Sunday, 21 October 2012

On-line printing photos should not be this hard!

Are there are any other ways to store, manage, share and print our photos without being locked in to a single or subset of 'approved' suppliers?

OUR STORY

( for those that are bored with their life and want to be bored by ours )

My wife wanted to send a lot of photos to a company of her choice to be printed into a book. This time we chose BIG W Photos.

Should be easy.

PHOTO 'STORAGE'

Our digital photos are as well ordered as a junk shop: everything is in one place but no one knows exactly where.

To avoid having photos and duplicated photos spread across 20,000 devices in our family I have been trying to get all photos de-duplicated and uploaded to a cloud - I choose Picasa but it could have been any service.

UPLOADING

Getting photos there was not easy. Our cr48 ChromeBook would not work either by plugging in our camera or its SD card. So I switched to a laptop running Ubuntu. This worked but it was tedious.

SENDING TO BOOK PRINTER

Our chosen printing service is not on PicasaWeb's list so we now needed to download all photos to be printed and then upload them to our printer.

You can not do this from PicasaWeb unless you have a Picasa application installed. Google stopped supporting Picasa for Linux some time ago. I think this is good as we should be using web apps to become more device independent.

RE-DOWNLOADING

I discovered that I can download a zip file of all photos in an album from Google+.

Why can't I do this from PicasaWeb?

First we had to move or copy selected photos from one album to a new album because you can not download selected photos using Google+ - just an album.

UPLOADING

Now we have our selected photos in a directory on a laptop (again!), we could now upload them to our book printer.

None of this makes sense. This is daft!

TO FIX THIS WE NEED CLOUD PRINTING

If our printer was truly a cloud printer then we should be able to one-time-share or one-week-share our photos with them. They could then download what we selected and shared, print them and post a book to us.

This would be a bit closer to 'cloud' printing.