Friday, April 25, 2008

Future Photo to Kodak Gallery Migration a Success!

I thought I'd follow up on my experience for those of you who read my original post about how Future Shop's photo sharing service, Future Photo, is closing down. Members are urged to migrate pix over to the Canadian Kodak Gallery, and I have decided to go that route. Here's a run-down of how my experience has been thus far. Hopefully this will help other members who are looking to switch over to this new Canadian service.

Migration: As mentioned in the previous post, there was an issue with the image transfer process for my account. In fairness to Future Photo, I don't just have a few pix in there: I have 5-6 years worth of photo albums...60 in all! The issue has since been resolved. Just last night, I received my confirmation e-mail that everything was a-ok, and all of my photos had been transferred. Hooray!

Things that I don't like:

The albums did not retain their original upload dates, which means the chronological order is all out of whack. Viewing by date doesn't do me much good since they're all dated April 24, 2008! Luckily, I had given albums names like "Miami, Sept. '06", and "My 28th Bday", so, in most cases, I won't be forced to try and remember where the heck the pix were taken. But I will have to weed through old albums to locate the most recent ones.

The albums did not retain the cover image I had selected. I'm probably being nit-picky here, but for people like me who have tons of albums, and who like to share these albums with friends, the cover portion is important.

The transfer did not retain all picture rotations, although some seem to have been kept. This means that after spending so much time switching vertical pix to their proper orientation, it looks like I have to do it all over again. Darn.

Probably the most frustrating thing, however, is that it looks like someone manually migrated my account over again (since it didn't seem to port all photos successfully the first time) leaving me with duplicate albums! If I had one or two, that wouldn't be a big deal. But with 60 of them, it'll take a while to go through and delete all duplicates. Sigh. At least there's no storage limit!

My Future Photo albums showed "friends albums" where I could instantly view albums from my friends who also had Future Photo accounts. Will Future Photo friends that move over to Kodak Gallery appear as my "friends" there as well? I'll have to see.

Things that I do like:

Uploading photos is blazingly simple. There's a beta "Express Upload" service, but I opted for the standard upload process, which lets me upload tons of images at a time. It took just a few minutes on my high-speed connection to upload about 50 photos. Not bad.

If you shared an album with someone via Future Photo, that person was required to create a Future Photo user name and password to view the images, even if they weren't going to use the service. Kodak Gallery gives you the option to do this, or just let people see the images in a slide show without having to sign in. This is definitely an added benefit, especially for non tech-savvy persons (like my parents!) who would have absolutely no idea what to do if they didn't click a link and photos just showed up on screen!

Image manipulation and editing is really easy, including even an "instant fix" button. You can also do things like crop photos, remove red-eye, and even add effects and borders. When you make a change to an image, there's the option to overwrite the original file, or save the altered pic as a new version.

All in all, I'm happy with the switchover, even though it will require some tweaking to get my images arranged the way I want them to be.

So what's my next step? I'm looking forward to ordering the 100 free 4 x6" prints that were offered! Funny how, after working in this industry so long, I have a digital photo frame rotating pix in the living room, yet a bunch of empty wood frames all over the place, just itching to be filled.

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