Flicker and QOOP

Off and on, I'm interested in printing my photography. So today when I heard about QOOP I decided to take a look.

The good: "Perfect-bound" books from $16, posters or saddle-stitched books from $10. Obviously, I haven't seen one of these books yet to truly judge the quality. Update: Plus shipping, which seems to start at over $4.

The bad: I had to sign up to a Flickr account to get started. (They apparently also cooperate with another online album website, but I got PHP errors when I visited them) Well, at least it wasn't hard, since Yahoo! already has my blood type on record. So I signed up and uploaded a few photos.

The also bad: The first thing I discovered was that the QOOP books are printed with the pages in portrait orientation, even in the case of a horizontal panorama (the first photo I tried).

The even more bad: Stuff I'd have thought was basic, like choosing pictures from a list of thumbnails (instead of choosing by month of upload as the most fine-grained approach), like choosing a different layout for each page, like placing photos in the desired order, or like choosing the photo for the cover, are all completely missing! Don't even think about dividing your book into sections with section titles. Update: After I used the Flickr interface (some terrible flash thing with dancing thumbnails) to organize my photos into a "set", I could select that set as the contents of my photo book. This also allows me to choose the cover image. Several Sets can be included in this way, but there still aren't per-Set title pages.

One final bit of bad: It looks like Flickr is big into Creative Commons, letting you tag your pictures with various CC licenses. But QOOP won't let me print a book containing other artists' work, even when the CC license would permit it.

Finally, since Flickr warns that unless I pay them, nobody can download my full-resolution images, I'm not sure it's not an ugly, blocky image that will appear in a QOOP-printed book.

I may try one of the saddle-stitched books, since a $10 investment isn't much, but if I wanted a book that was bigger than just a few pages I'd need some more sophisticated photo choice and layout tools. If they can't do all that on a web page (and they should get all BWC with AJAX or something) then let me upload a frigging PDF file and skip using a bad web interface to page layout.

Maybe in six months or a year things will shape up. I'll let you know if it does.

Entry first conceived on 7 September 2005, 2:55 UTC, last modified on 15 January 2012, 3:46 UTC
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