Posted Monday, November 01, 2004

Pixentral: Sharing a Photo Online Doesn't Get Any Easier

Sometimes you just want to slap a photo up onto the Web so that someone else -- a friend, a family member, a colleague, a prospective eBay bidder -- can take a gander.

There are photo-sharing sites aplenty, including the faboo Flickr, which is consuming ever increasing amounts of my time.

"But Jim," you say -- and sure, we're on a first-name basis around here, "photo sharing sites require registration and other hassles. Isn't there a way I can just plop a photo onto a Web server and be done with it?"

Yes, there is -- it's a new, free site called Pixentral, and it's hands-down easiest way to share a single photo on the Web. Click the Browse button on the site's home page, locate a photo on your hard drive, and click Send. (iPhoto users: to upload a photo from your iPhoto library, drag the photo from the iPhoto window out onto your desktop. This makes a duplicate of the photo on your desktop; upload this duplicate, then delete it after uploading is complete.)

It's that easy. No registration, no maze of screens, no work.

When the photo has finished uploading, a new page appears containing a hyperlink to the photo. Copy it, email it to your friends, post it in your eBay auction, publish it on your blog.

What's the catch? You can upload only one photo at a time, the photo must be smaller than 2MB (most are), and if a photo isn't viewed after 30 days, it may be deleted from Pixentral's server. For the convenience I get in return, I can live with that.

No, it's no Flickr, but it's one of those quick, convenient sites I'll be returning to again and again. Pixentral: highly recommended.

Speaking of highly recommended: A reader emails with this kind praise for my book/DVD: I bought my first Mac last month and purchased your Mac iLife book with [DVD video] tutorial a week later. Just wanted to say thank you -- thank you. I prefer visual learning with examples as opposed to reading manuals. Your DVD tutorial was so easy to apply and taught me so much in a short period of time.

Music to my ears! Find out for yourself why The Macintosh iLife is the top-selling book about iLife, and according to one reviewer, "the best computer book ever, bar none."