I am getting ready – I’m very close – to purchasing a subscription to Phanfare, a photosharing and storage site I recently found thanks to my iPhone.
I had taken about 100 nice quality photos of my kids and wanted to be able to upload them/save them to another location before I lost them/accidentally deleted them, etc. So I started looking for an application on the iPhone that would help me do just that. I settled on Photon, Phanfare’s iPhone app. But before I did, it took a bit of trial and error.
The first thing I downloaded was Pixelpipe, an app and website that promises to upload all of your photos simultaneously to more than 90 photo services and social networking sites (Picasa, Flickr, Facebook, Bebo, and even a personal blog) that the user specifies. That sounded great! But after uploading the app and trying it out, it crashed on me. I deleted it and tried it again, but no luck. I was never able to upload any photos to any site using Pixelpipe – a shame really, because it had great reviews.
Next, I thought I would look up Picasa- and Flickr-specific apps. Maybe trying to do a simultaneous upload was too much to ask. I couldn’t find any Picasa-specific apps (maybe Apple nixed the Google-owned offshoot’s app application just like they did recently with the Google Phone app). There were plenty for Flickr, though.
I’ve used Flickr off and on (in fact I keep a small Flickr stream of my photos on this blog). But I was never quite sure if I wanted to display personal photos to the world. Maybe no one would pay attention, but there are a lot of crazies out there (Hey…I’m talkin’ to you! Just kidding!)
I uploaded the app Flickit, which worked just fine. But I wanted more. I have a pretty large back catalog of photos on Kodak Gallery, so it made sense to keep my photos in one place. But I have also been getting away from Kodak as of late because it seemed kind of stale compared to the other sites like Picasa, Flickr, etc. Plus, Kodak focused more on photo printing, which is becoming less and less important to me.
What was becoming important to me was being able to always have a copy of the thousands of photos that I have taken. By “copy,” I mean an archived backup of all of my photos. My computer recently died and took with it several years’ worth of photos. I had the smarts to backup photos of my son’s first year about a month or so before the computer crash and I also had some of my very best pictures online with Kodak, Picasa, and Flickr. But there are some photos – and videos – that didn’t make it and I’m still debating whether I send my dead hard drive to a recovery lab for upwards of $400+.
So this is where Phanfare comes in. Phanfare’s Photon app allows me to upload my iPhone photos to its site and share them with my friends. In addition, here are some other great features you can use on Phanfare:
- Import photos from Kodak, Picasa, Shutterfly, SmugMug, and Snapfish
- Export photos (from your iPhone, at least) to Flickr and Facebook
- Use Phanfare plugins for Picasa, iPhoto, Aperture, and Adobe Lightroom 2
- Share your photos in a social networking style from a personalized website, e.g., http://yourname.phanfare.com
- Batch editing of photos (a feature that I’ve only been able to find on Flickr – am I missing something on Picasa and Kodak?)
- Simultaneous syncing of photos on web and phone – I can carry around thousands of pictures thanks to the Photon app!
- 5GB of online storage (with Premium subscription) and 20GB (with Pro sub.)
- Video storage – yeah…did I mention that before? You can store videos up to 10 minutes in length on Phanfare. Perhaps, unlike Facebook, they won’t delete the video I did of Dante (with some familiar, copyrighted “Peanuts” music in the background)
- Printing, ostensibly from several sources (especially if you export photos, too)
If you want to see everything that Phanfare offers, check out these tech specs.
Unfortunately, Phanfare doesn’t come cheap – $49.99 for one year of the premium (5GB) subscription, $99.99 for the pro (20GB) subscription (and if you need more storage – a subscription I like to call super-pro – it’s $49.99 for each extra 20GB). It sounds like a lot to me, too. But, then again, photos of my boys – and the many places I have been – are priceless.
However, when I first downloaded Photon, I recall seeing that they were selling one year Premium subscriptions to Photon users for $27.47 – half off of the yearly price and about the same price as a Flickr Pro subscription. I’m not seeing that deal anymore, but I am going to check on it. In the meantime, if you decide to sign up, tell them you saw about this deal on Missadventures.com. Maybe they’ll help all of us out and we’ll return the favor by signing up with them!