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Author Topic: Introducing Microstock Monitor  (Read 7066 times)

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« on: February 15, 2007, 09:09 »
Hi all,

I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Michael and I'm from Austria. I've been doing microstock with shutterstock for about one year now and recently also joined the other "big" microstock agencies. I don't know about you, but I'm one of the statistic freaks who usually check their sales very frequently. Of course, when I joined all the other microstock sites, this got very time consuming.

Luckily, my other "hobby" is programming. Therefore I started to write a software which would pull all the relevant stats from all the agencies which I contribute to and display them in a small window. Recently I've finished this software and have been using it a lot for myself.

Today, I'd like to announce that I'm providing this software, which I call "Microstock Monitor" to anyone for free. Microstock Monitor is a local windows application and it is from now on available for download at:

and currently supports Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Fotolia, BigStockPhoto, StockXpert and LuckyOliver. iStockphoto is coming very soon.

Since I really appreciate the value of Microstock Group forums, I did contact Tyler (aka Leaf) and asked him if he could provide a forum to discuss Microstock Monitor in exchange for a link in the application. While it's easy enough to setup a forum these days, I did not want to set up just another forum, but rather work togeter with my favourite microstock discussion site in bringing this software to you. Tyler kindly accepted (after testing the software) - many thanks!

One question which Tyler immediately asked me was:

What assurance can you provide to myself and others that the software is safe to use (ie, password, user theft)?

which I answered with:

The software will run on the local computer of the user and will store all user information locally. It does not send the user information anywhere, except for the microstock agency web sites. The user can configure their firewall to allow the software to only communicate with the websites of the microstock agencies and therefore avoid any mis-communication with unknown servers. Windows standard firewall allows such a configuration.

Another question is which compensation I get for developing and maintaining this free software for you. The answer is quite simple. I've a links section on the Microstock Monitor website and links inside the software which have my referal code added to them. So if you like Microstock Monitor then I'd greatly appreciate it if you use one of those links to sign up with microstock agencies, which might give me a little compensation for my work. Thanks!

Said that, please go to and give it a try. I'd love to see you using this free software and I'd love to get your feedback in this forum. This is a new software, so I fully expect that it may have bugs (although it runs very stable on my machine) - so please report them back here as well!

Many thanks and all the best,

« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2007, 09:20 »
Hi Michael!

Thank you for sharing this program with us. I've just downloaded and tested.
I've got 2 notices. It would be very useful to have:
1) autorefresh option
2) more than 1 account on the same stock

Thank you!
All the best,

« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2007, 09:26 »
It would be very helfpful if you could:

1. Write up the features that the software provides on your webpage.

2. Post screenshots of the product on your webpage, so that potential users could see what is offered before they download and install the product.

3. I would also suggest that you eventually (once all of the kinks have been worked out) add a Paypal link so that people that enjoy the software can contribute.

Good luck.

« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2007, 09:56 »
Not sure how much you now about portable applications (you are a programer so i assume you do).  Is your program one?

it would be great if i could run it from a USB stick and not have to install it onto work computers etc (it would also be good when traveling to check up rather than going into each site).

The other site you are missing which a lot of people are on is 123rf.  Even if you dont add it to your program, you should join as uploading is simple.

Agree with Geopappas to put some screen shots on your website.  that way people can see what it does to determine if they should DL.

« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2007, 09:56 »
2) more than 1 account on the same stock
2 accounts for the same agency??  Did you refer yourself??

« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2007, 10:21 »
Thanks Michael.

Adding 123RF, FeaturePics, and CanStock to the list would be great too.

If this little box can be integrated on this (MSG) site Stats in the left column, that would be even more useful than a separate floating box.
Leaf, what do you think about this idea?  And would it be easy to do?

« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2007, 10:24 »
yeah i have been toying with the idea for a while actually berryspun and trying to figure out something that would work, but haven't figured out a good solution.  To display the stats and keep eveyone's info secure/private is a challenge.

« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2007, 10:28 »
Definitely security comes first, thanks Tyler.

« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2007, 10:50 »
Michael, only little bugs:

Each time I refresh the statistics, it erases all the posts from the SS Latest Topics page:

This means that in order to get the SS stats, is sends a signal to logout and login again, because logging out is the only time when this page empties itself.  When we always are logged in, the recent posts stay, even when we refresh the page.  I hope that you can fix this one.

In the statistics, LO shows 'N/A' for the downloads, and IS shows 'ToDo' for both boxes.

« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2007, 11:15 »
WOW guys!

