With the advent of the smartphone, we are increasingly taking more and more pictures all the time. What makes it even worse, or better depending on how you look at it, is that smartphones are starting to get better in picture quality and almost rivaling mid-level digital cameras. Then we have apps like Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, etc., where we can take and host our pictures for free or for a nominal fee. Needless to say,we all have quite a collection of pictures that we have taken over the years in a variety of different places. Some of them are in Instagram, maybe some on Facebook, and others on our computer.
Over the past year, there have been a few services that have come up that are willing to host your photos and gather them from all of these different places and charge you a fee to do that. Now, granted some of these services have been around for years, Flickr and Photo Bucket to name a few, but it has only been recent that developers are seriously targeting this market for the everyday user. For example, the web app that I have been testing out, Trovebox, caters to and targets the everyday user who wants a place to store their photos. Unlike their competitors, they have some features that set them apart, but will it be enough to convince people to make the switch? Let’s take a look.
Getting Started and Uploading Photos
When you first get to the Trovebox site, you are asked to create a username and you are given some options to immediately upload pictures from some of the other photo sharing sites that are out there. Once you do this, Trovebox takes a little while to import your pics, depending on how many you have at that particular site. For right now, Trovebox imports from Instagram, Facebook, and Flickr.
In the meantime, you can still upload photos from your computer while this is going on. They have got a handy user interface where you can select pics from your computer to upload or you can drag and drop them onto the site. There are a few other options where you can put them into different albums that you created and you can add tags to pictures as well. You can also make pictures public or private along with a license for them so that they are copyrighted.
Viewing and Sharing Photos
When you have uploaded all your photos, you can now view them on the site and share them with others. They can be viewed in different albums, by tags, or all of them together sorted by date. You can also get other details like location and if you took the picture with a digital camera, you can get camera data as well.
When you are ready to share a photo or album, Trovebox makes that easy to do as well. You can share to Facebook and Twitter, and you can also email them to someone. You also have the option to download photos and albums to your computer as well.
Hosting and Pricing
One of the perks of having your pictures in the cloud is that it can free up a lot of space on your computer and you can have all of them in one place. Of course, this doesn’t come free, at least not after a certain amount of pictures. With Trovebox, you can view up to 100 photos a month, but you can upload as much as you want. They also have a paid version where you can have unlimited everything, plus being able to upload from SmugMug and Picassa, which is coming soon. With the paid version you pay $30 a year to be able to get more features, which when compared to some of the other good services out there, this is a great deal.
The other interesting feature that they have is that you can also choose to host your photos somewhere else if you want to, but still use Trovebox as the place to interact with your photos. Right now they support Dropbox, Box, and Amazon S3, to name a few. I can understand the logic behind this, but I don’t necessarily see the benefit to someone wanting to pay more money to host their pictures on another service with limited space rather than pay a decent flat fee for an unlimited service like Trovebox. But, to each his own, I guess.
Great For the Masses
After using Trovebox for a few days, I came to the conclusion that this is great for the everyday, smartphone picture taking, person. When you think about it, whether Trovebox is intending to do this or not, I feel like they are targeting the common folk. These are the people that are using Instagram and Facebook to take and host their pics, and they every once in a while will pull out their digital camera and use that as well.
This is not to say that I don’t like the service by any means, because I actually really like it. What Trovebox has done is in my opinion, hit a sweet spot for the average consumer. They charge $30 a year to host an unlimited amount of photos for you, which is a very affordable price when you think about it. You have your own dedicated url where you can share your pics with family and friends and they make it very easy to use, upload, and manage your images.
If you are looking for a place to store all of your photos from a variety of different services, then you have to give Trovebox a try. If you are a pro photographer, then Trovebox may not be for you, but I believe that this is for the average camera user. It works, they charge a good price, and it gets your photos into one place, you can’t ask for much more than that. Some people will say, “Well, it doesn’t have this feature or that feature.”, which may be true, but if you want those features, you can feel free to pay more and use other services, and there is nothing wrong with that. That is why we have choices and you have the freedom to choose what service will fit your needs.
Upload your photos from a variety of services and host them on Trovebox.9
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