Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Saving Photos

I remember my first digital camera...about 8 years ago. A Sony 3.2 megapixel camera, a beauty back then, but now we can universally agree it is a brick. I stopped using it after about four years. Never once did I print out the pictures. I felt like I failed, after all, a hard copy should be the final destination of our photos. When we do not print our photos, does this mean we do not care about the pictures stuck on flash drives and hard drives? We do care! It is just that we have become over-saturated due to the amount of photos we take. There are too many photos and managing them is a hassle. So maybe printing our photos is not feasible for all of us, we must still find a good resting place for them. Our hard drives are fine, but they are not portable like a photo album or their space capacity becomes obsolete after several years. Another idea is the "cloud", a.k.a. internet storage, here are some websites that specialize in photo storage. These website give you the ability to show your photos wherever you have access to the internet.

The options:
Photobucket.com: This is the big fish in the sea. A free account gives you 10 gigabytes to upload every month. To upgrade your account it is $20.04 a year for unlimited storage without monthly restrictions. Photobucket.com has an- easy on the eyes- user interface. They also have an application for iPhone, Google Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile 7. Photobucket integrates well with your Facebook account, so it could help you manage those photo albums. Facebook was not included as an option because of how it compresses your photos.

Flickr.com by Yahoo: This is another option to store photos online. For a free account you get 300 megabytes (equal to 0.3 gigabytes) of storage to upload every month. To upgrade your account it is $24.95 a year for unlimited storage without the monthly restrictions. Flickr is still lacking a mobile phone application for Google Android, they do have the other big mobile OS'es covered (e.g., Apple's iOS, Blackberry, Windows Mobile 7). An added perk to Flickr is that they have an application for Apple TV, so anytime you at a house with Apple TV, you can show off your photos that you saved on Flickr.

PicasaWeb.google.com: Picasa Web Albums is an option that integrates well with your other Google accounts (e.g., Gmail, Google Docs). You get 1 gigabytes of free storage for all time with Picasa Web Albums, which is very little compared to Photobucket and Flickr. You can upgrade to 20 gigabytes for $5 a year, which would also help cover you if you went over your free allotment of storage for Gmail (7 gigabytes) or Google Docs (1 gigabyte). The nice thing about Picasa Web Albums is that it fully integrates with Android phones. Also if you want to share an album, it is simple to set up a page that only people you have invited through e-mail can view.

If you decide to store photos online, remember to back them up to an external hard drive. Think of it like having the negatives to back up your hard copy photos.


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