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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Wirelessly transfer files from a GoPro using any computer without software

(Skip to the bottom of this post if you just want to know how to connect to your GoPro using an internet browser.)

As I mentioned my GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition has been giving me issues lately.

It started 6 months ago as an iOS app connectivity issue. I would connect to the ad-hoc network that the GoPro Hero3+ creates, open the iOS app, and attempt to transfer the files to my phone but it would only work about 10% of the time.

I figured out how to deal with this issue by first attempting to control the GoPro using the app before attempting to transfer the photos and video off of it. I have no idea why, but this worked for a while. But then even this “hack” stopped working about a month ago.

For these times I would connect my GoPro to my Mac via USB and transfer the files. But recently this has stopped working too. The GoPro doesn’t mount to the Mac. And in Image Capture or Photos for OS X you can only see the GoPro being connected for a few seconds before it disconnects, reconnects, disconnects, repeat repeat repeat. Maddening. It isn’t the cable. Is isn’t the USB port. (I’ve managed to rule these out.)

After searching online for a bit I see a lot of people having similar issues with their GoPro cameras after they’ve had them for a little while. Some ship with these issues.

I do not have a micro USB chip reader so I have no way to get larger files off of the GoPro with all of these crazy issues. Smaller files can still be transferred using the iOS application thankfully.

On Wednesday I attached my GoPro to my kayak and paddled around for a while with the camera pointed under water. Typically I try to stop and start the video recording every few minutes because I know I can only transfer smaller files to my phone. But I just let it run for a while.

Today I cannot transfer that file to my phone (using the app) or computer (using USB). And I don’t have a card reader. So what other option do I have?

It turns out that GoPro Hero 3+ comes with a small web server on it that you can connect to, browse the files, or even see live video from the device. I had no idea this was an option. It wasn’t until I stumbled across a few poorly recorded YouTube videos that I saw it. I’ve read the manual that came with my GoPro at least twice and I don’t think it is mentioned in there either. Just to be sure, I checked the manual again while writing this post. I do not see it mentioned.

Here is how you connect to your GoPro using a web browser.

1. Turn on your GoPro.
2. Turn on Wi-fi into “app” mode. (if you’re unsure how to do this, see your manual)
3. Connect your computer to the ad-hoc wireless network that the GoPro creates.
4. Open your web browser, point it to http://10.5.5.9:8080 (if this IP address does not work, see what the IP address of your “router” or “Gateway” is when connected to the GoPro. On Windows you can run “ipconfig” using CMD.exe and on Mac you can go to System Preferences > Network > Advanced > TCP/IP)
5. If you did it right, you’ll see this.

GoPro web server
It isn’t fancy. But it gets the job done.

I still wasn’t able to download the 2.1GB video file. It halts at around 1.47GB and just sits there. I think my GoPro is telling me it is time to be retired. Sad GoPro. However, I tried transferring a few other smaller files and it worked very smoothly. So perhaps this is easier than using the iOS app or even mounting it via USB. Who needs cables?

I’m really happy I found this feature.

Thomasz Furmanek, Kayaker, Instagrammer

I’ve been following Thomasz Furmanek on Instagram for a few years already (right around the time I got my first kayak, the Oru Kayak, which is the same one Furmanek uses).

I liked this bit in his photographic interview with Daily Mail:

The kayak enables me to travel to remote places and show people these places from a different perspective than they are used to.

I think this is one of the reasons people enjoy my photos too. I have people come up to me and say “I love your photos, please keep sharing them”. And I think it is because they are seeing places they go to and have seen (parks, recreational areas, rivers) but from a completely different angle. I will keep taking them and sharing them because I love doing it.

Regarding Furmanek’s photos, though… he’s cheating. Norway is just stunning from any angle.

Improving Photos for OS X and iOS and iCloud Photo Library

I’ll start out this post, as most empathic developers would, by saying that I realize how hard syncing is. It is incredibly hard to get right. The fact that it works at all is magic. It is amazing. And I’m tickled that I even have it.

That being said, we’re a few years away from men and women walking on the surface of Mars. So I guess we can expect a bit more from Apple’s photo experience.

For context, I have a library that weighs in at just about 230GB and is comprised of 67,000 photos and videos. And it is growing pretty quickly. I shoot with a variety of cameras but mostly I use my iPhone and GoPro. I also shoot a fair amount of video. I use Photos for OS X on my Mac which is backed up to an external USB drive. Photos for OS X is set to download originals from iCloud Photo Library (which I pay for the 1TB option). Photos for iOS is set on both my iPad and iPhone to sync to iCloud Photo Library but to “manage space” by not keeping the originals on the device.

Now that you know my setup, here are just a few of my suggestions to how Apple could improve Photos for OS X and iOS and iCloud Photo Library. Some of these I expect to see this year. Others, likely never. Let’s start off with some things I feel will likely improve.

Improve sync connection hogging

As I’ve griped about many times over the last two months while my photo library on my Mac synced to iCloud Photo Library — it kills my connection to the internet. I don’t mean to mix words. Let me be very clear. It doesn’t slow down my connection. It doesn’t make it a hassle to use the internet while this sync is happening … it kills it. The internet connection in my home is unusable by any other application or device while Photos for OS X syncs.

A huge improvement to the entire experience would be to stop this from happening. If you’re at Apple reading this I’d be more than happy to share any information about my current set up to help improve the process.

Facial recognition could be more liberal

The number of false positives I see when using Photos for OS X’s facial recognition are very, very low. Yet I still have to click click click click click click click to add Faces to photos. Even if I’m adding them en masse (it selects about 4 to 6 at a time and asks you “Is this Colin Devroe?” and you have to hit yes over and over and over).

One way to improve this would be to just allow more possible faces through. Rather than automatically tagging 10-15% (which it seems to now), auto-tag 50% or more. I’d be willing to bet that I wouldn’t need to go back and change many.

Or, and this is likely the easier solution, show 50 or 100 possible matches rather than so few. This way I can quickly scan them all and get on with my day.

Aside: There is a bug in adding Faces that is super frustrating but I’m sure they’ll lick it in an upcoming release. If a face isn’t detected by Photos you can add it yourself. You open the info panel, click “Add Face”. Pretty simple. However, more often than not when the circle appears that you are to drag and resize onto someone’s face, you can’t move it. It doesn’t always happen but it happens a lot. Far greater than 50% of the time. I have not figured out how to get around this bug.

Sync Smart Albums

I have a collection of Smart Albums for all sorts of things. One is to filter by camera model. This way I can see the photos I’ve taken with my SLR or my iPhone 5 or 6 or SE. Photos for iOS does not show the Smart Albums. It’d be nice it if did.

Sync metadata at the same time as the photos

My sync to iCloud Photo Library is nearly complete. I have about 67,000 or so photos and videos and my iPhone, this morning, is reporting just over 61,000. However, much of the metadata for the photos that have already synced haven’t yet made it across the chasm. I mentioned this in an earlier post; if I search kayaking I get far less results on iOS as I do on my Mac. Yet the photos from those potential results have already synced to iCloud Photo Library.

This results in a bit of frustration, which I can deal with, but I’m willing to bet that “normals” would think that search simply doesn’t work and wouldn’t know to wait until the entire sync is done.

Author’s note: I’m finishing the editing of this post several days later (after the sync has been complete) and the metadata does come over last. So search results are matching up. I really do think the metadata should transfer at the same time. Or, perhaps even before the entire library is synced.

Improve syncing new photos back to Mac

If I take a photo on my iPhone it shows up on my iPad through iCloud Photo Library fairly quickly. However, not a single photo has shown up on my Mac that I’ve taken since starting my months-long-sync to iCloud Photo Library. Perhaps they will when I’m finished this sync.

Author’s note: This has in fact happened. Now when I take a new photo it shows up on all devices, including my Mac, within a short period of time. It works beautifully. It would have been nice if this was happening on the Mac all along like it does on iOS. Why the difference?

Spotlight?

Maybe I just haven’t been able to find this… but Spotlight doesn’t search my Photos library on OS X or on iOS? This seems like something that has to be coming, right?

Now, onto wish list items. Things I wouldn’t hold my breath for but that I would love to see in an upcoming version of Photos for OS X and iOS.

