I know I’m the odd man out. I’ve been using MobileMe since it’s release, and I like it. I especially like MobileMe Gallery, the photo sharing part. I can select an album in iPhoto and post it to MobileMe with just a couple clicks. I can make it so that people can only view the photos, or I can let them download them. I can even allow visitors to post their own photos to an album through the website or via email. Any photos posted synch back to iPhoto. The gallery has an RSS feed, as does each individual album. Whenever I edit a photo in iPhoto, it’s smart enough to know that I have the photo published to MobileMe, and it automatically updates it for me, be it a simple typo correction in the name, or a complete edit with cropping and effects. Of course, the UI for viewing the photos is one of the best I’ve seen on the web.
I use it for my family photos. Most of my family members have iPhones and iPads, so they can subscribe and view my photos in Apple’s Gallery app. I gave all of our families AppleTVs a couple Christmas’s ago so that they can view our photos and videos through the Gallery app there on their TVs. It all integrates so beautifully. It makes sharing easy.
I also use it for my church. I have a separate MobileMe account that is specifically a church media gallery. I had originally tried setting up Flickr, but my fellow church members couldn’t figure it out. It was too much trouble. They didn’t want to have to sign up for an account, and the fact that they had to post photos to their own account and then share them to the church’s account was way too confusing. I set up the MobileMe gallery so that anyone could post photos without signing up for an account. I used the RSS feed to have new posts show up on the church website. It all integrates so beautifully. It makes it easy.
But now, Apple is adamantly reminding me every time I log in that it’s time to move. MobileMe will be shut down on June 30th. They want me to move to iCloud. Well, I’ve already done that, but they don’t have a Gallery as part of iCloud. Sure, they have the photo stream, but that is a completely different model of sharing. It’s only organization is chronological. It doesn’t act as a repository of thematic or event-based groupings. It’s not something that I can point a link on the church website to for people to see the photos from the annual church street carnival from the past three years and then allow them to share their own.
So, it’s time to move, but where am I moving to? Where can I find an affordable group photo sharing service that will seamlessly integrate with my photography workflow? I’m going to experiment with ZangZing. It has an uploader app that integrates with iPhoto to some extent, and group sharing is a feature. Here’s hoping it does a lot of what I want it to do.
I’m really going to miss MobileMe.