Alternative Image Hosts

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Admin

Posts: 11069

With PhotoBucket causing numerous troubles people may be looking for an alternative image host. Most likely, they are looking for a free image host, which allows hot-linking. I thought I would try and compile a list.


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Posts: 2263

Dropbox would be another alternative. Like SkyDrive, it's a general file storage service.

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Posts: 140

For what it's worth, I have friends that use Picasa and are quite happy with it and I know some professional photographers that use SmugMug.

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Posts: 679

Location: Orange County, Calif. (near Disneyland and Los Angeles)


Casey, I don't think you can hotlink to Dropbox, can you?

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Posts: 2263

You can hotlink to items in your Public folder. Beginning last fall, public folders no longer exist by default in new accounts, but you can create one (see the heading "Creating a Public folder" about 4/5 of the way down the page).

You can also get a link to share anything that you put in any folder. When the user follows the link, the shared item will appear on a nice uncluttered web page.

Sample of a shared item

Dropbox has bandwidth limits, but they're pretty generous. I read somewhere that you can pretty easily store pictures for a small website in a free account. I doubt that there'd be any trouble at all for pictures in message board threads. One of our moderators has been using Dropbox for the pictures he posts in our almost-daily in-game threads. Here's a sample in-game thread.

The only thing I'm unclear about is how long Dropbox images remain in one's browser cache. That's a significant consideration for website use.

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Admin

Posts: 11069

Host: dl.dropbox.com
Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8
Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Keep-Alive: 300
Proxy-Connection: keep-alive
Referer: http://forum.brewerfan.net/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=29576
If-None-Match: 59437n
Cache-Control: max-age=0
HTTP/1.1 304 Not Modified
Via: 1.1 X3620
Connection: Keep-Alive
Proxy-Connection: Keep-Alive
Date: Tue, 02 Apr 2013 22:22:48 GMT
Age: 0

Interesting that I got a 304 response, even though it should not have cached.

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Posts: 2263

What tool did you use to get those results?

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Admin

Posts: 11069

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Posts: 2263

I used Live HTTP Headers when I started the other topic, but in your results, I don't see anything that says "Pragma: no-cache" and "Cache-Control: no-cache." That's why I questioned which tool you used.

It looks like you used Live HTTP Headers from the thread URL; I think I used the URL of the image itself.

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Posts: 2263

Here's a sample of what I get in Live HTTP headers when I look at an in-game thread page. "Pragma: no-cache" and "Cache-Control: no-cache." are included.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/20589901/BrewerFan/2013/logos/rockies.png

GET /u/20589901/BrewerFan/2013/logos/rockies.png HTTP/1.1
Host: dl.dropbox.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.8; rv:21.0) Gecko/20130401 Firefox/21.0
Accept: image/png,image/*;q=0.8,*/*;q=0.5
Accept-Language: en-US,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
DNT: 1
Referer: http://forum.brewerfan.net/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=29583
Connection: keep-alive
If-None-Match: 59407n
Cache-Control: max-age=0

HTTP/1.1 304 NOT MODIFIED
Server: nginx/1.2.6
Date: Wed, 03 Apr 2013 13:24:32 GMT
Content-Type: image/png
Connection: keep-alive
Etag: 59407n
x-dropbox-request-id: 6f2d68bcdb0fce75
Pragma: no-cache
Cache-Control: no-cache


Edit:

Information on 304 Not Modified…

10.3.5 304 Not Modified

If the client has performed a conditional GET request and access is allowed, but the document has not been modified, the server SHOULD respond with this status code. The 304 response MUST NOT contain a message-body, and thus is always terminated by the first empty line after the header fields.

The response MUST include the following header fields:

- Date, unless its omission is required by section 14.18.1

If a clockless origin server obeys these rules, and proxies and clients add their own Date to any response received without one (as already specified by [RFC 2068], section 14.19), caches will operate correctly.

- ETag and/or Content-Location, if the header would have been sent
in a 200 response to the same request

- Expires, Cache-Control, and/or Vary, if the field-value might
differ from that sent in any previous response for the same
variant

If the conditional GET used a strong cache validator (see section 13.3.3), the response SHOULD NOT include other entity-headers. Otherwise (i.e., the conditional GET used a weak validator), the response MUST NOT include other entity-headers; this prevents inconsistencies between cached entity-bodies and updated headers.

If a 304 response indicates an entity not currently cached, then the cache MUST disregard the response and repeat the request without the conditional.

If a cache uses a received 304 response to update a cache entry, the cache MUST update the entry to reflect any new field values given in the response.

Source: HTTP/1.1: Status Code Definitions

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Admin

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http://dl.dropbox.com/u/20589901/BrewerFan/2013/logos/rockies.png

GET /u/20589901/BrewerFan/2013/logos/rockies.png HTTP/1.1
Host: dl.dropbox.com
Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8
Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Keep-Alive: 300
Connection: keep-alive

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: nginx/1.2.6
Date: Wed, 03 Apr 2013 15:08:15 GMT
Content-Type: image/png
Content-Length: 8774
Connection: keep-alive
x-robots-tag: noindex,nofollow
Accept-Ranges: bytes
x-server-response-time: 232
Etag: 59407n
x-dropbox-request-id: c1cbce0479bd465c
Pragma: public
Cache-Control: max-age=0


The first one was taken by reloading the image but it is correct to show that referrer.

This one was solely the image, with no referrer.

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Posts: 2263

I guess the bottom line is, "Have we learned anything new that we didn't know when we discussed Dropbox caching behavior in the last topic?" :)

As an aside, when posting information gathered by Live HTTP Headers, any lines having to do with cookies should be omitted. That was pointed out to me by a guru some time back. Actually, it's login cookies that need to be omitted, but because most people can't differentiate one cookie from the next, it's safer and easier to omit all of them.

Back to the topic at hand, I don't think SkyDrive offers direct linking without jumping hoops. It appears that it can be done in WordPress if a plug-in is installed, and in other situations, it can be done if the server is properly configured and the user digs the URL out of a script.

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Posts: 2263

Flickr has upped its free storage to 1TB. It's also releasing an Android "phone and tablet" app. However, there's no word if the app is actually optimized for tablets. When you're using a tablet, a phone app is kind of chintzy.

Flickr has an iPhone app, which will work on the iPad. However, it's much nicer to use apps that are optimized for the iPad. They really need to offer one.

There are rumors that Flickr will be "deeply integrated" into the next version of iOS, which would mean that the service could easily be integrated into apps across the system and that there'd be a "master sign-in" in the "Mail, Contacts, and Calendars" settings. There's already Flickr integration in OS X.

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Posts: 2263

I just got an e-mail from Flickr.

Biggr: Others measure in gigabytes. Flickr gives you 1000x the space: a free terabyte.

Whenevr: Upload once, send to any device, any screen, any friend and any follower.

Spectaculr: All of your photos saved in their full resolution and original quality, beautifully displayed.

Full resolution is important to me. If the system offers pared down versions of a photo automatically, that's fine, but I'm more than willing to manually create lower resolution versions when I need them.

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Posts: 2263

I just noticed that one of our moderators is using Imgur. I can't find out anything about it on its website, but the Imgur Wikipedia page is helpful.

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Posts: 211

Location: Australia

I know quite a few on Imgur, but I don't like it, I have decided to pay and go with Fotki, I like the way it is set up, also I am using one of there uploaders to upload a file at a time....it is also very cheap, within my budget easily.
I am going to upload them to my portable drive as well for safe keeping.

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