Auto-generated Albums ala Google Photos

I know I’ve mentioned this before but the albums that Google Photos auto-generates are genius. And I know Google Photos is a cloud-based service and so they’re able to run all sorts of fancy algorithms against your library (whereas, presumably, the Mac app would kill someone’s computer figuring all of this out) but with iCloud Photo Library turned on could Photos on Mac and iOS show auto-generated albums for things like cats, lakes, rivers, sky, etc? Once I saw something like this I wanted it everywhere. If you haven’t tried Google Photos give it a whirl. It is pretty amazing.

Face tagging on iOS

Tagging faces would likely be even easier to do on iOS than on the Mac (for the photographer). I may even take a moment after shooting photos to tag my friends faces just to keep up with it rather than falling behind and having to wait until I get back to my computer.

Facebook has had this for years.

Photo editing and filter improvements

The current filters on both OS X and iOS are trash. Where Instagram goes for rather subtle or nostalgic edits, Apple’s filters just trash your photo. I do not know why I feel so strongly about this but, to me, they are terrible. And I hate dogging on people’s hard work.

That being said, the editing features are pretty good. I think one thing I’d add to both OS X and iOS is the ability to turn edits on and off quickly during the editing process. Have you ever tapped and held your finger on your photo in Instagram’s edit screen? You can see the original photo and compare specific sections while you edit. Say you’re bringing up the shadows to show a rock cliff a bit better, you can tap, hold, and see how much light you’ve pulled out of that area. The same thing can be done now on OS X and iOS by toggling off each section of the editor (3 or 4 taps rather than a single press and hold). It’d be nice if this was a single action.

Search by color or object

Sort of related to the auto-generated albums above, I’d love to be able to search for “red” or “lake” or “tree” and get results. Google is killing Apple at this. And it just makes so much sense. The more the application does for you the less classification you have to do manually. I tag my photos with things like “cat” or “ants” or “beetle” or “snake” because I want to be able to search for these things later. And adding my own layer of taxonomy on top of my library should always be an option … but for objects that are easily identifiable these days (like lakes or cats) it just makes sense.

Facial recognition in videos

I would have guessed we’d have this in 2016. I remember in 2008 or 2009 when I was working at Viddler I had come up with a conceptual way of pulling this off for our platform. We never fully implemented it. But I did take a swing. I still have the code.

It went something like this; every video has a certain number of keyframes in it. You can think of those keyframes as thumbnails. In fact, at Viddler we stored several of those thumbnails per video. Imagine tagging someone’s face in a video and using facial recognition on the rest of the keyframes just to mark where in that video the person was. (at the time, face.com’s API was still a thing, it could have been done for free).

The simplest, easiest solution for Photos would be to search through a few keyframes of the video, find some faces, and suggest some names. Even at that level it would allow for saying “Hey, Colin appears somewhere in this video.”

However, even deeper and more valuable, would be to know when someone appeared in a video. And this would be totally possible to do using machine tagging. E.g. “person:name=colin-devroe”, “person:appears=99.00” or “person:appears=99.00-110.00”. How cool would that be? “Hey siri, show me some clips of my friend Bryan from our camping trip in 2008.”

Tagging on iOS

I can tag photos on OS X with things like “kayaking” or “insects” so that I can find them later. And these search results appear on iOS. I’d love to be able to tag my photos on iOS too.

A Map view

Honestly, how isn’t this a thing? A single map view that shows where all of my photos were taken. Nearly every other photo service I’ve used has something like this. Flickr has had it since the dawn of man. It seems likely that this was a conscious omission by the Apple team. They must not find this sort of feature valuable because they have all of the pieces (Apple Maps is built into both iOS and OS X pretty deeply at this point).

Better Library exporting

Exporting from Photos is terrible. Apple’s history of photo library management, which is decades and decades of hard-learned lessons, should tell them that making the library exportable to some open standard is a huge win for customers. Apple’s mission over the last few years has been beaten into our brains … they care about us. They say they do. They are willing to fight the Supreme Court to protect the information I create with their devices… are they not willing to allow me to own that data in a way that I can use it anywhere on anything and move at any time?

Moving to Photos was painful. Moving away shouldn’t be.

I’m very interested to see what this year’s WWDC brings to this entire experience. Will every single interaction with the platform improve? Will Apple continue to invest in making this experience great? I really, really hope so. And if they do, I hope a few of the things I’ve mentioned here are addressed.

Overall though, now that my library is available on all devices, I’m happy with how it works. I can make do with what they’ve provided. It is well worth the money too. If you’re debating using iCloud Photo Library I highly recommend it.

