Alternatives to MobileMe Galleries

Today I visited the Naples, Florida, Macintosh Users Group meeting to hear Vickie Kelber’s presentation on alternatives to MobileMe photo/video galleries.

MobileMe will be going away in June. Many functions (such as mail and calendars) have already been moved to iCloud, but some, like the galleries, will simply vanish. For people who have relied on MobileMe galleries for one-step publishing to the Web, losing galleries is a real pain.

Oddly, I’ve rarely used the galleries — I publish directly to Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube, all of which have become increasingly easy to work with. However, if the people you want to see your photos or videos don’t have accounts with those services, and don’t want to establish accounts, they won’t be able to see your content. When I encountered that situation last night, I used a MobileMe gallery to host a video of I’d taken of dolphins in the Everglades.

I learned today that if you have created MobileMe galleries and want to save their video or photo contents before the services ends, Apple provides detailed directions. A photo site called ZangZing has automated the process, and will transform your MobileMe photo galleries (but not videos) into a MobileMe Gallery Alternative.

Kelber, a photographer and traveler writer, covered several factors people should consider in selecting a service to replace MobileMe galleries:

  1. If you want to store, or make available for download, high-resolution photos, consider a professional service and be prepared to pay for storage.
  2. If privacy is a consideration, use a service like Flickr that allows you to password-protect a set of photos.
  3. Consider whether your friends are willing to join a photo or video site in order to view your content. Some sites, like YouTube, require people to register. Others, like Flickr, don’t.
  4. Some sites work only with photos uploaded from your computer; others allow you to upload photos or video directly from an iPad or iPhone.
  5. Some sites require you to pay for additional storage space or bandwidth (for high-resolution photos, or large or long videos).

Kelber noted that in recent weeks storage sites have created special services for photo storage and sharing:

  • Cloud has provided the opportunity to create photo journals, which can replace photo galleries.
  • Dropbox recently added an automatic photo upload feature (and increased the size of  free account storage if you use Camera Upload).

A partial list of photo store/sharing sites that have free basic services:

  • Dotphoto
  • Flickr (Yahoo service, which is integrated in to iPhoto for one-step sharing)
  • Photobucket (also video)
  • Picasa (Google)
  • Shutterfly (with integrated publishing services)
  • Snapfish (with integrated publishing services)
  • ZangZing

A short list of video sharing sites:

  • Photobucket — photos and videos; closely integrated with Facebook and also has an iPhone app.
  • YouTube — Free. The 15-minutes time limit for videos has been lifted for some users. You can share directly from iMovie.
  • Vimeo — 500MZB a week (no time limit). More for $60 a year (Vimeo Plus); you can share directly from iMovie. Note that Vimeo been selected by Apple as the instant-sharing site for video publishing in Mountain Lion (here’s why).
  • Video Sprout — only 100MB; completely private

I’ve included here only sites that people at the presentation were enthusiastic about. If you have an additional site or service you’d recommend, please leave a comment and let me know why it’s worth considering.

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About Karen Anderson

To paraphrase Mark Morris, "I'm a writer; I write!"
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