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AlamyUpload: a sneak preview

25 August 2006 - EPUK

Stock library Alamy is just weeks away from launching its online upload service, EPUK understands. The new service, exclusively previewed here, will allow contributors to upload images directly from their desktop, instead of having to submit them by CD as at present.

Alamy first announced AlamyUpload in May, and earlier this month said it was in the final process of being tested, and was scheduled to be rolled out in “the last quarter of this year”.

Our sneak preview of AlamyUpload shows it to have a similar interface as the upload applet used at online print ordering service Photobox, although file upload times can be anticipated to be much longer because of the larger files involved. While Alamy no longer insist on uncompressed TIFFs and will now accept submissions as high-quality JPEGs, there is still a minimum uncompressed file size of 48Mb, with a maximum compressed size of 20Mb.

AlamyUploads preview
Sneak preview of the AlamyUploads interface

Contributors will have the choice of either AlamyUpload or the less flexible Standard Upload. For PC-based contributors, AlamyUpload requires either Windows 98, 2000 or XP and either IE6, IE7 ,Firefox 1.5 (with JRE 1.4 or later) or AOL 9 or later (if Internet Explorer 6 or later is installed). Mac users can use either Safari on any OSX machine, or Firefox 1.5 with Mac OSX 10.4 onwards.

Any contributors who don’t have the system requirements to run AlamyUpload can use Standard Upload. Contributors are also required to go through a series of tickboxes to verify that their images meet Alamy’s other requirements.

Alamy upload
Welcome page for AlamyUploads on the contributor web page

Alamy has proved popular among photographers for its business transparency and high percentage royalties, with as much as 75% of the gross sale price going to the photographer, and is seen as a serious contender to the two current stock giants, Corbis and Getty. It employs 106 people in both the UK and India.

Almost uniquely in the stock imagery market, Alamy’ has chosen to grow the existing business, rather than to buy up other stock agencies. Since it was founded in 1999, it has around six thousand contributors and four million images online, with around 200,000 new images being added each month.

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I had a pleasant day at Alamy 24th August and tried without success to break the test version of the new upload system. I think that contributors are going to find it easy to use and a real timesaver but Alamy are keen to point out that there’s still a lot of work needed to convert a single user test setup into the robust system that will be needed to deal with the many thousands of images received each day. It’s going to take a while yet.

Comment 1: David Hoffman, 29 August 2006, 05:25 pm

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