 

Microsculpture by Levon Bliss

Incredible composite photos of insects by Levon Bliss.

My final images are made up of somewhere between 8 and 10 thousand images.

He takes as many photos of one insect as Eliza and I do all year.

The cost of Unsplash

Luke Chesser shares what it cost to run Unsplash in February (minus humans):

Hopefully getting a behind-the-scenes look at what it costs to run a site like Unsplash will help you with your own business, or at least give you a better understanding of what’s involved.

It is nice when people share information like this because, as he says in my pull quote, it does help others to see what is involved. Also, by sharing you never know if someone may notice something you didn’t and can end up saving you a lot of money.

Barley 1 costs just about $400 to host for the month of February. That’s about half as much as Unsplash spent on storing logging files. Perhaps with Barley 2 we’ll do some posts like this for those that are interested.

Don’t be surprised by the final number though. Crew is doing an amazing job hosting Unsplash and I believe they are doing it for beans. Imagine what that number would have been in 2005?

Is GoPro doomed?

Those that follow along here on my blog know that I love my GoPro. And I “only” have the HERO 3. See this, this, this, this, and this for examples of me playing around with my GoPro.

GoPro’s stock price and sales figures are plummeting. And as I sit here, going over everything they have, and comparing their strategy against other companies that had similar products and failed — I don’t know exactly what can save them. In fact, I rewrote this blog post three times as I’ve changed my mind about what might work.

But Matt Hackett of Beme writes that software can save them:

GoPro needs software in spades, far beyond just something to make editing easier. The company that created the first mass-market visceral experience broadcasting device ought to have a hand in every dimension of the current live revolution, not just be one of its few cameras. That requires software.

As my friend Gary Vaynerchuk recently said in Daily Vee #29… just as large broadcasters can turn their companies around by having a hit show, software and hardware companies can turn themselves around with features. It is an over simplification (Gary knows this) but he is right. If GoPro had a hit application (or was integrated fully into one) it would turn everything around for them, especially in the eyes of the public investor.

Obviously, they won’t save anything without selling hardware. Hardware is where they make all of their revenue and it always will be. And, as Matt points out in his piece, they already make great hardware. So perhaps great software would stem the tide for GoPro?

Matt’s proposition that GoPro build the next Periscope is intriguing. It had me thinking all last night of what that could look like and how it would be received. Rather than allowing Periscope or Meerkat to integrate into GoPro (and they already have), Matt proposes that GoPro itself build a platform for live streaming video that would allow input from GoPro cameras and other devices.

This would be a huge gamble for GoPro. Live streaming isn’t easy nor inexpensive. Matt knows this very well so I know he does not make this suggestion lightly. And, GoPro already has experience in live streaming (sort of) with Herocast. So I’m sure the thought of putting a platform behind that has crossed their minds. Perhaps they even built something in a lab. To get live streaming right they’d have to put some major resources behind such an endeavor and the Board would definitely see it as Nick’s (the CEO) last effort to turn it around.

I love GoPro. But I’m not as optimistic as Matt. I fear the Board will call for Nick’s head after another bad quarter. And I believe it will take several quarters, a few acquisitions, and the recruiting of a few key team members (all in design, software and platform) in order to turn GoPro around. If Nick goes the whole thing goes I say because once a founder is kicked out recruiting can be tough.

Will they go the way of Flip? I hope not. Let’s just hope the team at GoPro isn’t sleeping and is way, way smarter than I am and can figure it out.

 

A few iCloud Photo Library observations

Somewhat related: Photo stats and observations.

I began the switch to iCloud Photo Library a few days ago and so far it has been a mixed experience. Since weaving a good narrative is not in my wheelhouse, here is a laundry list of observations that I’ve made over the last few days.