Thanks for the great feedback so far. I'll summarize and answer below:

Cool idea! But shouldn't autorefresh too often, else the agencies will suffer slowdown from to many requests. I'll consider it as a "nice to have" feature.

more than 1 account on the same stock
Is that allowed? I'll only implement it if there is considerable demand for it. I'll consider it as a "nice to have" feature.

can it run from an USB stick
The program currently stores its data (in particular user info) in the windows temp folder. You can run it from an USB stick (just copy libcurl.dll and MicrostockMonitor.exe), but the user info which you enter will be specific to the computer were it is used (i.e., you will have to re-enter it and it will be stored on your work computer!). I'll consider changing the program so that the user info is stored in the same directory as the program, then it will be truly portable by copying the dll, the exe and the user config file onto the stick. I'll consider it as a "nice to have" feature.

screen shots & feature page
Absolutely - you are right. I'll consider this a priority task.

paypal button
Sounds good --> "nice to have" feature...first do the important stuff :-)

adding 123RF, FeaturePics, CanStock and iStockPhoto
iStockPhoto is next (application is already prepared, but not implemented, that is why you see the "ToDo" messages). Is featurepics selling? I'm a member there with 400 photos and haven't sold anything in a month. 123RF sounds good, I will have to sign up there and try it. CanStock ... is it selling?
--> iStockPhoto will come very soon (got accepted today), others are "nice to have", but I will consider them. 123RF probably earlier than the others since someone said it's easy to upload there, I'll consider opening an account soon.

LO shows 'N/A'
I wasn't able to figure out the "current downloads", i.e., the downloads in this period (month) with them. Is there such an info for them? I only see the total downloads.

Each time I refresh the statistics, it erases all the posts from the SS Latest Topics page should only re-log in if the application is restarted. I'll look into that.

All the best,

« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2007, 11:26 »
Hi all,

I've created a seperate thread where I maintain all features which are considered for future releases. That other thread is sticky and locked, it's just "for your information".

Let's keep discussing all issues in this thread for now. If traffic goes up, I'll create some sticky threads with dedicated topics (Features, Bugs, Questions, ...).

By the way ... if you want to do me a favour - please spread the word about Microstock Monitor. Feel free to tell people about it in the various stock forums which you partecipate in. Would be awesome!

All the best,

« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2007, 11:56 »
Hi all,

I've added a features section to the home page and screenshots to the documentation.

I'll now take a look at 123RF and later probably work on enabling iStockPhoto in the application.

Keep the great comments coming and spread the word :-)

« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2007, 17:02 »
Thanks Michael,

although I'm fairly new to this microstock business it seems this is a great way to keep track of all that lovely money I might earn if I get better. I have signed up to Stockxpert from your links, so hopefully that will prove fruitfull for you.

I have a question though, I can't get access to my fotolia stats, the box comes up as wrong login? I have checked that I havn't entered my login details incorrectly, and have logged in manually from the fotolia home page to ensure I havn't been banned or something. The other sites are fine. Am I the only one encountering this problem?


« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2007, 17:06 »
Hi Paul!

Awesome, thanks for signing up to stockxpert with my referal - that's highly appreciated.

I'm also on fotolia and it works fine. Are you contribution to fotolia through the site or through one of their national sites? I heard that this may make a difference. Microstock Monitor uses the site...


« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2007, 17:12 »
I'm logging in via, when I click on the link in Microstock Monitor it automatically takes me to that specific url, so I don't know if that is part of the issue.

It's most probably me doing something stupid, but if it is I don't know what yet.


« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2007, 17:15 »
Hi Paul,

can you try logging in to fotolia through with your user information? That's what Microstock Monitor is trying to do.


« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2007, 17:20 »
I don't think I can access that specific url, strange as that may sound. When I click on the link, or manually type it in I automatically get diverted to

Is there a way round this?


« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2007, 17:31 »

Can you try to log out of and see if they still redirect you?

If yes, then they are redirecting you based on your IP, which means that there is no way around this.

With my login I can login at without any problems. I don't know if it also works the other way around.

If the login works both ways, then it might still be that the page uses a different layout than the page and that this confuses Microstock Monitor.

Maybe you can ask in the general forum if there is a way for a user to use

All the best,

« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2007, 18:27 »
I am a member of FT USA and when FT Brazil came up, it became my default even if I type I get redirected to  If I then use my ID and password, I am redirected back to FT USA.


« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2007, 18:35 »
Hi Adelaide,

many thanks for your input. Does Microstock Monitor work for your Fotolia account?

Many thanks,

« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2007, 19:45 »

I haven't istalled it.  I'm a bit neurotic about security issues and so I will wait until people have more experience with it.


« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2007, 02:48 »
Hi Adelaide,

that's very reasonable of you. From my side I can only guarantee you that I have the best intentions. I hope that user reports will convince you that Microstock Monitor is safe.

All the best,


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