10 June 2009

MyHeritage: New photo features

MyHeritage.com has just launched its new photo features that claims to make it easier to store, share and present digital photos online.

Useful elements include uploading photos from mobile devices, creating slideshows from the images and tagging them more quickly. The goal is to make the most of your family photos.

Imagine attending a wedding, a birthday party, a graduation or a family reunion. Take photos with a mobile device - even a video of bride and groom cutting the cake - and send it directly to your family site for other family members to see.

Every member of your MyHeritage family site gets his or her unique email address. Any photo, video or document they send via any mobile device will be published to the family site. The email address prevents strangers from posting content to your family website. It contains the family site address followed by a four-digit PIN code, and also helps the site identify which family member sent what item.

Save the unique address in your mobile device and your email contact list. Photos can also be emailed from your web mail or email address to the family site.

It seems to be a great idea that provides a safe place to store family images and documents , at make them easily accessible. A family site folder contains all uploaded images.

I liked the feature which creates full-screen animated slideshows in various formats. See this presentation with photos of Barack Obama which also illustrates how videos can be incorporated.
Among various effect styles are a traditional slideshow and these:

- 3D walls display photos on a virtual wall.

- Photo stack is like flipping through a box full of Polaroids on a table:

To share a slideshow, click the "share" button, copy URL, paste into an email and send. Your destination might be a person, Twitter, Facebook or other networking sites. However, the links will only work if 1) the recipient is your family site member or 2) if the album is public. Take a look at this interesting example: garden designs. With 100 images, see how fast it loads and try the various formats (top left).

In September, the site added photo tagging, so users could add names to the people in photos. Now the process is automated. When a member has identified all family members at least once, he or she can turn on automatic tagging and people in new photos will generally be automatically tagged. Tagged people will be sorted into albums, and viewers can also see a face cloud showing the most frequently imaged people in the collection.

Tagging is faster, the interface has been redesigned and there's a new sidebar with more information, including recent tags and options. MyHeritage claims it works fast and reliably with even very large photo collections.

For more detailed explanations and more click-on examples, see three blog posts at the MyHeritage company blog: here, here and here.

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