  • iCloud Photo Library brings the Internet crashing down. While syncing my library using the Internet for anything else is impossible. And, last night, it brought my Airport Extreme down. Actually down. No devices were connected to it when I woke up this morning. Something that has only happened once or twice since owning the device. I can only imagine this is a bug of some sort that I’ve found.
  • After tens-of-hours (since I let Photos sync at night only) I’ve only managed to back up less than 15GB out of 220GB. I think I will call Apple Support today, not because I think they can help me fix it, but because I hope they will write down the issue and perhaps issue a patch in the future.
  • Photo editing on any device and then the edits appearing on all devices is a miracle of modern technology. For the last several years I’ve been editing exclusively on my iPhone or iPad since doing so was cumbersome on the Mac. Photos for OS X doesn’t have every editing feature Photos for iOS does but I hope these will continue to improve. But nothing beats editing a photo full-screen on a 27-inch display and I haven’t been able to do this in years.
  • One of my biggest hangups with Picturelife was the speed of perusing my library or finding a specific photo. It didn’t matter if I was using the web site or the mobile apps. It was impossibly slow. Photos on iOS is much, much faster. I don’t think this is a fair comparison just yet (since I only have ~5,000 images on iCloud Photo Library so far) but I hope Photos is still snappy with 65,000 photos.
  • Searching is pretty great on Photos for iOS. I can type in a location, name, date, and they all return results. And very quickly. Imagine being in a conversation at a bar with friends and they mention a trip you took 4 years ago and how awesome this one night was. Two or three taps and you’re there. Something that should be possible on Picturelife but in practice wasn’t.
  • Photos including “Faces” is great. Like I said in my previous post, I really hope they make facial recognition 10 times better in an update (because it is very poor now compared to say Google Photos). Picturelife didn’t have facial recognition at all though so I’ll take what I can get. Even if I have to do it manually.
  • Having a copy of all of the originals in the cloud gives a lot of peace of mind. But, even more so, having an application on my desktop which stores the originals on an external drive makes accessing them very quick and painless. Both Picturelife and Google Photos merely piggyback on top of Photos and so would never be able to provide that complete seamless experience.

As you can see, so far it has been a mixed bag. Uploading has been horrendous. Impossible even. Yet, every other part of the experience has been pretty great. Sometime in the near future I’d like to write up specific comparisons between Picturelife, iCloud Photo Library, and Google Photos since I’ve tried all three.

Photo stats and observations

As I’ve been moving my photos from Picturelife into Photos for OS X over the passed two weeks I’ve run across some interesting observations so I thought I’d jot them down.

Here are some statistics in no particular order:

  • We take a lot of photos in October, August, and June. This is because we generally vacation during those months.
  • You’ll notice October 2011 was a boon for our photo library — this was the month we went to Ireland.
  • Our monthly average of photos has crept slowly up and to the right as the cameras in our phones have improved. We’ve gone from 228 photos per month (ppm) in 2007 to 826ppm in 2015.
  • Two years out of these 10 we spiked passed 10,000 photos for the year. I feel like we’ll break 10,000 photos each year from here on out.
  • In June 2007, when the iPhone debuted, the number of photos we took per month multiplied by 4 (and we got our iPhones on the 29th of the month).
  • The size of our library on Picturelife was 185GB. In Photos it weighs in at nearly 230GB. I’m assuming this has something to do with the thumbnails that Photos creates.
  • In 2007 an average month’s worth of photos weighed around 35MB. In 2015, 3.5GB (including videos).

And now some observations about Photos for OS X (keep in mind, I’m running Photos off of an USB3 external HD):

  • The app started slowing down when I hit 30,000 photos or so. But it never got too much slower in use. Just in start up time.
  • From a cold start the app takes 25 full seconds to launch. But once open it is fairly usable.
  • I feel like the only way for me to get any performance back my next computer will need to have at least 1TB internal SSD.
  • After using Photos for OS X and realizing you can maintain multiple libraries with it… it would likely make a great application for designers to store design resources in a separate file.
  • The app handles video far, far better than iPhoto ever did.
  • The Photos for OS X Keyword Manager is like a relic from a bygone era. But pretty useful.
  • Oddly the app can’t search GoPro photos or videos by date from the main search field. If I search “October 2015” I’ll see all photos/videos except the ones shot by GoPro. However, if I create a Smart Album by the same date range they all appear. This is super frustrating and I haven’t found a fix yet.
  • I’d like a feature that would help me find possible duplicates based on filename, date taken, and the contents of the file. Photos does a great job preventing duplicates but I was able to find a few using my 2010 technique.
  • I’d also like a way to search the entire library for blurry photos.
  • My solution for finding all photos created by Instagram was a Smart Album that searched both the Text and Description for the word Instagram. It found 2,600+ photos. It seems pretty close. Apple seems to be cheating by providing a “Panoramas” Smart Album based on aspect ratio and yet does not offer that as an option to us users. If I had that I’d likely be able to make it even more accurate.
  • I’m still trying to find a way to create a Panoselfie Smart Album. But so far I’ve been unsuccessful. It should be easy, two rules; 1. Is panorama. 2. Face contains Colin Devroe.
  • Photos has something called a “System Photo Library (SPL)” and that is kept on my local computer. I could make the one on my external HD the SPL but it is used by applications like Pages, Keynote, etc. and I do not always have this external drive with me. It contains things like My Photostream and a few thousand other photos. I don’t know what to do with it. I cannot import from it to the other library without losing all EXIF. This is mind boggling. Even Picturelife retained the EXIF information. Why wouldn’t one Photos for OS X library be able to be imported into another?
  • The “Selfies” Smart Album provided aren’t photos of you but are rather photos people took with the front-facing camera and have a face in them. To create a true “selfies” smart album you’ll need a ton of rules; 1. Face contains Your Name. 2. Lens equals ANY of the front-facing camera models you’ve ever had. That will get you close. But it is far from perfect because you’ve likely taken selfies with the back camera too or with GoPro or point-and-shoots.

