High Variance

My Photo Management Quest, Part 2: Loom

(Note: You might want to read my first photo management rant and Part 1 for context.)

Ever since Everpix went belly up, photo management has been a common topic on the blogs I read and the podcasts I listen to. The current consensus favorite is Loom and when I read their feature list I was pretty excited. They seemlessly sync your iOS Camera Roll and your Mac’s iPhoto Library with the cloud. Unlike Everpix, they store original files instead of lossy compressed versions. Unlike Everpix and Adobe Revel, they store photos AND videos. Their web app lets you browse your photo collection from anywhere. I loved that you could create and manage albums of photos from anywhere. Even their pricing ($40/yr for 50GB and $99/yr for 255GB) was reasonable.

I signed up for the service, and while it took longer than I thought it should, the iOS app eventually pushed my 300 photo Camera Roll up to the cloud. After enjoyably browsing this little collection on my phone, iPad, and Mac (using the web app), I decided to pony up for a month of 255GB of storage and try uploading my whole iPhoto library. I won’t bore you with the details, but after six days of synchronization hangs, duplicate photos, and unanswered support email, I gave up.

It’s possible that the problem was just me as I haven’t found anyone else complaining about Loom synchronization on the web. My internet connection’s upload speed is not that great–just 1.5 Mbps–but this is the first time I’ve had a product give me trouble. Dropbox has been successfully syncing more than 50 GB of files for about three years now and I have used BackBlaze to successfully replicate about a terabyte of data.

I found the whole experience rather depressing. The service even on paper wasn’t perfect. They don’t remove duplicate photos. They don’t offer even rudimentary editing tools. They won’t stream videos through any of their apps. They won’t synchronize folders on Windows machines with the cloud. That said, their feature set was above my bar and they seemed like they were moving in the right direction. This time software quality was the show stopper.

Sigh. The quest continues.