Everpix is a subscription photo service that promises unlimited online storage and automatic organization.
Short Review… It does the first part, storage and sync, perfectly. The second part is still a work in progress.
Much Longer Review…
The Life and Death of iPhoto
If you want to see what a perfect photo collection looks like, just visit an Apple store. On each display computer, you’ll find a copy of iPhoto1, pre-set with Apple’s idealized vision of a family photo library.
Apple’s sample library is organized along every axis. Each image is tagged with Events, Albums, Faces, Keywords, Locations, and even a Five-Star Rating scale. Each sample album is an idyllic vacation or outing, populated exclusively by beautiful, multicultural families who never take bad photos and whose trips happen in confined locations, with no stranger’s faces in the background.
This is the dream world of iPhoto, as well as its mission statement: All of your photos, organized.
But throw a real family with real photos at the program and it chokes on every word of that statement.
- It can’t handle all of your photos because there are too many of them and they’re too big. You’re taking 8-megapixel pictures and shooting 1080p video with your iPhone. And god forbid you shoot a DSLR in RAW format. Suddenly that 128GB SSD hard-drive in your Macbook Air is full and you’re rationing photos to save space.
- And once your photos are in iPhoto, they’re no longer your photos. iPhoto buries them in its own convoluted file system. It only begrudgingly lets you share them using aging plug-ins to services like Facebook and Flickr.
- And it’s not organized unless you obsessively do the work of tagging every photo yourself. I like to imagine that the fictional mom in Apple’s sample iPhoto library is suffering from OCD. Are you coming to bed honey? “One minute! Just need to rate all the vacation photos on a 5-point scale!”
Everpix: F**k Organizing
The goal of Everpix is simple: All of your photos. That’s it.
Everpix gives up on the idea that anyone is going to organize anything. The service is a giant, bottomless bucket into which you quickly and easily dump every photo you take.
If the service had a motto, it would be “Upload Everything and Let God Sort It Out.”
Yes, Everpix claims to organize your photos automatically, but this is happy talk. A fantasy.
We’re developing image analysis technology that understands your photos and helps you manage your collection.
We’re building new ways for you to enjoy and rediscover your pictures.
Notice the present progressive tense (“-ing”). Automatic organization is something they’re working on, but what’s in the product right now is at best a proof of concept.
Everpix hides duplicate photos, tries to guess which photos you’re most interested in, and tries to categorize photos by broad categories like People, Nature, Food, etc. It doesn’t do any of these things particularly well or accurately. But that’s okay.
Because what Everpix does do is great. Everpix syncs, stores, and displays decades of photos quickly and effortlessly.
Install the Everpix app on your computer and your phone, and soon every photo you’ve ever taken is available everywhere. Despite the complete lack of organization, Everpix’s approach has put me in touch with more old photos in a week than iPhoto did in a decade.
Like this hilarious, random New York couple in 2004:
Or my little brother-in-law’s smile in 2007:
I hadn’t seen either of these photos in years. Probably not since they were taken.
- Flickr now offers one terabyte of free storage, but that number is more of a dare than reality. As in “I dare you to somehow manually upload one terabyte of photos when our service caps each upload session to 200 photos.”
- Facebook is designed for sharing. It’s great at that task, but it doesn’t keep high quality copies of your photos and it’s impossible to use the service without sharing everything.
- Dropbox has added some fantastic photo sharing and photo album features. But I have 70 gigs of photos going back a decade. At current prices, that means spending $100-a-year and eventually $200-a-year once I add another 30 gigs of photos.
- iCloud Photostream is barely a photo service. It’s useful in that it quickly moves photos from one device to all of your devices, but it only stores your last 1000 photos and cannot be upgraded or relied upon.
Having all of my photos backed up and instantly accessible is well worth the price of admission. Any other features they add over the next year are gravy.
Update: November 14, 2013
Though I did not use Everpix every day, I loved the security that came with knowing all of my photos were being synced continuously and effortlessly to the cloud. I also loved being able to dig out a photo from years earlier whenever I wanted using their web and iOS applications. As of now, I have no idea how I’ll replace the service.
iPhoto 2011 to be exact. Apple hasn’t updated it in years and it doesn’t sync with its newer iOS counterparts at all. ↩