Trovebox: All of Your Photos in One Place

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.


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A new name, a new look. Trovebox is the new name and face for OpenPhoto.

A new name, a new look. Trovebox is the new name and face for OpenPhoto.

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.

Free or paid for? Which you go for depends on how many photos you take.

Free or paid for? Which you go for depends on how many photos you take.

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.

When you sign up for an account, you can choose which cloud storage service to link to Trovebox.

When you sign up for an account, you can choose which cloud storage service to link to Trovebox.

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.

Grant Trovebox access to your cloud storage to automatically backup your photos.

Grant Trovebox access to your cloud storage to automatically backup your photos.

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.

Getting your photos from Facebook et al to Trovebox requires some patience – it can be very slow.

Getting your photos from Facebook et al to Trovebox requires some patience – it can be very slow.

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.

Images can be automatically or manually sorted into albums to make them easier to find.

Images can be automatically or manually sorted into albums to make them easier to find.

Going Mobile

It almost goes without saying that there are companion mobile apps available. Just like the main Trovebox service, the Android and iOS apps are available free of charge

The Trovebox mobile apps make it easy to get photos from your camera to your account.

The Trovebox mobile apps make it easy to get photos from your camera to your account.

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.

In Summary

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.


Summary

Photos uploaded to the cloud, synced to the cloud and backed up in the cloud. Trovebox gives you your photos in triplicate so you can access them anywhere.

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