Hopefully, you don’t have the kind of organization scheme that I have for digital photos and videos, which is to keep multiple copies all over the place and then, when the photos are needed, to pull out old computers, hard drives, and devices to see if they are still stored there. Still, where there are apps, there is hope, so I’m going to review some photo storage options that may make some sense out of the chaos, if not for me, than maybe for you.
These are in the order that they came to me.
Originally, I started using flickr to share some larger videos with my folks at home. flickr was bought up by Yahoo, so your Yahoo login will work, and a free account now has a terabyte(!) of space. flickr is the place for photographers, so if you want to really keep your raw HD files, flickr is probably best. However, a lot of my pictures aren’t being kept because they are works of art, but are just reminders of student work, so flickr is not really be best option for that.
A friend of mine just reminded me of photobucket, a service which I joined, uploaded some videos and photos and promptly forgot. I remember using it when uploading videos was a challenge.
A missed deadline for preparing a presentation that had me rummaging thru my hard drive was the impetus for trying Picasa. Picasa was purchased by Google, and it provides the framework for Google Web Albums (you can find it under the others tab in your google account) as well as having a standalone app. The standalone app can rummage through your hard drive and find all the pictures and videos you have on it, which was a godsend when I was preparing the presentation. However, the Google Web albums allow only 1 gigabyte of space, though this is only for files loaded directly to the Web albums. If you, on the other hand, post your photos, even privately, on Google Plus, you have (at least currently) unlimited storage. The only problem is that you may accidentally post images you want to stay private to all of your google plus contacts.
A similar problem is found with Facebook. The Chief Technology Officer of the CIA, Gus Hunt, in a recent address, said that current numbers suggest that 35% of all the world’s digital photography is going up on Facebook. Since I have gotten my iphone, I have it automatically upload to Facebook, where it is supposed to stay private, but I still feel a bit nervous.
For iPads, iCloud (which is obviously a mac thing) is supposed to be where you keep everything, but unfortunately, it doesn’t handle movies unless they are from the iPad.
Dropbox also has an option where a camera or phone with pictures will automatically upload to a special dropbox folder. Originally, Dropbox had the option of share a folder of pictures with anyone and that functionality has been extended to any folder, but the problem is that you may overload your space limitation if you keep your folders on Dropbox.
A new option is Loom, so new that it doesn’t have a Wikipedia entry. It is designed to “manage your entire photo and video library on every device”, so the key is thinking about smartphones and tablets. It is still in beta, but drop me a line in the contact form at the bottom and I’ll give you an invite. It is sleek looking, but I quickly reached my 5 gigabyte limit.
Earlier, I mentioned that you get around the Picasa limit by posting your photos through Google Plus. Google also owns YouTube, and that’s a place that I’ve been using to store videos of student presentations. It is (as all video uploading is) a much more laborious process than uploading photos, but creating a multi layered solution where you may store one set of pictures or videos with one service and others with another may be the best way to go. Also, keeping your hands in several services allows you to deal with problems should those services disappear.
Put your own explanations about how you deal with photos and video in the comments!