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Author Topic: Lightburner is paid now:(  (Read 8108 times)

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« on: June 02, 2013, 22:34 »
0
Got this email in the morning :(

"As a part of our continous improvement we now offer paid subscriptions with various storage and traffic options.
This is yet another step in providing you with a better service with more features and better reliability.
Please login into your Lightburner account at http://lightburner.com/login and select a subscription plan which fits your needs.

** NOTE: All free acounts will be automatically suspended on June 8, 2013 and will be removed later on. We won't be able to restore data for a removed account! **"


« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2013, 22:47 »
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They probably need it.  I've found Lightburner flaky and incredibly slow, it could use plenty of improvements and those don't come free.

« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2013, 22:59 »
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Lightburner worked reasonably well for me. I guessed it wouldn't be free forever. But their subscription plans don't fit my needs at all as I only use distribution bandwidth but no storage (or just for as long as needed for distribution). If they stick to their bronze/silver/gold/custom plan as is I will have to look elsewhere for a solution.  :(

« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2013, 23:50 »
-1
exactly as i predicted long time ago.

it was impossible to stay afloat with free accounts.
let's see if they stay in business with a bunch of paying users.

« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 02:12 »
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Just to clarify: I'd have no trouble paying a fee for their service.

But with storage needs < 0.5GB / month and outgoing traffic > 3 GB / month I am looking at a subscription price of USD $49.99 / month. Sorry that's too much.

PicWorkFlow charges $0.01 per file and upload site. At roughly 100 image files per month distributed to a dozen sites their bill would add up to a more reasonable $12.00 per month. And this is no subscription, meaning you only pay for what you are actually using. However, last time I tried (about 6 months ago) PicWorkFlow had still issues with loosing metadata in the upload process.... - Well, I guess I'll try again soon!

« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 04:41 »
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PicWorkFlow charges $0.01 per file and upload site. At roughly 100 image files per month distributed to a dozen sites their bill would add up to a more reasonable $12.00 per month. And this is no subscription, meaning you only pay for what you are actually using. However, last time I tried (about 6 months ago) PicWorkFlow had still issues with loosing metadata in the upload process.... - Well, I guess I'll try again soon!
Same here.  I have no problem with uploading separately to the sites, but I hate the Istock process, so if I can do that with PixWorkFlow, it's goodbye to Lightburner.  I consider $120/year too much, and I don't like monthly payments.  $50 on an annual basis would be fine for me.

Harvepino

« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2013, 16:19 »
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Oh well. It was buggy, but it was free. Current pricing seems to be a bit steep. Quite harsh to go from free to $50/month with no explanation on what will be improved and when.  :-\ I haven't received an email from them btw  :o

One can always upload images for free with ftp client and a little help from Automator. It takes longer, but it is and always will be free. Therefore I'm not ready to pay for such service unless it offers significantly more functionality.

« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2013, 16:23 »
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It's easier and faster to send all your pictures by ftp to each website than dealing with Lightburner. It has so many bugs, not all pictures make it through. And it was extremely slow too, I had to wait for 24 hours until my images were distributed everywhere. So I'm not going to miss it...

Why use something that only causes you problems, only because it's for free?

« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2013, 16:57 »
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^^ Not for me. I am living in the boondocks of the Yukon Territory just east of Alaska. I pay close to $100 per month for my internet connection and still get just 0.5 Mbs of upload speed. On top of that my monthly bandwidth is capped as well (at a more generous 60GB, thought). If I upload via ftp to all micro site from my computer uploading takes forever (and blocks my computer virtually for other internet uses as it slows everthing else down to snail speed).

Does anyone know if (and how) it is possible to set up ftp from a hosting service such as blue host? It would be an elegant solution if could just upload my images to my Symbiostock site once and distribute to the micro sites from there...

WarrenPrice

« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 17:02 »
+2
exactly as i predicted long time ago.

it was impossible to stay afloat with free accounts.
let's see if they stay in business with a bunch of paying users.

In a lighter sense, I must say you've made an awful lot of predictions -- that came true. 
Reminds me of my wife's predictions -- 40 years ago she told me that if I didn't slow down I would get a speeding ticket.
When I got one ... 30 years later ... she said, "Told you so." 
:-)


« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2013, 18:14 »
0
exactly as i predicted long time ago.

it was impossible to stay afloat with free accounts.
let's see if they stay in business with a bunch of paying users.

In a lighter sense, I must say you've made an awful lot of predictions -- that came true. 
Reminds me of my wife's predictions -- 40 years ago she told me that if I didn't slow down I would get a speeding ticket.
When I got one ... 30 years later ... she said, "Told you so." 
:-)

Prophecy for Dummies - could be a bestseller...  ;D

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2013, 19:32 »
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I predict Xanox won't leave this site, no matter you say. 


dbvirago

« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2013, 19:58 »
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Just tried PixWorkFlow. Worked as advertised, but since it only replaces the FTP part of the process which is the quickest and easiest part, not sure it is worth the money it would cost. Good product, though. Works better than others I have tried.

« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2013, 20:00 »
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I predict Xanox won't leave this site, no matter you say.

Very true. But that's OK. I love pessimistic prophets.  ;D

fotorob

  • I am a professional stock photographer

« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2013, 04:21 »
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Does anyone know if (and how) it is possible to set up ftp from a hosting service such as blue host? It would be an elegant solution if could just upload my images to my Symbiostock site once and distribute to the micro sites from there...


@Pilens: I published a tutorial in my blog on how to set up a webserver that distributes your images via FTP. It is in German though, maybe you need to (auto-)translate it:
http://www.alltageinesfotoproduzenten.de/2010/02/25/bildverteilung-an-agenturen-mittels-ftp-und-webserver/

It was a guest article for my blog, so I cannot give you much technical assistance.

Best regards,
Robert

« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2013, 11:54 »
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Does anyone know if (and how) it is possible to set up ftp from a hosting service such as blue host? It would be an elegant solution if could just upload my images to my Symbiostock site once and distribute to the micro sites from there...


@Pilens: I published a tutorial in my blog on how to set up a webserver that distributes your images via FTP. It is in German though, maybe you need to (auto-)translate it:
http://www.alltageinesfotoproduzenten.de/2010/02/25/bildverteilung-an-agenturen-mittels-ftp-und-webserver/

It was a guest article for my blog, so I cannot give you much technical assistance.

Best regards,
Robert


That is great. Just what I was looking for. I'll try to make it work on my Blue Host site. Thank you so much!

I have no problem reading German cos I am German btw ;D

« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2013, 08:48 »
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Im quite new to all of this Microstock business, but I quickly realised I needed an easy and efficient method to upload to multiple agencies. I tried most of the products around and they all seemed to have problems. I was then invited to help the developer of StockUploader with some Beta testing.

I use the Mac version on my Snow Leopard system and I am now very pleased with the reliability and performance happy to recommend it .

http://www.stockuploader.com

« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2013, 13:33 »
+1
Im quite new to all of this Microstock business, but I quickly realised I needed an easy and efficient method to upload to multiple agencies. I tried most of the products around and they all seemed to have problems. I was then invited to help the developer of StockUploader with some Beta testing.

I use the Mac version on my Snow Leopard system and I am now very pleased with the reliability and performance happy to recommend it .

http://www.stockuploader.com


I have tested StockUploader a while back on a Windows 7 PC. It worked great but it doesn't solve my upload bandwidth problem because every file is distributed to every micro site from your home computer. If StockUploader offered some remote server-based distribution service as an option I'd be very interested, indeed.

« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2013, 23:59 »
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Hi folks

I have also received that email, and I felt really bad. I also do not use their storage service, only the distribution bandwidth. So paying for the storage is not an appealing option to me, more so, when I convert US$ to my native currency. I think they could have easily kept it free, I mean the distribution part.
The service was not great, but it was convenient at least, as my upload bandwidth is not that great. I did not mind waiting for some time before the images were distributed, the only problem was with auto submission. For example, at least for me, auto submission did not work for BS or CanStockPhoto properly. For my last batch, CanStockPhoto did not work at all.

Now what about their software "ProStockMaster"? Can we keep using it for free? Though it seems to work in relation to the account that is maintained at LightBurner. So if those free accounts are deleted, PSM will also stop working. Any ideas?

I remember one paid service like this, iSyndica (most probably it was the name)- that could also not survive with paid plans, so let's see what happens with LB.

Now, what other free solution is left to us now? Any ideas please?

« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2013, 00:46 »
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Hello everybody!

i've been reading trough this discussion and saw that my program (stockuploader) hasbeen mentioned. just to answer a few questions:

stockuploader is not a bandwith saver.. its just a plain normal ftp uploading program that automates the part about chosing files and agencies.

it would not be too difficult to change it to a bandwith saving program but there are a few problems with it:

1) there would be almost nobody willing to share theyr account information with a freeware program.
2) password encryption is a joke. every programmer can read the password encrypted by himself **IF** the password must be converted back somewhen. (basically any login information)
3) i wouldnt feel confortable by having all the passwords stored on my server. (this can be changed anyway by sending the upload data only when its time to submit so if the server gets hacked no passwords are there) but anyway, if somebody gets its account hacked in some other way i would be the first having the finger pointed at me so i'd rather avoid this...
4) this is only possible (in a reliable way) with a dedicated server. a dedicated server costs a lot and given that despite the over 16000 uploads the only donations i had came from my family i highly doubt that i could even remotely think of offering as a free service.

who knows.. maybe in the future it will be done.. but for the time beeing its not in my plans for the above mentioned points.

anyway thanks for mentioning stockuploader, and thanks to whoever wants to try it! :) if you have questions feel free to ask! (maybe in a new topic to avoid spamming this one)

regards

Igor

« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2013, 02:06 »
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^^ Not for me. I am living in the boondocks of the Yukon Territory just east of Alaska. I pay close to $100 per month for my internet connection and still get just 0.5 Mbs of upload speed. On top of that my monthly bandwidth is capped as well (at a more generous 60GB, thought). If I upload via ftp to all micro site from my computer uploading takes forever (and blocks my computer virtually for other internet uses as it slows everthing else down to snail speed).

