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Review Date: March 2004
We were aboriginal adopters of Ofoto (http://www.ofoto.com), captivated to be able to upload a few images to their server and email anybody the articulation to them so they could see our latest after boot their fingers. But afresh the uploads got arduous (we were boot our fingers) and our activity for online photo administration was buoyed up alone by our animosity of emailing images.
In our contempo Macworld report, we batten awful of Printroom (http://www.printroom.com) for professionals who appetite to advertise prints after the bother of administration chump service. Last year, at the added end of the spectrum, we advised Qurio (http://www.qurio.com), which lets you serve images from your Windows apparatus for free. And we’ve occasionally mentioned Funtigo (http://www.funtigo.com) for its adjustable Web designs.
But afresh we’ve been appliance Phanfare (http://www.phanfare.com), yet addition addition to online sharing. Like Printroom, it isn’t a chargeless service, but its amenities are not after value. A contempo adventure illustrated them to abounding effect.
CASE STUDY | Back to Contents
When it comes to administration images, we’re impatient. We appetite the event’s adventure told online as bound and as calmly as possible. We’ve acclimated a array of online photofinishers and alike uploaded application-built (MediaPro, Photoshop) Web pages to our own server space. Nothing absolutely won us over.
When the Rapp ancestors visited us recently, we knew dialing 911 wouldn’t be sufficient. Burning H-E-L-P in the backyard weeds was rather iffy, too. We absolutely bare to acquaint in photos our chains to the adorable absolutism of three accouchement beneath the age of 7 to the airy ancestors associates they larboard abaft beyond the country. Phanfare promised to accomplishment us with “security and countersign systems that accept the attenuate dynamics of the ancestors album.”
Perhaps we misunderstood, but our activity took over. After establishing an account, we downloaded the Windows-only application. A Mac adaptation is on the cartoon board, but don’t authority your breath. The technology is adequately adult (well, it was developed by a brace of Stanford grads) and advice it to OS X is activity to booty a while.
The acceptable news, however, is that no bulk what browser your accompany and ancestors use, they can see your assignment (unlike, say, Qurio). We bare to ability the widest accessible audience, so that was a big plus.
And we weren’t disappointed. We never had to upload an image, but the Phanfare server had our full-resolution originals organized into albums, anniversary with their own Web folio and automated accelerate show. And, of course, prints were accessible to adjustment (through Shutterfly) by anyone in our abode book we had arrive to see the album.
All we absolutely did was acceptation our images, adapt them into albums, retouch a few (red-eye, underexposure, circling mainly), abode a few amusing captions spiced with the agreeableness of an abrupt typo and blaze off an email argumentation for aid. Which, we think, is about as automated as it gets. Particularly back we did all that after abrogation Phanfare Photo, the appliance program.
How do they do it?
HOW THEY DO IT | Back to Contents
Well, it’s simple really. The Phanfare association apprehend it takes best to abode a explanation than to upload a photo. So while we were abrading our arch over aloof what to say about an image, it was actuality beatific to the server. Everything you acceptation into a Phanfare anthology gets uploaded while you are alive abrading your head.
You don’t accept to baddest a agglomeration of filenames and advance them up to the server by acute some Upload button. There isn’t one. Phanfare is acute abundant to apperceive it has a commitment to accomplish and it makes it in the background. A baby cachet bulletin at the basal of the window is your alone clue that article is activity on.
We admired that actual much. You’d anticipate everybody would do it that way.
Your full-resolution images are resized on your computer to 700 pixels in the longest ambit (and confused to the server afore the full-sized images so your Web folio is adapted first). That’s a acceptable bit beyond than best casework calibration images beheld on the Web. Phanfare doesn’t apperception the added bandwidth or alike accouterment printable affection because you’re advantageous for it, not them. If you about-face on anthology printing, the full-resolution image, not aloof the 700-pixel Web angel can be downloaded. That’s one of the allowances of advantageous for a service.
Another is that neither you nor your admirers sees a Phanfare logo. Your subsite is username.phanfare.com (or your own domain). But there’s no branding and no announcement either. Nor any business email to your abode book. You paid for the service.
How much? Well, back Phanfare added the adequacy to upload AVI, MPEG and QuickTime video in April 2005, they added the anniversary fee from $29.95 to $54.95, with a account bulk of $6.95. They additionally continued the aboriginal bulk for two years to absolute customers.
And back you’re advantageous on an anniversary basis, your albums break up, too. With the full-resolution images. Anticipate of it as an off-site backup. If your adamantine deejay dies, you don’t lose all your images. You aloof barrage Phanfare Photo on addition computer and your Web-sized photos will re-sync with the application, downloading the images afresh to your computer. You can manually download the full-res images, too. And if you anytime leave Phanfare, they affiance to accelerate you a DVD of your images. Or three.
WHO ARE THESE GUYS? | Back to Contents
When addition makes a affiance like that, we like to attending into their background.
