date/time taken, date/time uploaded, title, an exif parameter etc.);
  • Options for setting the number and size of thumbnails for each album;
  • The facility to group pics into multiple albums, and to group albums into multiple sets;
  • Options for setting display colours and template colours (background, text, link, link hover, border etc.), these can be set independently for each album;
  • The bulk uploader;
  • The options for setting permissions;
  • Bulk editing for things like dates, tags, text, privacy, moving pics between albums etc.;
  • The overall ease of use.



Bits that I don't like? Well, there's not much, really:

  • Page loads/refreshes seem a bit slow to me, but that may be due to the steam-powered processor that rattles about in my laptop pretending to crunch those 1s and 0s;
  • The user homepage is still a bit buggy, but it's just minor stuff, nothing to worry about.

But by far the best bit (IMO) is the Support. There's a Zoto forum, where there is a visible proactive approach to dealing with issues and bugs, where you can see that bug tickets have been raised, where you can see that the Zoto staff and community are willing to engage in a dialogue to get things sorted.

So, to sum up, it's the best photo hosting/sharing package that I've used so far. So good that I've just paid a paltry $29.95 for a two-year subscription which doesn't kick in until the 2-week trial period has elapsed.

Have a look and consider trying it out for a fortnight for free - what have you got to lose?

Less is more??? (updated)

Posted by on July 5th 2007 in Photo hosting, Rambling on...

Aha, I think that I've just found the most recent change at Zooomr...

It's quite a significant change...

New comments in the Official Zooomr Blog have been disabled. Comments made before the switch-off are still visible if you look at the individual blog entry (click on the blog entry title).

To quote Kristopher:

"Hey Friends, in an effort to improve our groups system on Zooomr, we’ve disabled new comments on the Zooomr Blog in hopes that everyone will use our groups system on Zooomr."

So, nothing to do with preventing people leaving adverse comments on there, eh? Let's not forget that this censorship comes from a nation that advocates the right to free speech...

(Edited to correct some mistakes that I made!)


Posted by on July 5th 2007 in A bit of a rant, Photo hosting

Zooomr's still rubbish.

Despite the claims of the owners, there has been no significant improvement to the service. Sets/smartsets, tags/labels and exif data are still riddled with problems or not working at all.

Mind you, if you want to watch somebody selling his soul for an iPhone, while ignoring the service requests of his supporters and not making good on promises to them, Zooomr's the place for you.

I’m no longer recommending Zooomr

Posted by on June 25th 2007 in A bit of a rant, Photo hosting

Attentive readers may well remember my 21/05/2007 blog entry concerning the Zooomr Mk III upgrade. Furthermore, said readers may even remember that I have been recommending Zooomr to all and sundry, as up until recently it had been my preferred photo-hosting site.

Well, belay that recommendation (and pardon the outdoorsy pun). At the moment, if you want to do more than just store and refer to your pics, Zooomr Mk III is just rubbish (in my opinion), and at present I'm no longer recommending it to anybody.

The previous release was good. Photos could be tagged and then organised into sets according to those tags. Bulk-uploading programs were available to let users send large numbers of pics, pre-tagged and with the required privacy settings attached. People with websites, blogs, etc could apply for a free Pro Account if they used their Zooomr-hosted pics on their site or blog. Pro Accounts allowed unlimited uploads of unlimited-size pics.

In short, Zooomr Mk II did everything it said on the tin. Sadly, the same cannot be said of Zooomr Mk III. Many of the features of Mk II just don't work now, even though over a month has passed for fixes to be applied...

Tags (sometimes called labels, how consistent is that?) don't work. Most of the tags/labels set for pre-Mk III pics have been lost, and currently there's no facility to bulk-tag/label existing pics. Not that that matters much anyway, because the sets (sometimes called smartsets, how consistent is that?) facility can't find any tags/labels even if they are there, hence all my sets/smartsets are now shown as being empty. And if it did find pics according to tags/labels, the scope for use is limited - pics in sets/smartsets can only be sorted by "Awesomeness" (wtf?) or "Most Recent" (I've no idea whether that means "most-recently uploaded" or "most-recently taken", it's not explained), so if you wanted to organise them in a custom order, you're screwed. The good news is that you can have an unlimited number of these sets/smartsets. Wow, that's generous, you can have as many sets as you want.

EXIF data seems to be treated the same as tags/labels - in some cases it's been lost for existing pics, it's a game of chance as to whether the EXIF data makes it when uploading new pics.

The claimed ability to use the jUploadr bulk uploader is a joke, it no longer works properly for Zooomr (but it does work for Flickr), so this must be due to changes at the Zooomr end of things. Zooomr's own upload page is faulty too. It has a facility to assign tags/labels and privacy settings, but of the pics that make it through the upload process, (and many don't!), most lose their tags/labels and the resulting privacy level seems to be drawn from a hat, so they have to be checked and, if necessary, changed, after upload. Sometimes the changes don't stick, either.

The profile page doesn't work, so it's impossible to change account details such as email addresses. Even the simple things are broken, such as the facility to set an avatar for an account.

A new feature, Geotagging, doesn't work. Now, I know that the Earth still exists, so the geo bit must be fine. Hmmm, maybe it's the tagging bit that's FUBAR?

I could go on and on, the list of problems is much longer, but I don't have the time. If you're the remotest bit interested, you'll get more info on the Zooomr Blog and the Zooomr Mk III Launch Problems page. While you do that, I'll be preparing to send all my pics to a different hosting service.

No, I can no longer recommend Zooomr in it's current state of utter disarray, and I apologise to any that have taken up my previous "good faith" recommendations to use it.

Zooomr’s offline for the Mk III update

Posted by on May 21st 2007 in Photo hosting, Rambling on...

A message from CTO & Founder Kristopher Tate

Please Note: Blogged photos will still be available through this special transition period!

Release Mark III

  • 9 Months in the making
  • Over 250 NEW features, improvements and refinements
  • Sell your photos as stock -- you keep 90% of the sale!
  • Unlimited storage, archival and uploading for all users -- no limits on photo size, either!
  • For developers: An Open API so that you can access all of the richness of Zooomr in your own apps.
  • For more information, please visit our blog
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