Moving Into The Cloud
I have relied on Picasa for manual photo and video storage for the past three years. Their auto-tagging features are a breeze, making navigation and discovery a pleasure. However, Picasa can get resource intensive, and in today's day and age, I'm looking for an automated cloud solution.
And here's the kicker that no platform offers - auto-tagging my kids faces. My kids are too young to be onFacebook or Google+. Apparently we only take pictures of adults, not our kids, right?
The Competitive Landscape
+ automated backup
+ unlimited storage
- doesn't auto sort images. Navigating these photos can be tricky.
- down-scales my images, lowering their quality
+ automated backups
+ auto-sorts my images for me
+ unlimited photo uploads at a higher quality than Facebook
+ video backups can run up to 15 minutes at 1080p, which should cover me
- auto-tagging in Google+ is not linked to, or as robust as auto-tagging in Picasa
- down-scales larger images. (full fidelity backup is available, but is limited to 15 gb)
- my parents, in-laws and many of my friends are not on Google+, so sharing is a hassle
+ 50 gb of free storage
- no auto-backup option
- navigation is folder-based
Carbonite (free with desktop subscription)
+ automated backup all of the photos and videos
- no sharing or social capabilities
- weak sorting, navigation and discovery capabilities
+ 1 terabyte of free backup. That should be enough space to not worry about space.
+ automated uploads
+ basic image enhancement features
- no automated solutions for sorting or navigating photos
- video backups are limited to 3 minutes. This will surely annoy me from time to time.
No single solution meets my needs. First and foremost, no solution will recognize my kids faces. This isn't the hardest fix, and it is a very real annoyance.
For now, I will continue to automatically backup to Facebook, Google+, Carbonite and Flickr - just because it's free and why not? I will use Box.net or Dropbox to share to my parents and in-laws, though this to is a pain.
However, with a few tweaks Flickr, Facebook or Google+ could easily offer a truly robust solution. Google+ could offer a non-signed in photo experience with unique passwords to each invitee. However, given their unlimited storage I would really love to see Flickr up their automated game. I was a long time Flickr user, and with their new design and new leadership, I could see myself learning to love their platform once again.