Photos in the cloud

Up early on a Sunday morning for some reason or another, and the first thing my mind gets stuck on is digital asset management for the home. Want to store your photos online while maintaining all of your rights and not accidentally sharing stuff with the world ? It appears we’ll get to 2014 still without a solution. There was one called Everpix, but it is no more. Google Picasa, Facebook, and Photobucket all are not prospects for long-term relationships.

Here’s the problem I want to solve: iPhoto, but in the cloud. The digital version of the photo boxes my parents have under their window seat with decades of history.

As someone who spent a few years trying to make it as a photographer, I’ve got a terabyte or two of photos on old hard drives that I hope haven’t failed yet. I want to put those photos in some place more permanent than what I’ve got. Deep archive is less desirable of an option because I have to remember to check every so often, they’re more difficult to access when I want to, etc.

As someone who’s recently married with a kid on the way, I want to collect all of our digital media in one place. In the cloud means it’s not tied to the ephemeral nature of personal machines, and that both Leah and I can manage it (she tends to do more photo stuff now anyways).

So… the fun part. If I had a week to slap this together, here’s how I’d build it:

  • WordPress
  • … but JS app built on top of an API
  • Flat usage fee. You provide your own S3 bucket to start, with more storage options down the line.
  • Drag and drop upload.
  • Organize photos in galleries, edit IPTC metadata, tag faces.
  • Image crop and rotation.
  • Multi-user access on the account-level, but also gallery-level so family / friends could contribute.
  • Emphasize data portability above all.

Other ideas that could come later:

  • One-click archive a gallery to Amazon Glacier if you don’t plan to use it for a while.
  • Mail in your DVDs if you don’t want to cap out your internet connection forever.
  • Advanced image editing with revision history.
  • Keeps track of how your photos are being used across the web (e.g. Facebook version vs Flickr one)
  • Auto-import from Facebook / Instagram / iPhone.
  • Optional fixed-price catastrophic backup service.
  • Bells & whistles.

Later: Worth mentioning that Human Made is hiring full time frontend / backend product devs if you’re into this sort of thing.

Leave a Reply