I’m just getting started with Photos. I plan on really digging in and making the best of this large library that I have. I haven’t even scratched the surface of photo editing since all of my editing over the last few years has been on my iPad or iPhone.

Brent Pennington’s photos from NEPA BlogCon 2015

Brent Pennington, official photographer for NEPA BlogCon 2015, on his blog:

I’ve had a unique perspective on BlogCon, both by being the organization’s official photographer and due to the fact that I live with one of the co-organizers. From it’s humble upstart beginnings, NEPA BlogCon has grown and matured into a powerful, full-featured conference that more than delivers on its promises.

I agree Brent. Good captures, too.

Shooting San Francisco with GoPro

This summer I’ve found myself shooting with my GoPro Hero3 a lot. And not just while kayaking. I really dig the perspective and most of what is captured is fairly Instagrammable. I’ll also mention that the GoPro form factor is less obtrusive than the iPhone in that people hardly notice the GoPro at all.

In late-June Kyle and I made an unexpected and unplanned business trip to San Francisco so I took my GoPro along and shot a few photos along the way. These are unedited (save for size) direct from the camera.

There are several small tweaks that I typically make to the photos coming from my GoPro before posting them to Instagram — such as bumping up the saturation, bring some light to the shadows, sharpening, etc. — but overall I think the GoPro has a just different enough perspective from the iPhone that I’m dig using it.

I will say, however, that when I want to capture something with far better quality than the GoPro provides I still take out my iPhone and shoot.

Since I’ve been shooting with a Hero3 this summer I’m definitely eyeing up the GoPro Session. Based on the comparisons I’ve read it seems a capable little device.

What is a Panoselfie?

They aren’t new. You can find them if you dig. But they aren’t “a thing” and I think they should be. So, yesterday I created a Flickr group called Panoselfies. I recommend giving it a try.

How:

  • Put your phone on pano mode
  • Point it just over your right shoulder
  • Slowly rotate your wrist as the phone takes the photo

You don’t have to post to Flickr. You could put it on Twitter or Facebook too and simply hashtag it. Squarecroppers need not apply.

Update: Now that Instagram allows for other formats besides squarecrops you can share panoselfies there too.

Hard Links and Photos for OS X

Jason Snell, after reviewing the beta of Photos for OS X, has figured out how Apple imports photos into the new Photos for OS X without taking up any additional space:

It creates hard links to the contents of your iPhoto library inside the Photos library. If you delete your iPhoto library, the files that were hard-linked from the Photos library still exist in the Photos library and aren’t deleted.

This is really great.

 

Salvador Dalí in Print

This weekend we at Coalwork sponsored a local blogging event called NEPA BlogCon. You can read more about that on the Coalwork blog.

While visiting Misericordia University I popped my head into the Salvador Dalí in Print exhibit, which they have on loan from Elizabeth Marrow.

Dalí was a trip. Nice exhibit. (Side note: Check out his full name. Wowza.)

 

Flickr Premium?

