Keep your photos safe with Loom – WU17

The late, lamented EverPix was a fantastic service for keeping a “cloud-based” backup of all your photos from all your devices. When it shut down, many users were left scrambling for alternatives. That’s where Loom, a freemium photo storage application, comes in.

Logo for Loom, a freemium photo storage and archival application
Loom is a freemium photo storage and archival application

Loom works similarly to EverPix. You install client applications on your various devices (Mac laptop, iPhone, etc.) and it takes care of the rest, automatically uploading them to the Loom servers. It’s able to preserve your existing photo galleries and structure, so you can easily find photos. The cloud-based storage means you can access your photos from any device, so anything you upload from a desktop is accessible on a phone, for instance.

Loom isn’t perfect; I’ve found the desktop app frequently hangs and loses connection to the Loom servers, and the web interface could use some more polish (the ability to more easily share photos, zoom in on them, etc.) but it’s otherwise the best in the bunch. It’s affordable too: $40 per year for 50 GB of space, which is probably enough for most people (250 GB is only $99 per year).

As always, the audio and transcription of this episode are below.

Keep your photos safe with Loom – WU17 — Audio player

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Keep your photos safe with Loom – WU17 — Transcription

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Wrapp Up, which is where we talk about apps and digital tools and things that will help you as an entrepreneur or a small business owner or just a tech savvy individual get the most out of the web.

Today, I want to talk about an app called Loom, L-O-O-M. Loom is a basic premium application that lets you manage and sort of store your photos basically in the cloud as it were. Loom you get at loom.com. Again, L-O-O-M.com and it starts off basically as a little app that you download to your computer. You install this app, plug in your account details and everything and tell it where the photos are on your computer.

For me as a Mac user I just point it to my iPhoto Library, as a Windows user you might have a different option there. Basically, when you do that, you tell it to go and Loom will instantly start uploading all of your pictures to the Loom service, the Loom web site. It keeps them all organized. If you have an existing album structure sort of laid out in iPhoto or what have you it will keep all of that and just transfer it over to their web site so you can still easily browse those photos in the way that you originally organized them.

Loom also has an iOS app. On a previous episode I mentioned that Dropbox has this sort of automated, built in uploading feature from your iPhone so it will automatically take your photos on your phone, iPhone or Android and upload them to Dropbox. Loom does the same thing so you can pop in Loom on your iPhone or download it on Android and it will find all your pictures and automatically upload them to the Loom service, which is awesome. You don’t have to worry about photos anymore. It sort of does all that for you. It gives you the opportunity to delete everything off your phone. I had a problem with my iPhone. I only had the small 16 gigabyte version and a couple of weeks ago I found oh my goodness I have gigs upon gigs upon gigs of photos so after installing Loom and making sure that those were all uploaded to the service I just went through and deleted everything.

I still have access to those photos because I just have to open the Loom app and I can browse to the right library, is this the right spot in my index there and download that again so I can use the photos if I want to share them or put them to Instagram or what have you. Loom is fantastic. It starts off at free for five gigabytes, a lot like Dropbox there. They also have bigger plans. There is a 50 gigabyte plan, which runs around $50 a year and then there’s the 100 gigabyte plan which is about $100 a year. You’re paying pretty close to $1 a gig per year, which is pretty reasonable given that it’s handling all of this automatic stuff for you.

Loom also has the ability to go to their web site to view their photos. You can go to Loom.com and check out your photos and everything and again it keeps it all in your libraries and your albums for you. Then it lets you share those photos so you can check off a group of photos or a gallery of photos and get links to those photos. You can share easily for friends. They don’t need to have a Loom account to try it out, in order to view those photos, but it is strictly viewing photos. There’s no way to comment or share or like photos. It’s just simply viewing the photo, which to some people might be a bit of a disadvantage, but to me I love that because I would rather have my comments and liking everything happen over on Flickr. So I started to keep everything in Loom, every photo that I take whether it’s terrible or great or whatever and then I separate out later. Like this is a particularly good photo, let’s put it up on Flickr.

That’s where people sort of find it through search engines and things like that. A few small problems that I have with Loom, very small. One is that their Mac app tends to be a little picky. So, the first time I opened it it said great starting to upload this many photos to upload left and then didn’t do anything, stopped uploading pictures and still don’t know why, but every so often when I turn on my computer Loom starts saying oh hey we’re uploading things even though it’s really not. The app is a little picky. Also, there’s an animation in the menu bar, which is their logo sort of turning around and doing things. It kind of drives me crazy. As of this writing I’m still uploading my original batch of photos from my computer. It’s been going for a couple of days now and it’s just taking a long time. I don’t like that. Also, the Loom web service, I like that when you share photos you can’t comment or like or anything like I mentioned before but you can’t zoom in to the photos either so if you’re on a small screen as I am on a Macbook Air you can see the whole photo, but it’s sort of shrunk down and there’s no way to zoom in unless you know how to grab the original source file and whatever.

That’s frustrating and I think the other frustrating thing, which I know they’ve talked about fixing is that on the iOS app so you put all your photos into Loom and delete them off your phone, great, but if you want to download a photo to share it or send it in a message or something like that you can do that, but once you download the photo back to your photo album on your iPhone it uploads another copy to the Loom cloud as it were. That’s frustrating because then you end up with copies of photos and the copies don’t count towards your storage space on Loom. It’s able to tell oh this is the same photo that you have there, we’ll just count it as one, but it just sort of gets things disorganized. I would love them to have a way to just copy a photo and copy it to your clipboard like if you copy an image from Safari you can paste it into a text or whatever or e-mail. To have that option I think would be useful. Otherwise, those are small quibbles and they’re really getting better about fixing all those things. They seem like a really responsive team and really well-tuned to their users.

I highly recommend checking out Loom. It is Loom.com, L-O-O-M.C-O-M. As always there will be links in the show notes that you can check out and find Loom very easily through there. Again, there’s always a transcription. There’s always this audio file if you want to send it along to friends. Be sure to stay tuned to Wrappup.com, W-R-A-P-P-U-P.com or chrisvanpatten.com which is going to take you basically to the same place and share it with friends, tell them you like it, follow us on Twitter @thewrappup, two Ps again. I hope you enjoy and we’ll talk to you soon. Bye, bye.

Published by

Chris Van Patten

I’m an entrepreneur, designer, theatre producer, and tea aficionado. I love helping artists achieve their digital potential through custom websites, apps, and more. I own and operate Van Patten Media, a boutique web agency in New York.