Photography Tips: Pictarine offers a new way to organize and share photosMost people who like taking pictures and sharing them online eventually find themselves with accounts on more than one service. You might use Flickr or Picasa to host the bulk of your photos but also occasionally upload pictures directly to Facebook or any of the various Twitter clients or apps such as Instagram. Then the problem becomes how to connect all these disparate services and share your favorite pictures with your friends (while still keeping those incriminating but hilarious shots of that bachelor party away from your mother's searching eyes).
French startup Pictarine has quietly entered the scene to offer a solution -- and though it jokingly advises you not to tell anyone, the service could revolutionize online photo sharing.
How it works
Signing up for Pictarine is free. After you choose a username and password, your next step is to link Pictarine to whichever accounts you'd like. For now, the service can interface with Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, Gmail, Yahoo, Twitter, and Instagram.
You can also link to photos on your computer itself, which is a pretty exciting option that only Picasa really comes close to offering. Doing so requires activating Boost, a Java applet; be warned that this can cause your computer to slow significantly.
Keep it organized
Once you've added your accounts, a click back to the home page shows you 5 main options: My Albums, My Friends' Albums, Tagged Photos, My Zests, and My Friends' Zests (we'll get to Zests in a moment). You'll find your albums arranged by service (Flickr, Picasa, etc.), and you can add and share photos and albums. In each album, one click will start a slideshow, which makes showing off your masterpieces simple.
It's also simple to find the picture you're looking for using Pictarine's search function. Search by title, description, or photographer's name. You can also organize your albums by date, photo number, or by your nearest and dearest friends. As an added bonus, you can download entire albums from any service you've linked to Pictarine, providing a backup of the files you've stored online.
Unlike most sharing services, you can even download your friends' albums or photos you're tagged in, so you can keep all the pictures of important events in one place.
A Zest is like a custom album you create on Pictarine. You can choose photos from across all your albums and organize them however you'd like. You can also include photos from your friends' albums, even if you don't have an account with the service a particular picture is hosted on.
Zests can be shared with whomever you'd like, and those you've shared with can comment and add photos of their own. A daily or weekly email notifies you of comments, added pictures, and those whom your friends have invited to join in the fun.
Zests can also be used to watch events as they're unfolding, even if you can't be there in person (or maybe you didn't get a good seat!). You can browse through public zests and see what others are posting about concerts, conventions, and newsworthy events across the globe.
Pulling it all together
Pictarine is already shaping up to be a pretty solid service. It's handy to be able to see all your albums at once and access everything from one interface. The ability to browse through your friends' albums and any photos you're tagged in is pretty sweet, as well.
The highlight of Pictarine's interface is the Zests. No other platform lets you organize and collate photographs from across the web in one unified system, and the integrated slideshow makes it easy to show all your friends and family.
The only thing missing from the Pictarine constellation is a mobile app; the company is hoping to raise funding to develop that area soon.
[Writing credit: Katherine Gray.]
Thanks to our friends over at Tecca for submitting this post and you can find more How-to tech articles & Gadget news at Tecca.com.