Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Where to store your photos if you don’t have a computer?

Now that almost every smart phone is also a camera. There are a lot of people taking photos and many of them will just have the phone not a personal computer, or they may have to share computer access. The result is often photo spread all over the place. Some on social media sites, other hiding on old equipment or on a variety of computers, USB key and external hard dives. Whilst the idea of cloud storage of photos is not new it is certainly being offered by more and more services.

Canon have had a service, irista, like many other photographic and social media companies, for some time that offers on-line storage, The difference is they are now prompting it as the perfect place to store all your photos and offering a decent 10 gigabyte storage for free, What’s more you can sign up with your log in from a number of popular social media log ins, like facebook, twitter, google+ or Yahoo! As a photo manager this offering are more than adequate you can filter tag and organize your photos into albums or find them by date, camera etc. The on-line web pages can be accessed wherever internet access is available, there are apps and utilities to help upload photos. It can be set up much like dropbox, but after my experience with google+ backup hoovering up any photo or image I work on. So I am just letting the irista uploader sync from a specific directory at the moment  I use picasa to export to that directory and soon after the photos are settled into irista on the web. Very simple but importantly under my control.

There is an important clause in their terms of service, something like this needs to be in a lot of other services, but isn’t.

 6.2. We don’t own Your Content or any of the intellectual property rights in Your Content.; 

The terms of service do go onto some restrictions of what you can upload, and conditions that the service might be cancelled. They are fine, mainly ensuring your account is not used for anything unlawful, but make sure you read them for yourself Canon are also promoting the idea that their on-line storage is the one place to safely store your memories

All it takes is a lost phone, a damaged camera, or a broken or corrupt hard drive, and your photos and memories could be lost forever.

However remember safe storage “forever” just means as long as Canon provides the free service (which is likely to be a long time and they are also most likely to give you the option to transfer out, rather than just shutting down). At present sharing is limited to just facebook and flickr (ie no private sharing via email) and share can ne revoked. At present you can not edit the images on-line, and I see this as a significant limitation compared with google+. So I see this service primarily as a storage and organizing facility aimed at mobile users. I would not recommend using irista, or any other on-line service, as the only place to stored photos but it is a good place to start if you lack your own computer space.

This little teaser video doesn’t go into detail but it should give you an good idea of what they are promoting. If your photos are scatter across lots of devices, (computers, phones old memory cards) and places (instagram. facebook, twitter) now might be a good time to think of consolidating where they live, and a free account on Irista will probably suit most family and causal photographers.

irista teaser video from Canon Australia on Vimeo.

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