BubbleShare is a new photo-sharing service that allows you to very easily create photo albums with no registration and then share them with anyone in a matter of minutes. The intent of the project is to help you share your stories by creating your photo albums and sharing them. In BubbleShare’s initial launch post, they mention how it is not meant to be a simple web-based slideshow, but rather a work of art. I feel they did an excellent job and have made it extremely simple to use. I have made a few albums, tested around, and gathered my notes. Now, lets take a look at BubbleShare.
BubbleShare had mentioned that they wanted to make it as simple as possible for you to share your photos. Well, they certainly have. The first page you are presented with actually is the upload page where you select your photos and add them to the list for it to use for your album. You will see a button, “Add Photo.” When you click on this it will bring up your computers Open file window so you can select a photo. As you can see in the screenshot, in Windows, I have selected to view thumnail view so I can view the photos and then add them. When you select a photo it will add it to the list and the “Create Album” button will then allow you to select it. Make sure you have added all the photos you want before you click on the button. Once you do it will load them up and process your album. Also note that if you wanted to selected multiple photos at once, you can try to use the Enhanced Uploader that they provide a link for below the buttons.
When you click on the “Create Album” button, it will bring you to a page that looks like the above. You will see a progress bar starting at 0% and will actually upload and process each photo you have selected as you fill out the form below. Once it reaches 100%, submit the form and you will then be directed to the Slideshow Editor. This is really neat because the progress indicator actually is real-time and does not require the page to reload because I am assuming the use of Ajax. You will also receive two emails (I would prefer only one though). One that gives you the link to a page that you can manage your album and another email for the address you can share with your friends so they can view it. Now lets look at the Slideshow Editor.
The Slideshow Editor allows you to change the order or the slideshow, remove photos, change the name and descriptions, add/remove comments, and the part that got me excited was audio caption recording, which I will mention below. In the screenshot above, you see a row of thumbnails. You can take these thumnails and drag them left or right to organize the album the way you want it. You can also click on the little x’s to delete them. To manage a photo, just click on the thumnail and you will then be able to change the caption, add comments, and what I find really cool, the Audio Caption feature. But there is one thing that is missing . You cannot add photos once the album has been created. This means that when you create it for the first time, make sure you have all the photos. I’d hope that BubbleShare is working on this because it would definitely be good to have. Other than that, everything worked great.
Above, I mentioned that there is a feature in the Slideshow Editor called, “Audio Caption.” What you do is select the photo that you want to add a caption for and then click on the button on the left menu that says, “Audio Caption.” It will then bring up a box that will tell you that you can record your voice for up to 30 seconds starting once you click “record.” If you clicked on the record button for the first time, Macromedia Flash may come up with a setting box asking if you want to allow for recording. Select yes and then the recording will begin! You can describe your photo, talk about your story, or whatever it may be. When you are done, click on the “Stop” button. You can then select to record again, play what you have already made, save it for the photo, or cancel it if you decide not to use an audio caption. If you decided to save the recording, it will add a play button next to a speaker icon on the bottom right of the photo. Works great and is definitely a great feature.
Now the only thing left to do is to share your album! Here is one I made for when I was testing it out (and yes, they are my own photos). When you are the creator of the album, BubbleShare will remember that it is you and will not ask for your name or email when commenting, but if you aren’t the creator, you will see a comment text area. When you click on “Comment,” it will then slide down and give you two more fields for your name and email. The album uses Ajax and also allows you to play the slideshow instead of doing next and previous. You can also subscribe to comment feeds or subscribe to receive an email for comments from a photo you have commented on. You may also be wondering how you can get a permanent link to a photo. Simply go to the thumbnail view and copy the location of a thumbnail. I do feel that they should provide this link on the photos page itself though to make it easier to grab it.
Mac OS X users! You can even download a plugin for iPhoto that will allow you to actually create an album by using your existing photos in iPhoto! I would imagine that this would make it a whole lot simpler for you if you already use iPhoto.
Update: The BubbleShare Weblog seems to be down right now. I will keep the links active in the meantime incase it gets back up again.