2. WEBSITE HOSTING
3. FILE STORAGE & SHARING
Apple's online service,
iCloud, is intended primarily as a method for
easily syncing data such as calendars, contacts, emails and pictures
between your Macs and your iOS devices. Though it was touted as a
partial replacement for the old MobileMe service, it is lacking a
number of facilities which were available there.
This article offer some advice on replacing those facilities
iCloud doesn't provide.
iCloud provides a simple gallery in the form of 'Photo Journal
uploading of photos from iPhoto to web pages hosted on iCloud, but only
from iOS devices; and the photos are compressed to a size adequate for
online viewing but are not available in full resolution as with
the old MobileMe Gallery.
For full-scale galleries uploaded from your Mac the leading method is Flickr
a very widely used photo-sharing website with thousands of users. It's
free if you can limit yourself to two 'sets' (effectively albums), or
you can have unlimited sets and storage for $24.95 p.a. (discount for 2
years). The site isn't wonderfully attractive to look at, but it's
flexible, reasonably easy to use, and as it has by far the largest user
base will expose your pictures to a very wide audience (though by the
same token you are in competition with an awful lot of people for
attention). You can make photos or sets accessible to everyone, to only
yourself, or to 'friends' or 'family'. You can see one of my sets here
to give you an idea how it looks - click on a
thumbnail to see a larger version of a picture.
isn't as widely known as Flickr, but offers more options and is much
more customizable. You can use a wide variety of themes for your
albums; you can password-protect selected albums or the entire site;
you can make private galleries at hidden URLs which you can give to
selected friends. You can see some sample sites here
, and you can have a free trial. Basic
subscription is $40 p.a., with more advanced subscriptions at $60 and
service pitched as a replacement for MobileMe and offers a photo
gallery; also an online network disk, email, and website hosting.
Pricing starts at £65 p.a.
attractive gallery with the ability to password protect the gallery or
individual albums; they have a sample gallery. There is also an iPhone
version of the gallery (no app required). Pricing
starts at $30 p.a. for 1,000 photos (max size 6MB) rising through $60
p.a. to $90 p.a. for unlimited photos of up to 24MB and videos up to 5
minutes. You can sign up
for a free 30 day trial.
is broadly similar to
some people prefer its layout but there have been complaints that
uploading is glacially slow. It starts at $25 per year (or £25, which
is a bit of a cheek given the currency rate).
you to upload photos to albums, and is free, but it's really a social
networking site with photos as an adjunct, and I wouldn't recommend it
a replacement for Gallery.
Of course there's nothing to stop you from creating your own online
photo gallery on your own webspace using a program such as iWeb
, or indeed more complex (and
expensive) programs such as DreamWeaver
It's possible to produce attractive photo albums, including slideshows
(iWeb is geared towards Mobileme but from version '09 on can FTP to
other web servers and will produce functioning slideshows there). You
can customize your site exactly how you like, but of course it's a lot
more work, you won't get as big an audience, and you won't have
comments, or privacy settings. Click here to see a simple demo album
I threw together in RapidWeaver, and another
I threw together in iWeb
- there are lots of other themes in both
programs. However you should note the caveat about the future of iWeb
I've posted on page 2.
For videos, YouTube
is widely known and used and is free, but converts your videos,
reducing the quality in the process. Vimeo
is less well-known but better quality: it's
free for a basic account or $59.95 p.a. for more facilities and