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Phanfare: Online Hi-Res Photo/Video Hosting

Introduction

The Phanfare.com service is a hybrid, with one toe in the pool of a local client application and the other firmly pressed in the online world. In order to use the service, you must download a local executable. I know what most of you are thinking but what sounds disadvantageous by way of running a local app for an online file sharing site is part of Phanfare's strength.

The Microsoft .NET framework is a needed part of the install. Installation was a snap, taking about five minutes even with the .NET extensions. When uploading your first image you are asked to title your album and select the appearance/wrapper showcasing your photos. To add images you can simply drag them into the album folder in the local application window. The application then uploads your images to your Website on Phanfare.com behind the scenes; larger files are given an approximate time until the upload is complete, much like FTP software.

Easy Photo/Video Organization And Photo Editing

Integrating and organizing photos into albums is a straightforward procedure. In the offline module, you simply choose your album title and captions. Phanfare does the rest behind the scenes, using your connection while you work. Dragging and dropping is great for adding large amounts of photos or copying en masse from your digital camera. The auto-publishing of your Website is hassle free, with no maintenance required. If more convenient, you can add photos by e-mail or send them from your mobile phone.

The desktop application allows for basic photo editing functions such as cropping, red-eye, rotation and color/brightness/contrast adjustments. You can add captions and organize photos/videos by album for easier browsing locally, which the app then changes on your Website. Importantly, there are no advertisements; the site is completely revenue supported and free to use for non-profit or educational institutions. Phanfare has been careful to remove the "viral marketing" approach seen in many free hosting sites and there is no need for your viewers to register in order to view albums.

Videos are uploaded in the same manner as photos; however, you see more of the compression via the Flash 7 interface. You can change the bandwidth for higher quality playback ranging from 250 kbp/s to 1000 kbp/s, but remember, your original video files are still available for download. There are no video editing tools like those found on Eyespot, Motionbox or Jumpcut; transitions and the like are absent. I find most online video editing tools Spartan anyways. If you're doing any serious editing you're modifying your original DV in a local package like AfterEffects/Premiere and then upping the master. You're limited to a 10 GB per month upload and 15 GB download save the first month of membership to allow for the initial transfer of your files.