I began looking at divshare a few days ago as a way to stor, save, and share my personal photo collection. The idea of auto-galleries, unlimited space, flash video, and possible FTP access was… enticing. But it’s tough to tell how something like this is going to work on a large scale…
So… after messing around with a free divshare account for a while I decided it was more worth my while to pay 10 bucks for a pro account and get FTP access than to try and use mechanize (or something similar) to hack out my own makeshift API. Now I have about… Oh… 8,000 files I want to upload… So… doing that 10 at a time was just _NOT_ going to happen…
After paying for a pro account I was *immediately* granted FTP access, no waiting. And for that I was grateful. Since I take photos at 6MP, and thats WAY too large for most online uses I have a shell script which automagically creates 5%, 10%, and 25% or original sized thumbnails. This meant that I had an expansive set of files I could upload and only take a couple of hours doing it (5% thumbs end up being less than 200Mb.) This, I thought, would be an excellent test of their interfaces.
So an-ftping-i-a-go. Upload all my files into a sub directory (005). Visit the dash. nothing. Visit the ftp-upload-page to recheck… maybe I did something wrong. AND WHAM! an 8,000 check box form to accept ftp uploaded files… ugh. Thankfully they’re all checked by default. I let it load (for a long while) and hit submit… and wait… and wait… and wait. Then the server side connection times out a while later. Fair enough. Check my dash… about 1500 of the 8,000 photos were imported… I’m going to have to do this 6 times. Annoying, but doable. Hit the second submit, and pop open another browser to look at my dash. And divshare did *nothing* with my folder name… that wasnt translated to a “virtual” folder at all. tsk tsk.
So I need to put about 1500 photo, manually, into an 005 folder… and then I realize… I have to do this 20 files at a time… with no way to just show files that are not currently in a folder.
… uh no …
Ok, so I open up one of the photos that I DID put into the 005 folder, and it did, in fact, make them into a “gallery” of sorts. It made a thumbnail , and displayed all 3,000 photos side by side in something similar to an iframe… no rows. just one row… 3,000 columns… and waiting as my browser requests each… and every… thumb… from divshare. Wonderful. The gallery controls are simple enough an iframe with a scrollbar at the bottom, a next photo link, and a previous photo link. And all 3 controls make you loose your place in the iframe when you use them…
Now dont get me wrong. You get what you pay for. But hey… I did pay this time ;) The service is excellent for what it does. And my use case was a bit extreme. Still I hope that they address these issues that I’ve pointed out. I’d really like to continue using them, and if they can make my pohoto process easier I’ll gladly keep paying them $10/mo
- Don’t ignore what pro users are telling you when they upload
- Process large-accepts in the background, let me know I need to come back later
- Negative searching (folder == nil)
- Mass file controls (Iether items/page, or all-items-in-view (folder == nil))
- Give me a gallery a non-broadband user can use (1500 thumbs in one sitting tastes bad, more filling)
- Don’t undo what I’ve done in the gallery every click. Finding your place among 8,000 photos is tedious to do once
And I know I sound like I’m just complaining. And I am. But this is web 2.0 feedback baby. Ignore my grouchiness, and (If I’m lucky) take my suggestions and run with them asap. The photo/files market is very very far from cornered!