How many photos do you have littered across various devices and services? The ease with which we can now snap photos means that most of us now have thousands of images dotted across numerous online services.
Sick of having to jump from one site to another just to find the image you’re looking for? Trovebox is here to help. Consolidation is the order of the day as this is a service that enables you to pull all of your images into one place for ease of access.
The lure of Trovebox is immediately understandable; if you could access all of your photos in one place rather than several, why would you not want to? If the idea of the service sounds familiar this is because Trovebox previously went under the guise of OpenPhoto.
Plans and Packages
As is usually the case, there are free and premium packages to choose from. Both work in exactly the same way, but the Pro account (which will set you back $29.99 per year) allows for the storage of an unlimited number of photos compared to the 100 per month the free account limits you to.
This is not the only difference between the packages, but at the moment many of the key bonuses that are part of the Pro plan – especially support for Picasa and Smugmug – are mere promises at this stage.
Backup and Combine
Trovebox actually serves something of a dual purpose. While it can be seen mainly as a way of accessing images from multiple sites in the same place, there is also the added bonus that your images can be backed up to one of a number of cloud storage services.
During the signup process you’re given the option of linking your Trovebox account to a cloud storage provider. There are a number of supported services – Dropbox, Box.com and Amazon S3 to name but three – and these can be setup straight away or when you have tried out the service for a while.
Trovebox in Action
After a quick and painless setup, you can start the process of importing images from other sites. Of course this means allowing Trovebox to access your Facebook account and any other sites you want to use in conjunction with it (currently Facebook, Instagram and Flickr).
Next up is a matter of just waiting. Just how long you have to wait will depend largely on how many photos you are working with, but it is a generally slow process – have a few cups of coffee on hand to see you through.
While you’re waiting, you can manually upload photos you have stored on your hard drive to help keep everything together, and any images that you do add – whether manually or through a linked account – can be tagged, added to different albums and made public or private.
Opting to use the mobile apps gives you the chance to upload any image from your phone – or tablet – and also to choose to keep your images synchronized. It’s a nice touch, but with Google+’s instant upload and numerous other ways to tackle the problem, it does feel slightly redundant.
So, is it worth it? The free version of Trovebox certainly has its limitations. Being able to pull in images from Facebook and Instagram is useful, but anyone who is more serious about photography is going to have them stored on Flickr – and this means having to cough up for a premium account.
To some extent the service is extremely useful, and it has been extremely well implemented. But it does introduce an almost unnecessary layer of complication and, possibly, cost. If you have paid for a Flickr account and want to make use of Trovebox, you will also need to pay the annual subscription for a Pro account.
If you have a large number of photos that need to be backed up – regardless of whether you are using all of the supported services or just a couple of them – and you may well find that the free storage quota provided by the likes of Dropbox are insufficient; this means yet more cost when you have to upgrade cloud storage.
Trovebox is easy to use, great to look at, and a somewhat valuable way to safeguard files. But it is slow and it is expensive for what it is. This is one to watch, certainly, but there is a little way to go before all your hopes and expectations are met.