Danny Nicolas has been keeping up with my Flickr commentary of late about how Flickr should create a more affordable, less feature-rich account type and he has a few things to add:

I feel as if most people currently paying for Flickr Pro don’t take advantage of all the features offered. I might even go in the other direction and have the current Flickr Pro offering become the mid-size account, and offer a more expensive Business account that doesn’t have file size or video limitations.

My main argument for why I think Flickr should make a scaled-down account is more about price than about features. I was a paying Flickr Pro user for many years, as was my wife, and we never utilized the account to the full. Though I’m sure more serious photographers do. However, in today’s market of mobile apps and the services that power them, most people will not pay $24 a year to share photos with their friends. And I don’t think the Instagram generation needs Flickr Pro. But I do think they’d pay enough to make it worth Flickr’s while to create a more affordable account with less features.

Creating a Premium account is an interesting idea and is always on the table for SaaS platforms. But I don’t think that is the right strategy for Flickr. I doubt there are many members that are pining for more features or space or video capabilities. They can go elsewhere for video. I believe there is a goldmine of brand new users that are dabbling with Instagram – to the tune of tens of millions perhaps – that would love a few extra features that Instagram simply does not provide (stats, groups, sets, etc.) and all Flickr has to do is price the account just right, and market it properly, in order to suck them all in.

Again, Danny:

Whatever their strategy for success may be, Flickr must evade further stagnation in order to be competitive. They can’t ignore and leave new markets wide open like they did with mobile. They have the opportunity to become a powerful weapon in the hands of Yahoo.

It is amazing to me that so many people see Instagram as Flickr’s failing. But it is obvious. The people that were the innovators in photo sharing missed the boat. I think the problem is that Flickr became a business very quickly after joining Yahoo! It went from being an innovative product that was really trying to solve problems to a business that needed to make money and innovation sort of was pushed to the side. And the fact that we didn’t hear anything from Flickr for years was mind-boggling. I have no idea what they’ve been doing for the last few years.

Danny nailed it when he mentioned cannibalization. Some of the things Flickr should have done over the last several years were no doubt thought of and even sketched out but perhaps decided against for that very reason. They didn’t want to lose current customers. But they may have to do just that in order to grow again.

Yahoo! needs to invest in Flickr. They need to let the team know they can take chances again. They can try and fail and try again. They need resources, talent, and a someone with a clear vision to run the entire thing.

If Marisa runs Flickr like she ran search at Google Flickr will succeed. If she runs it the way Google , Buzz, and Wave was run she won’t. And there is a subtle difference between the two approaches. Google , Buzz, and Wave were innovations, no doubt, but without any real value or use case that was obvious. I remember trying Wave for the first time and having no idea what it was for. The products were perhaps a little too innovative. Instagram isn’t so much an innovation as it a well-designed simple solution that brings delight to people every day. Google search is a well-designed (seemingly) simple solution that brings an amazing amount of value to people every day. Flickr should aim for one of those; delight or value. I’d pick delight.

365 photos by Marisa McClellan

Marisa McClellan is shooting a photo per-day and posting it to her blog (and Flickr account if you’d prefer). Most of her photos are fairly drool worthy but the above tips the scales (you know, because of the cast iron).

She’s up to 38 or so. I’ll be watching every single one.

Other projects like this exist on Flickr too such as the 365 days group and Project 365.

How to: Delete photos from within Smart Albums in iPhoto

iphoto-photos-smart-albumI use Smart Albums in iPhoto for a number of reasons, which I plan on covering in an upcoming post, but every once and a while I find a few photos that I’d like to delete. Not just delete from the Smart Album but actually delete from my entire Library. Until today I had not figured out how to do that.

The problem: When you have a photo selected in a Smart Album and you want to delete it the ‘Move to trash’ option in the Photos menu is inactive. I thought I had tried every single key combination I could think of, tried dragging the photo, tried to “find the photo in the Library” (like iTunes can do) and still nothing seemed to work.

The solution: Dom Barnes came to my rescue on Twitter. The magic keystroke is CMD OPT DEL. Or, Command, Option and Delete, when you have the photo(s) selected that you want to delete. This will move those photos to the Trash (even though iPhoto doesn’t show you this option anywhere).

This is going to save me a lot of time. Thanks Dom.

Eliza went crazy with Photo Booth

Eliza saw Mike’s recent Photo Booth extravaganza photos and wanted to make some of her own, so she did.

Eliza and I in thermal mode