Digitize your old photo albums with Shoebox by 1000memories

Nov 9, 2011
Tech

It’s been several years since I had any photos actually printed, and the photo albums are steadily gathering dust. So instead of promoting keeping your photos forever in hard copy, Shoebox by 1000memories does the inverse, provides users a solution in scanning all their old photos (or documents) to store in the cloud. Designed for […]

It’s been several years since I had any photos actually printed, and the photo albums are steadily gathering dust. So instead of promoting keeping your photos forever in hard copy, Shoebox by 1000memories does the inverse, provides users a solution in scanning all their old photos (or documents) to store in the cloud.

Designed for camera-equipped iPhone and iPod Touch, Shoebox requires users to have a 1000memories.com account or connect to the service using Facebook. The app’s meat-and-potatoes is its scanner, which works OK. You’ll definitely have to be conscious of lighting — I had a lot of glare on my images, so heed the natural light advice.

After you scan an image, you’ll be able to crop in by moving the corners. This also helps straighten and flatten the image from your scan angle. The auto-corner magnification helps you stay close to the photo edge without losing too much of he initial image or including the background surface. You don’t have to use crop, but the rotation options are 90 degrees, so cropping is your only option for straightening.

Then you can add a caption, tag people who are in the photo and approximate the date it was taken. Shoebox offers auto sharing to Twitter and Facebook. I used Facebook Connect to log in to Shoebox, but the app still requested that I configure the sharing functions, but I do like that sharing wasn’t automatic.

I experienced uploading failure on more than half of my attempts, and it’s not clear why. The images were of consistent quality and the error occurred both with and without tag and caption information filled in. Plus, once I was able to get a few images into the system I had some privacy concerns.

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Shoebox defaults to sharing with everyone, which you’ll see via the many images available on the featured tab. If you allow everyone access to your 1000memories photos, they’ll be available forever since the site is partnered with the Internet Archive. You’ll be able to remove your account or delete images, but it’s not entirely clear how that act would affect images already cached. You can opt to share your photos only with your 1000memories.com followers, but you’ll need to change this setting via the website, and you’ll have to make the adjustment on every image — not ideal for prolific catalogers. The few privacy options available in your account settings only take care of your profile searchability and who is eligible to share content with you. None of the options cover your uploaded content.

Shoebox by 1000memories offers an interesting option for users who want to digitize old images or documents, but only for those who are comfortable with putting it all out there. Users wary on privacy will want to read up on 1000memories.com before downloading this app.

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