Lost in the shuffle: MobileMe galleries

Lost in the shuffle: MobileMe galleries

Summary: Apple's unceremoniously pulling the rug out from under its loyal MobileMe users that uploaded their photos to the its uber-expensive ($100/year) service.


Apple: Download your photos now, before we delete them! Jason O'Grady

Apple is dropping MobileMe Gallery on June 30, 2012 and it isn’t offering an alternative service to replace it.

Back in September 2011 I wrote that Apple needs to announce iCloud galleries or lose them to Flickr and Picasa and it doesn't look like Gallery is going to receive a stay of execution at the 11th hour.

Apple's unceremoniously pulling the rug out from under its loyal MobileMe users that uploaded their photos to the its uber-expensive ($100/year) service.

Instead of offering a seamless upgrade to a comparable photo gallery service on iCloud (even paid would be fine), Apple instead chose to evict its users by emailing a draconian warning notice (above) that just as easily could have been a foreclosure notice from Bank of America.

Download your photos now, before we delete them!

What a shame (and very un-Apple).

Apple made a half-hearted attempt to resurrect online photo galleries with Journals, but they're restricted to users that publish photos from iPhoto on iOS and they use proprietary (and funky) Apple templates. Yuck.

It would be great if existing MobileMe photo galleries automatically turned into Journals. This would save users days of downloading photo galleries that they dutifully uploaded to MobileMe from Aperture and iPhoto over the years.

It would also save them from uploading them to Picasa (or another service) after getting burned by Apple.

Apple could easily have saved users the hassle of downloading all their photos (and having to find a new home for them) by integrating Journals into iPhoto and Aperture for OS X but it didn't. Instead Apple elected to send a nastygram and leave its users twisting in the wind.

I anticipated this happening and moved my galleries to Picasa Web back in September 2011 and luckily got grandfathered into Google's 20GB for $5 per year plan. Google's storage plans increased dramatically when it announced Google Drive in April and the new 25GB storage plan costs $2.50 per month. I upload photos to Picasa Web with the (now mothballed) Aperture to Picasa Web Albums plug-in, which still works despite being unsupported. Who knows if it will continue to work with Aperture 4?

You can see what a morass this is.

Is photo hosting that difficult? I wonder why Apple got out of it? I'm totally baffled as to why Apple left its customers high and dry and handled the transition as poorly as it did.

If you're looking for a home for your displaced photo galleries, I blogged about some of the top photo hosting services (like Picasa Web, Flickr Pro, Smugmug, 500px, ZenFolio and Facebook) in September 2011. But you better act quickly because there's only 15 days left before Apple's iCloud executioner deletes your photos forever.

Where do you keep your photo galleries?


Topic: Apple

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  • Upload Junction is an option to go.

    Just wanted to let you know that there's a free tool that can help people to move their photos from MobileMe.
    It is called Upload Junction (http://www.uploadjunction.com).
    I'm a proud developer of this service and I saw many people already used it to transfer their photos.
  • love the cloud

    This happened to me with delicious. I thought I had moved all my bookmarks but later I found they didn't move. I lost them.

    I've also had a few instances where storage accounts somehow don't accept my password and the email I used to set it up is long gone. Files lost.

    Moral: nothing you put in the cloud is safe, always keep a physical backup.
  • Uh.....

    This date has been known for months. MobileMe was $100 per year, but everyone got extended for its final months at no charge, if their renewal date fell between the keynote when Jobs introduced iCloud and 6-30-12.

    Why didn't Apple do more than what the MobileMe customers such as me paid for: that's your question? Okay. That's how it works. When a restaurant pulls an item off the menu, they don't provide grief counselors and guides to other restaurants offering the item. You got what you paid for and for the time period you paid for it.

    iCloud services today may be less than MobileMe, in terms of galleries, but the overall execution seems better, is included with the os, and adds Find My Mac/iPhone/iPad. I haven't fully watched this WWDC's Keynote, but I believe there are ways to similarly share photos as with MobileMe through iCloud via Mountain Lion and iOS 6. Granted: not here yet.

    MobileMe was Apple os/device only and hardly 100% adopted. Dropbox was better than iDisk and is accessible on Windows and Linux. When people think of sharing videos and photos, they turn to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and other cross-platform ubiquitous social platforms. Isn't the real lament not "MobileMe, we hardly knew ye." but something more akin to "But, I don't want to move my stuff!"

    As for migration, weren't the items on your mac.com page copies? I rely on Apple for a lot of devices and services, but I consider archiving my stuff my problem and understand that anything done via a third party has a risk of total loss, so I keep a copy of the things that matter.

    But let's be positive. Friends, if you used MobileMe for photo and video sharing, you have two weeks to retrieve any thing irreplaceable. Right click a link and choose download linked file. Or investigate third-party wrap arounds to curl and wget. Good luck. It's tough, but things change, and golden eras transform to days of tin. For those who are wildly distraught, perhaps we should start a support hangout on Google+.
  • speaking of Google+

    did you know that your Picasa photo albums can only be viewed by people with Google+ accounts?
  • Cheese with that whine?

    You sound like this was unexpected. Apple made a very public announcement about this a year ago. Since that time I've received several reminder emails from Apple. Not everything (besides the daily rising and setting of the sun) lasts forever. Let us know when you're ready to live in reality. I won't hold my breath.
  • iCloud lacks storage for Excel, Word, etc.

    Definitely not an IT person & question WHY Apple discards its Mac users of Excel, Word, etc.? I loved MobileMe & foolishly assumed iCloud would be greater. Even purchased a Mac Air 12/11 thinking I'd store most docs on the cloud. What a disappointment of Apple...let alone of my limited understanding of cloud computing. :-((