Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

After Two Years in the Works, Picturelife Comes Alive

This might be a familiar occurrence: You tether your phone or camera to your laptop, or insert your SD card. IPhoto opens … almost. The icon at the bottom of the screen bounces … and bounces … and then iPhoto opens.

Picturelife

But the photos are sort of disorganized. Maybe it’s not even iPhoto. Maybe it’s another default photo-storage service or your go-to cloud app, like Dropbox.

The creators of a new service called Picturelife think they have a better backup solution.

Picturelife, which has been in the works for the past two years, is coming out of “stealth” mode today, showing off a new-new design and introducing video support in addition to storing photo files. The service is the creation of Nate Westheimer, director of New York Tech Meetup, OMGPOP’s Charles Forman (who dazedly walked into traffic after Zynga bought the casual game company for $180 million) and Jacob DeHart of Threadless.

Last fall, TechCrunch reported that the company raised $4 million in funding.

Picturelife’s approach is to work with all of the key photo apps, cloud services and social networks to allow for easy imports and syncing of photos across computer and mobile. As with most photo-storage services, photo files can be synced over Wi-Fi or by physically tethering a phone or camera to the computer.

But if you want to import an album from Facebook, you can do that, and share photos from Picturelife to Facebook and Twitter, too. Photos can be imported from Instagram, Flickr, DropBox, Tumblr, Foursquare and SmugMug as well, and won’t appear as duplicates in Picturelife.

The app’s search function uses natural-language tech to pull up photos and videos, so you can search by using a specific name or GPS location or just phrases like “photos from last summer.”

Westheimer says the service isn’t meant to replace other cloud-storage services — it’s supposed to work with them, offering a more organized photo-storage service and eliminating the need for local storage or a backup hard drive.

Picturelife costs $7 a month or $70 a year for 100 gigabytes of storage, and $15 a month or $150 a year for 300GB. It works on both Mac and Windows computers, and on iOS and Android mobile devices. The company plans to introduce terabyte options, as well as physical photo printing, in the coming months.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus