In case you’ve not noticed the new live services have launched over the past day or so, basically turning Live into a kind of social network, time will tell how good that gets. What did come along with everything else is a major update to the way Photo’s are dealt with, which in my opinion makes Windows Live one of the best places to store and share your photo’s.
Before I go into how this links into Media Center lets talk a little about what’s changed. No longer are photo’s part of Spaces, but they’ve been moved to SkyDrive. SkyDrive has also increased from 5gb of Storage to 25gb with no monthly upload limit and it’s the best price it could be…free! The one caveat, just in case you have a giga pixel camera (or just one that has very high res) is that photo’s must be under 50mb, but you can upload your originals through the site.
The Photo’s site lets you do more too, you can tag any of your Live contacts in the photo. Permissions are pretty useful things too, I don’t want everyone to see the pictures of me on a stag do, but I do want to share it with the party for example, so I can give individuals access, any of my live contact access and any groups I’ve created access. And when you’ve made and album Public you can access an RSS feed for it…so you can point it at that feed enabled frame in your digital home (you do that in More Options > RSS Feed).
Slideshows look cool now too, courtesy of Silverlight, and yes it does look a little like the Photo’s interface on 7MC, which could bode well.
Now for the bit that helps us integrate with Media Center today. The current Beta of Live Photo Gallery will be going to RC next week but this application is cool because it lets you tag and star things so that that meta data is visible and usable in Media Center’s photo gallery.
So, if you want a great way to manage your photo’s, here it is.
- Management and simple editing: Windows Live Photo Gallery
- Sharing: Windows Live Photo’s
- Viewing: Windows Media Center
- Backup: Windows Live Skydrive
(this is what MS calls Software Plus Services by the way, software on your machine that empowers and is empowered by software in the cloud)
One final note, if you want to do even more with that 25gb of space, why not use it to make a backup, and if you want you can have your SkyDrive as a mapped drive – details in this LifeHacker post. That 50mb file upload limit still counts though, so not a good place to backup your movies, but great for backing up Photo’s, Documents and Music.