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ZangZing Eases MobileMe Gallery Migration

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In June 2012, when MobileMe draws its last virtual breath, among the data that Apple will consign to rubbish heap of history are all the photos you’ve stored in MobileMe Gallery. A number of alternatives are obvious — you can move photos to Flickr or to Facebook relatively easily from within iPhoto, and there are of course numerous other photo sharing sites.

However, another alternative has just appeared — the group photo sharing site ZangZing, which I’ve used heavily the last few months to allow parents of Tristan’s Ithaca cross country teammates to upload photos of all the races (see “Group Photo Sharing Grows Up with ZangZing,” 3 October 2011). Although ZangZing’s differentiating feature is the way it enables multiple people to share photos of the same event, its HTML5 underpinnings, modern design sensibility, and integration with numerous photo sources make it a fine personal photo sharing site as well.

And that’s where ZangZing has just stepped up to the plate to help MobileMe Gallery users looking for a new home for their photos. As I noted about ZangZing when I was first writing about it, it’s unusual in being able to read photos from other photo sharing services, including Picasa, Facebook, Flickr, Shutterfly, and so on. The newest addition is MobileMe, enabling you to transfer all your photos from MobileMe Gallery directly to ZangZing, even if you don’t have them in iPhoto (others could upload to your MobileMe Gallery albums too, though I don’t get the sense that many people took advantage of that feature).


All you have to do is click MobileMe when creating a new album, confirm that you want to connect to MobileMe, enter your MobileMe login credentials so ZangZing can log in to your account, and select a MobileMe album to import.



In my tests, the import process worked perfectly, and once the photos are in ZangZing, you can share the link to the album as you would anything else in ZangZing, opening it up to others to upload photos or keeping it locked down as you desire. Sharing future photo albums from iPhoto is trivially easy with ZangZing, perhaps even easier than working with Flickr and Facebook within iPhoto’s interface because you manage the entire process from ZangZing’s Web site, which is where the final album ends up.

ZangZing remains free for now, though it’s likely that a premium account option in the future will provide additional storage space or other features. The company has started down the path toward financial stability by enabling users to purchase prints of photos in a variety of finishes and formats.


Now that ZangZing has rolled out the print products, other enhancements are appearing as well. For instance, I had requested the capability to download an entire album of photos at once, so as to be able to archive the complete cross country season’s worth of photos for the coaches and school library. That feature was on ZangZing’s list of things to implement, and shortly after the print products appeared, they contacted me to tell me that album downloading was available. So, if there’s something you’d like to see ZangZing do differently, be sure to submit feedback, since they’re listening and reacting.

Check out the Take Control ebooks that expand on the topic in this article:

Take control of the tentacles of iCloud as you learn the best ways to save and share photos, work with iCloud Drive, use Family Sharing, sync documents and data, secure your account, find a missing device, and more. This best-selling book has the advice you need to avoid problems and get the most out of Apple’s online service.

 

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Comments about ZangZing Eases MobileMe Gallery Migration
(Comments are closed.)

Steve Werner  2011-11-23 17:41
Headlines are always the hardest things to proofread. You mean "Gallery" instead of "Galley."
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-11-23 19:34
Doh! Fixed, thanks!
gastropod  2011-11-23 23:23
I would be more than reluctant to give a presumably important password to a third party. And if I had no alternative, I'd change it *immediately* afterwards. As in having the change password window open and ready to go to make it harder to forget.

I don't expect that zangzing would store it, but it's just way too easy to have 'minor' bugs that let things escape, such as get/post confusions. And Murphy is always watching over us (though I think he's been concentrating on me lately :-))
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-11-24 15:53
Caution is always appropriate with passwords, though you'll need to evaluate that in part based on how important your MobileMe data is (perhaps not very, if you're planning to move everything else to iCloud). And of course, there's nothing wrong with resetting the password afterwards, since if you suck all your MobileMe Gallery albums over to ZangZing, you won't need to connect ever again.

I don't know how MobileMe does this, but with many login-related services like Twitter, Google, and Facebook, the site never sees your password; it's handled via an authentication protocol to the site hosting your credentials instead.
Mike McDonnell  2011-11-28 14:26
Is there any hint that Apple will have a Gallery like service in iCloud? It is so easy to share photos via iPhoto and Gallery.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-11-28 14:32
None that I've heard, and it's pretty clear that Apple is focusing iCloud on syncing services between apps on your own devices, not any sort of Web publishing as with Gallery. I wouldn't bet on anything from Apple.

I found ZangZing almost easier than iPhoto/MobileMe because you start the process from the ZangZing Web site, which makes slightly more sense to me than starting it from iPhoto, given that the goal is to end up with an album on the Web.
Steve Schifrin  An apple icon for a TidBITS Benefactor 2011-11-29 02:02
I signed up for ZZ upon reading the first mention in TidBits. The import was seamless, and the service seems quick enough. But I’ve noticed that downloading individual or group files doesn’t give you the full-res files that are currently resident on MobileMe.
I don’t know if that will change, or if I’ve set it up incorrectly, but all-in-all, it’s a good service, well worth some cost.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-11-29 13:32
Good to know - it's possible that MobileMe doesn't make that available in the way ZangZing can get in.

In such cases, you'd probably want to reupload from iPhoto, assuming you still have the photos there.
Joseph Ansanelli  2011-11-29 20:12
We should be getting the full resolution photos from MobileMe. Are you right mouse clicking on the photo to download or are you clicking on the i menu on the photo grid to download the photo via ZangZing?

If you are right mouse clicking, we optimize the screen resolution photo for bandwidth but when you choose download from the i menu we download the original photo.

If it's not working, can you please email me at help@zangzing.com and we can figure it out?

Thanks
Steve Schifrin  An apple icon for a TidBITS Benefactor 2011-11-29 22:39
Excellent diagnostic question (d’uh!) to which I don’t remember the answer., I’ll try both, and report back.
Steve Schifrin  An apple icon for a TidBITS Benefactor 2011-11-30 06:47
Joseph, you’re absolutely right. I’d like to see the choice made a little clearer, maybe hi-res/screen-res options under the “i” download menu, but the full-size downloads are faithful.

Almost all my photos originate in Lightroom, and are output as full-size jpg files for import to iPhoto and upload to MobileMe. In some future iteration of ZZ, will there be the option of uploading dng files -- which I tried last night, but were not recognized by the uploading routing when I selected My Computer, and made my way to the appropriate photo folders in Lightroom?

Thanks for the note. This just gets better and better.
Joseph Ansanelli  2011-12-01 18:27
Steve - great, glad it worked. We got a little nervous here that we had not gotten your full res photos...

On Lightroom, we are working on an API for the service that we are also using for our iphone app. Once we finalize the API we are going to start developing plug ins for iphoto, lightroom and aperture. For dng files, we have not had lots of requests for that but RAW is on our (unfortunately long) to do list... Thanks for the help and patience!
Steve Schifrin  An apple icon for a TidBITS Benefactor 2011-12-03 10:14
Thanks, Joseph. On reflection, I think that RAW files is too niche-y a request to make; an output plug-in for full-res jpg uploads from Lightroom and other photo editing programs would be lovely.

On another topic, now that I’ve played with the website a bit, I’ve added a few new feature requests to my list:
Being able to sort a page/gallery by something other than filename (which may have to do with the limited metadata I included with the photos, or not...); and having the website “remember” the last-selected photo chosen to view full screen, so that when that photo is closed, you’re not always returned to the top of the gallery page, but, instead, to the place you last were when you selected an image to expand.

Happy Holidays, Joseph!
Works great for public MobileMe Gallery albums. However it chokes when importing password-protected ('private') albums. The MobileMe authentication screen appears multiple times (once for each photo?) then ZangZing quits out of the album you're trying to import. If you then go back in to your new album then imports successfully. Still a few bugs to sort out, but looking very promising!
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-11-29 13:33
Good report - thanks. I'll make sure they know about it.
Joseph Ansanelli  2011-11-29 20:13
Thanks for letting us know about this. We are working on a bug fix for this right now. The issue seems to be password protected albums that are uploaded from iphoto. We hope to have it out in the next day or so... Sorry about that.
Joseph Ansanelli  2011-12-01 18:28
We rolled out a bunch of fixes over the past few days for this. For any photos that had an error, you will have to delete them and then re-import them and it should work now. If you email me at help@zangzing.com directly I can help diagnose and fix. Apologies and thanks for the patience.
Marc Bizer  2011-11-29 12:54
Does ZangZing handle video?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-11-29 13:33
Not yet, but it's on their list (I've asked), and I expect it to come relatively soon.
Médard  2011-12-18 09:05
I tried it today -- works like a charm!
I already imported a MobileMe gallery with no fuss :-)
If you to see it:
http://www.zangzing.com/medard/sully-au-fil-des-heuressully-castle-by-hours
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-12-19 09:15
Glad it worked well for you - gorgeous castle photos!
Médard  2011-12-28 03:14
More on it...

After some use, a troublesome drawback:
the incitement for the user - the person who takes a look on your gallery is urged to "Sign in" and to "Join" ZangZing [ZZ] ...

I was surprised to see that some otherwise techno-literate persons were feared by the ZZ message publicizing my new gallery -- they thought it was some identity usurpation (and they thrown away the message) ;->

Moreover, if you chose the "hidden" item (no sign in, simple access via the gallery URL), one is able to see the images (at least!) - but one is urged to "Join" in order to add a comment...

So, to summarize, ZZ is very good for the "poster", I must admit
- but it is somewhat troublesome for the "viewer" ;->

Médard
Joseph Ansanelli  2011-12-28 11:18
Médard- thanks for the feedback. Glad you like the "poster" experience and appreciate the feedback on the viewer experience...

On the emails, we will take a look at ways to improve the language. And on the question re: comments, we don't allow anonymous comments so avoid the comment spam problem and that's why people have to create an account to comment.

Thanks again and please keep the comments and feedback coming. You can also send it to us directly at help@zangzing.com
Médard  2011-12-29 02:12
OKay -- I forgot the spam question ;->
Médard  2011-12-29 02:59
The addressee received this:

Hi, I thought you would like to see Médard ROUYEUX's photo on ZangZing

1) There is a woe with accented characters ;-)

2) She asked me for:

tu ne peux pas changer le texte du message ?
is it possible to edit the message text?

3) and I add:

How about translating ZZ in other languages?

Médard