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Photos books by Jason Snell

Photo by Jason Snell

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Jason Snell Compares Mimeo and Motif Photos Project Extensions

Our friend Jason Snell recently finished the latest version of his Take Control book about Photos, now called Take Control of Photos, and in the process, he put a lot of time into exploring the brave new world of Photos project extensions. One of the innovations of Photos’ predecessor iPhoto was the way it let you build and order physical books, cards, and calendars, the printing of which Apple outsourced to various companies. Now, however, Apple has gotten out of the business, opening up print projects to all comers. Although a number of custom printing companies have thrown their extensions into the ring, Jason found that Mimeo and Motif were the best choices. (This matches our brief testing, in which many of the other print project extensions proved truly abysmal, with horrid interfaces and frequent crashes.) If you’re considering printing a photo book or calendar as a holiday present, give Jason’s article a read, and for more help with Photos in general, take a look at his book.

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Comments About Jason Snell Compares Mimeo and Motif Photos Project Extensions

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  1. I make calendars every year for my (large) family. I live in two countries, France and England. I am upset by the withdrawal of the Apple Print Services, and really hoped that Mimeo would fill in the gap. I came to the same conclusion as Jason that Mimeo was more likely to be useful for calendars at this point than Motif - this may be unfair, but the negative reviews of Motif put me off somewhat.

    I think Mimeo does work “kind of”, but they are not very Europe-oriented (I think all printing is done in the US, which may compromise prices and more importantly, delivery times); and my exploration of the actual app seems rather mixed. For example:

    a) One key feature of the old Apple system was the ability to generate a draft of the whole calendar as a PDF via the Print dialog - I could then send this around the family in a lo-res format to gain approval for my efforts before committing to print. I feel this is likely to be quite a common requirement, but so far Mimeo don’t supply it, basically because they don’t offer any printing facilities outside their paid-for service - I mean there is no print menu in the extension (app) at all. As their app is free to download they may be motivated to prevent people printing other than via their services, which is commercially understandable but not very user-friendly.

    b) You can add a picture or text to a specific day in a calendar (for example the moon phase, a person’s birthday, a public holiday in a second country) but you don’t seem to be able to control the size, colour or position of any text you write. The actual text is tiny and black, which is too minimal for me.

    I have also found that one can email them and get a quick response, which is very positive, but quite often they don’t actually answer the question. I sense I’m dealing with a third-party support group rather than the original developers.

    Issues like this are so important me that I’ve given up on Mimeo for this year and am using a totally non-Apple service, Photobox (which is not without problems as it’s a web up which relies on Flash, and whose support system is overcrowded with long waits and no email).

    I just hope Mimeo matures rapidly, and that a lot of healthy competition continues to grow.

    Has anyone else any experience to share? Should I have picked Motif? Should I have stuck with Apple?

  2. Motif sounds great, but it’s not available in the Canadian App Store, yet. Would love to be able to try it.

  3. livfoss
    Graham Samuel

        December 4
    

    I make calendars every year for my (large) family. I live in two countries, France and England. I am upset by the withdrawal of the Apple Print Services, and really hoped that Mimeo would fill in the gap. I came to the same conclusion as Jason that Mimeo was more likely to be useful for calendars at this point than Motif - this may be unfair, but the negative reviews of Motif put me off somewhat.

    A company I used to work for did calendars for holiday gifts every year, and Vistaprint did a good job. They have specific options for the U.K. and France, but I don’t know where they are printed. I know quite a few individuals and business owners in the US who use Vistaprint for business cards, promotional items, stationary and photo books and have not heard any complaints:

    https://www.vistaprint.co.uk/

    https://www.vistaprint.fr/?couponAutoload=1&expiredCouponCode=VP1512&GP=12%2f05%2f2018+18%3a56%3a53&GPS=5249536975&GNF=0

    It might be worth checking out.

  4. Aww, jeez another one of these… It’s probably related to the cross-border shipping, but still, what an annoyance.

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