This is the second time this has happened to me with them. I like the ease of uploading and posting the pics with Photopoint but these extended outages without warning are a bit extreme. Don't think I'll be re-subscribing.
PhotoPoint goes dark, draws concern
By Evan Hansen CNET News.com
Online photo site PhotoPoint has been unavailable for days, wreaking havoc with thousands of customers who store pictures on the popular site.
The company began referring some 1.25 million current and former customers to partner EZ Prints for printing and other services in a Dec. 7 e-mail message. The note said the shutdown was due to technical difficulties, but it left unanswered the bigger question of when, if ever, customers would be able to access their PhotoPoint files.
Executives at PhotoPoint and parent Pantellic Software, which acquired the service this summer, could not immediately be reached for comment. Web sites for both companies were unavailable Monday. A published company phone number listed as the contact for both companies had been disconnected.
"We have encountered some technical difficulties and hope to have prints, framed prints and photo gifts back online as soon as possible," the San Francisco-based company wrote, acknowledging the inconvenience this might cause customers during the holiday season.
Jamie Bardin, chief executive of Atlanta, Ga.-based EZ Prints, said the PhotoPoint service has effectively shut down, at least temporarily.
"To the extent of my knowledge, PhotoPoint is not in existence at this time," he said. "It's tragic that this happened at this time in the year."
Bardin said his company has been signing up former PhotoPoint customers for the past 10 days, but he would not reveal exact numbers. He said the future of PhotoPoint is unclear, but he did not rule out the possibility that the site could eventually relaunch.
PhotoPoint's troubles come as once-hot online photo sites face a tough shakeout, marked by takeovers and closures. Eastman Kodak acquired online photo service Ofoto in June. In October, mail-order film processor District Photo bought online photo company Snapfish. And in June, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers-backed Zing.com said it would shutter its consumer operations.
For its part, PhotoPoint has been passed around like a hot potato. Halifax, Nova Scotia-based Pantellic spun the company off about two years ago and scored about $11 million in venture capital financing for the start-up. But VC firm Sherwood Partners shut it down and sold some of the assets back to Pantellic in July. After a five-day outage, the site returned but began charging for its services.
The latest shutdown was greeted with anger and confusion from some customers, who said they fear losing photos stored with the service. EZ Prints' Bardin said his company is accepting new photos from PhotoPoint customers but said there are no plans to transfer files stored on PhotoPoint's computers.
Eric Foltin, a self-described "disgruntled" customer, said he lost photos stored for use in eBay auctions, potentially costing him sales.
"I am a seller on eBay and I lost all my pictures for the last three days of my auctions, probably losing me a couple hundred dollars out of my pocket," he wrote in an e-mail to CNET News.com.
Gary Madison of Lake County, Calif., said he's worried that he might lose two years' worth of painstaking work on a surprisingly popular Web site devoted to describing modifications he's made to his 1991 Mazda Miata. The site has racked up a million hits, according to Madison, who said he's been getting "quite a bit" of e-mail from fans wondering why some of his pages are inaccessible.
Madison said he backed up the 1,000 or so photos associated with the site, but he wrote detailed captions describing the sometimes complex mechanical work that exist only on files stored by PhotoPoint. He said the company's editing tools made it easy to make changes to the photos from the Web site, and he never worried that PhotoPoint would leave customers in the lurch.
Although the company's status is still unknown, PhotoPoint's silence has only added to the worry.
"I'm appalled that a service of the size and caliber (of) PhotoPoint would go offline with no notification so that we could recover our work," Madison said. "I just want my captions back."
Bottom line, the days of free pic hosting are over. Many of you guys have gone through this several times before and it really is a pain. There are many web hosts that charge a minimal fee around $10.00 per month for hosting and you get your own domain name. So even if your webhost goes bye-bye, you can move your files to a new host and the pic addresses are still located under yourname.com or what ever your domain name is.
Pay now or pay later when you have to shuffle files around to another free website that may fold in 6 months.
Also, your ISP should have 10 megs or so free to put pics on. You can also build a webpage on these sites too. THis free webspace from ISP shouldn't go away, Earthlink has had theirs for years.
I am paying for photopoint. I signed up for the 1 gig storage and paid a fee for it. Because i paid for it I don't think its right for them to just pull the plug without warning.
I did buy a domain and signed up for hosting. I just liked photopoint for it's simple upload and pic hosting. They "had" a good service at one time.
They started charging around the time they had a problem earlier this year. I signed up cause I like the hosting service and uploading was simple.
This biggest dissapointment about this is the fact that ALL of my prior posts that contained pictures are now showing broken links with no pics. No way to go back and fix all of them so for the most part they're gone. I have all the pics on my puter so no big deal as far as losing pics.
The scary thing is, if this service can charge for hosting pics and still shut down without warning can't the rest of the hosting services do the same?
I guess by putting them under my own domain then regardless of who's hosting my site my pics and the links to them would always remain constant. I understand this part but just didn't want to have to do it for all my previous posts. OH WELL, guess i have no choice now.
The best way to move files to a server is with FTP (File Transfer Protocol). There are several FTP software programs out there, some even free like WS-FTP LE. CuteFTP and BulletProof FTP are 2 other favorites. The companies also have 30 day demos to try them out before buying them.
What these FTP programs do is they contact your server and make a connection. Then a window pops up like Windows Explorer where you see what files you have on the server and what files you have on your computer you want to transfer to the server. You'll have to get the URL address for your ISP server and plug it into the address section of the FTP options window along with your log on name and password. Your ISP should have a help section on how to FTP files and what the address is to FTP to.
One tip I have is get BulletProof FTP if you plan to run a webpage or any .cgi files like this forums uses. Some of the FTP programs don't load ASCII files without corrupting them, BulletProof FTP is one of the few that loads them correctly. You have two choices when loading files to a server, ASCII which is text files and Binary, which is pic files.
Don't seem to be. All indications from the stories I've read are that they just up and left. Packed everything up and shut the light out. I think someone from the company oughta be held accountable. Maybe some jail time would do em some good. I paid money for storage and never even got a simple 24 hour notice. How hard could that have been? Apparantly gonna need some laws against this kind of stuff cause it seems like simple "theft" too me. If I "sold" you all something for $100 and then never delivered the item to you - i just kinda up and quit, the law would hunt me down and arrest me. So why not these A-holes?
Holly CRAP!!! I have over a 1000 pictures in there... I signed up early because I was given a printing deal and I haven't used it yet...now this!!!
I have invested countless hours uploading those pictures onto Photopoint. I was looking forward to uploading the 200+ shots of my vacation and share it with friends and family.... *@!#
What kind of service is this? I have no back up files or hard copies of my pictures. Do you suppose we can take legal action against them since pictures are priceless...? The least Photopoint could have done was inform us and give us time to transfer the images elsewhere.
Kinda hard to take legal action against someone that doesn't exist.
I have most of my pics on my local drive but still all my old posts with pic links are now displaying the red "x' box.
I have purchased spaces and my own domain, just need to get off my butt and build a site.