What did we do over our summer vacation you ask? Make Phanfare better of course. We are excited to announce that today we introduced a bunch of improvements to Phanfare spanning all aspects of our system. Many of these were top items on the Spring survey.
Welcome RAW files
Over 70% of our customers own a digital SLR and many report to us that they shoot RAW at least part of the time. Phanfare now accepts RAW files from Phanfare Pro customers. You can upload RAW files from Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture, the web, the PC client and the Mac client.
- RAW files are limited to 100 MB each. Tell us if you need more.
- Each RAW file must be associated with a JPEG image in your account. The filename is the key. If you upload an image to an album that has the same prefix as an existing image but a file extension outside of the ones we support for viewing, then it is assumed to be a RAW file. An example works best: If there is an image called IMG3433.JPG in an album and you upload IMG3433.CR2, then we assume it’s a RAW file. Any file that is not one of the core file types we support for regular upload (JPEG, TIFF, PSD and all the video types), is considered a RAW file.
- Our RAW support creates a sidecar for the existing image. You can download RAW files right from your web albums. Of course, you can also suppress that option and control whether new albums get created with RAW download turned on or off.
- The Lightroom and Aperture plugins were updated to support RAW and you can export JPEGS and RAW files simultaneously to Phanfare. Thank you David Holmes for updating the Aperture plugin.
- RAW storage is not included in the Phanfare Pro fee. You must purchase 10GB RAW storage blocks for $24.99/year each.
- Phanfare keeps RAW files the same way Phanfare keeps your JPEG images. Each RAW file is uploaded to Amazon S3, where it is replicated in multiple data centers, assuring that it will always be available.
- To get started with RAW, purchase a RAW storage block by logging in at www.phanfare.com. RAW storage blocks are offered on the bottom left of your logged-in home page.
Your Own Online Photo and Video Drop Box, Available 24×7
The Phanfare drop box enables you to collect full resolution photos and videos from anyone, over the web, into your Phanfare account. The drop box is useful when your friends have taken photos or videos that you want to include in your Phanfare album. Normally, moving large files over the internet is difficult, but with the drop box, your friends can drop stuff off as easily as you can upload yourself. Here are the details:
- Every Phanfare site has a dropbox at yourname.phanfare.com/dropbox
- There is an icon that looks like a little inbox, next to the search magnifying glass on the top right of your web albums that links to the drop box.
- The drop box is disabled by default. You enable it in site options from web, Mac or PC client.
- Every Phanfare Subsite also has an optional drop box. For example, if you create a subsite yourname.phanfare.com/soccer then the drop box will be at yourname.phanfare.com/soccer/dropbox.
- When someone drops off photos and videos, you will get email notifying you.
- You have unlimited storage for drop offs.
- When a person drops off photos and videos, Phanfare creates a new unpublished album for the photos and videos.
All Phanfare customers, Pro and Premium, have a drop box, but only Phanfare Pro customers have Subsites and hence drop boxes for Subsites.
iPhone 3GS Video
Phanfare now supports video shot with the iPhone 3GS. We know it’s been few months since that phone was released. Thanks for bearing with us. You can upload the video directly from the iPhone using Phanfare Photon or you can move the video to your computer and upload it with one of our other tools.
We are working on re-converting videos files uploaded to us in the past few months to fix all known iPhone 3 GS videos.
The Phanfare Referral Program makes Friends with the Web
We announced the Phanfare 50/50 Referral program over the summer. To review, when you recruit a new Phanfare Pro member, you receive $10 in Phanfare credit and they receive $10 off the first year. For new Pro members, they get $20 off, and you get $20 in credit. To get the credit, the new member had to put in your email address when signing up or paying.
The Referral program still works with email addresses, but now each of our customers has a unique random referral code, which you can see here, that can be used in links to Phanfare while still giving the new member a discount and you a credit. Here are the details:
- Your referral code can be found in settings,referral program on the web (link only works for logged in Phanfare customers).
- There are two types of links that work, links to our home page and links to the signup page.
- The link is formed by adding r=YOURCODE. For example, to drive someone to our home page, the link would be www.phanfare.com/?r=YOURCODE.
- You can put your link right on your Phanfare web albums if you like.
- Your email address is still a valid referral code, but you can’t use it in links to Phanfare.
We had quite a few requests to enable linking to Phanfare and referral credit. Both old and new ways have their virtues. It’s convenient that a friend signing up for Phanfare can put in your email, which they might know off the top of their head, and get a discount, while providing you credit. But you don’t want to put a link out there on twitter or on a public web page with your email in it.
Similarly, the random referral code is nice for links, but your friends surely are not going to know it by heart. Hence, we offer both.
Odds and Ends
We fixed some bugs in this release, including some bugs in the Mac Client.
We improved the contact manager to support contact groups. You can create a contact group and email everyone in the group at once.
Whenever you share an album within Phanfare, we now automatically add the recipients’ email addresses to your contacts.
We tightened up the look of the table of contents page for web albums . We made improvements to the Phanfare classic style, now called the Hardcover Book layout, and we the new layout, now called “Large Thumbs.” Most of our older customers don’t even realize that we offer 2 choices of layout for the Table of Contents. You can control which one is used in Website Options.