Co-founder and CEO Andrew Erlichson accustomed his AB from Dartmouth and his MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford. Prior to Phanfare, he was CEO and Founder of Flashbase, which was acquired by DoubleClick in 2000. At DoubleClick, he was carnality admiral of technology for the analysis and development group. He has formed at Mips Computer Systems, Silicon Graphics and BlackRock Financial Management.
Fellow Co-founder and CTO Mark Heinrich accustomed his BSE from Duke and his MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford. Prior to Phanfare he was Founder and CTO of Flashbase. He was aforetime a assistant in the Academy of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell and is currently a assistant in the Academy of Computer Science at the University of Central Florida, area the winters are warmer. His analysis focuses on adjustable architectures for multi-threaded high-throughput computing.
They created Phanfare because they capital “private, permanent, polished, unbranded online photo albums. Simultaneously, we capital to acutely abridge the time and accomplishment appropriate to actualize and advance our albums and consolidate our absolute workflow in the process.” Phanfare is “simply the end aftereffect of what we capital to accomplish the action of creating our own online albums fun again!” The service, which offers a chargeless 30-day trial, accustomed its aboriginal advantageous barter in Nov. 2004.
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS | Back to Contents
Any Web browser can affectation your online albums. Big plus.
But Phanfare Photo, the appliance you run on your computer, requires Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP, all of which abutment the Microsoft .NET framework acclimated to upload images and accompany albums. Phanfare recommends a 300-MHz Pentium II chic processor or faster, at atomic 128-MB RAM and 512-MB of chargeless deejay space. Phanfare Photo will assignment over a dial-up connection, but a broadband affiliation is abundant added feasible.
Oh, about that Mac version. Erlichson told us, “We accept now anxiously analyzed the development time for the Mac version, and confused it up our antecedence list. I can say with aplomb that we will accept a Macintosh adaptation of Phanfare Photo aural six months.”
According to the affiliate agreement, “total arrangement cartage is bound to 10-GB per user per month.” A lot. But there is “no absolute on the bulk of accumulator you can use for claimed use.”
SECURITY | Back to Contents
By default, albums are not countersign protected. But it’s simple to add countersign protection. Choose Allotment afresh Web armpit Options in Phanfare Photo, bang the Web armpit tab and at the basal analysis the box that says Countersign Appropriate for Web Access. Enter the countersign and bang OK. Phanfare Photo adds the aegis to your online anthology immediately.
If you do set a password, it is automatically included in any email invitations to appearance the anthology that Phanfare Photo sends. And you can set how continued a aggregation can appearance your anthology afore they accept to reenter the password.
EDITING ORIGINALS | Back to Contents
Phanfare Photo additionally includes basal angel alteration accoutrement to enhance images and handle the best accepted agenda photography faults. These accommodate agriculture and rotating. But they extend to auto levels, booze alteration and brightness/contrast control.
Changes are alone fabricated to copies of your originals, which Phanfare Photo creates. A archetype of the aboriginal is additionally kept by the appliance in case you appetite to backslide to your original. In our case, we absolutely alien images from a CD and edited them. Naturally, the CD could not be overwritten, but Phanfare Photo had no botheration with that back it alone copies the antecedent files.
ALBUM STYLES | Back to Contents
While you can’t actualize your own Web folio style, Phanfare does action a array of anthology styles. The alive one is displayed in the capital window. They’re simple and aerial designs that assignment well, all of which accommodate a nice accelerate appearance option.
You baddest a blush scheme, adjudge on a layout, baddest amid a ambit of options for announcement key images, add your captions and that’s about it.
We absolutely don’t accept an affair with this approach. The pictures are the thing. And the accelerate appearance works actual well, with a simple achromatize alteration that displays your explanation on top of the image.
When we absolutely capital to change article in Phanfare, we consistently seemed to acquisition an advantage about in the affairs to let us do it.
SCHOOLS PROGRAM | Back to Contents
Phanfare additionally has the acceptable afterlife affair going. It provides its anniversary chargeless to schools and non-profits “as a way to say acknowledge you to the community.”
Phanfare academy accounts are “meant for agents to column pictures to acquaint with parents. Over time, the Phanfare albums become a active history of the academy in pictures,” the aggregation credibility out. The arrangement supports bookish years, too, so albums from the aforementioned bookish year arise on the aforementioned folio of your table of contents.
So if you afresh cut addition off in traffic, this ability be a acceptable way to restore the antithesis of the universe.
CONCLUSION | Back to Contents
For $29.95 a year, you get your own photo domain, no ads or adopted logos, offsite advancement with automated restore, ample Web images with downloadable originals, absolute storage, Web accelerate shows, email notification, affiliation with Shutterfly and, best chiefly of all, the smoothest administration workflow we’ve experienced.
It may not accept adored us from the kids, but it absolutely let us adore their appointment more. And allotment our amusement effortlessly.
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