Does anyone know if (and how) it is possible to set up ftp from a hosting service such as blue host? It would be an elegant solution if could just upload my images to my Symbiostock site once and distribute to the micro sites from there...

there is a solution but its not the cheapest one..
you could get a dedicated server (the cheapest you find.. usually they come around 200$/year if they are really cheap)
then you upload via ftp your images to that server...
then via remote desktop you use a ftp program like stockuploader or go-stock to upload to all the agencies.

a dedicated server has an incredible speed. so you could upload all images only once and then it would work on its own and upload all the images to all the sites in a matter of seconds.. but you'd have to pay for a yearly dedicated server..

i think it depends a lot on how many pictures you upload. if its 20 every day then it might be worth.. if it is 1 a day then probably not..

« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2013, 15:17 »
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^^ Not for me. I am living in the boondocks of the Yukon Territory just east of Alaska. I pay close to $100 per month for my internet connection and still get just 0.5 Mbs of upload speed. On top of that my monthly bandwidth is capped as well (at a more generous 60GB, thought). If I upload via ftp to all micro site from my computer uploading takes forever (and blocks my computer virtually for other internet uses as it slows everthing else down to snail speed).

Does anyone know if (and how) it is possible to set up ftp from a hosting service such as blue host? It would be an elegant solution if could just upload my images to my Symbiostock site once and distribute to the micro sites from there...

there is a solution but its not the cheapest one..
you could get a dedicated server (the cheapest you find.. usually they come around 200$/year if they are really cheap)
then you upload via ftp your images to that server...
then via remote desktop you use a ftp program like stockuploader or go-stock to upload to all the agencies.

a dedicated server has an incredible speed. so you could upload all images only once and then it would work on its own and upload all the images to all the sites in a matter of seconds.. but you'd have to pay for a yearly dedicated server..

i think it depends a lot on how many pictures you upload. if its 20 every day then it might be worth.. if it is 1 a day then probably not..

I have a shared hosting account with Blue Host, which cost me around $5 per month, for my Symbiostock site. My next batch of images will be ready to submit in a couple days. I'll try the script solution fotorob suggested. I'll report back here how it went.

« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2013, 14:00 »
0
^^ Not for me. I am living in the boondocks of the Yukon Territory just east of Alaska. I pay close to $100 per month for my internet connection and still get just 0.5 Mbs of upload speed. On top of that my monthly bandwidth is capped as well (at a more generous 60GB, thought). If I upload via ftp to all micro site from my computer uploading takes forever (and blocks my computer virtually for other internet uses as it slows everthing else down to snail speed).

Does anyone know if (and how) it is possible to set up ftp from a hosting service such as blue host? It would be an elegant solution if could just upload my images to my Symbiostock site once and distribute to the micro sites from there...

there is a solution but its not the cheapest one..
you could get a dedicated server (the cheapest you find.. usually they come around 200$/year if they are really cheap)
then you upload via ftp your images to that server...
then via remote desktop you use a ftp program like stockuploader or go-stock to upload to all the agencies.

a dedicated server has an incredible speed. so you could upload all images only once and then it would work on its own and upload all the images to all the sites in a matter of seconds.. but you'd have to pay for a yearly dedicated server..

i think it depends a lot on how many pictures you upload. if its 20 every day then it might be worth.. if it is 1 a day then probably not..

I have a shared hosting account with Blue Host, which cost me around $5 per month, for my Symbiostock site. My next batch of images will be ready to submit in a couple days. I'll try the script solution fotorob suggested. I'll report back here how it went.

ok! waiting for your result.. curious to see if it works and how well it works... :)

« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2013, 19:08 »
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Here's how uploading to the micros through my Blue Host shared hosting service (where I run my Symbiostock site) using SSH went:

First of all I had to call Blue Host to have my hosting account verified. This is required before you can enable SSH on cPanel. No problem. SSH was up in minutes.
Then I needed an SSH client. There's tons of free options out there. I decided for a SSH firefox plugin. Easy install, easy connect.

Reaching this point difficulties started mainly because the hosting server runs on linux and I have no linux/unix knowledge/experience at all.

The SSH script that (finally) worked looks like this

#!/usr/bin/expect
set timeout -1
spawn ftp -v -i [micro ftp server]
expect "[some word on the last line of server response]"
send "[your login]\r"
expect "Password:"
send "[your password]\r"
expect "ftp>"
send "mput *.jpg\r"
expect "ftp>"
send "quit\r"

(The stuff in [...] needs to be replaced by server/your specific input.)

So I punched something like this in notepad, saved as xy.sh (or whatever), uploaded to my blue host site to the same folder where my images were already waiting, made sure they had sufficient permissions (read, write, execute [0700]), directed my SSH client to that directory (cd ...) and punched in ./xy.sh. AND: I got a bunch of error messages about unknown commands and such.  :(

It took a while until I realized this was caused by incompatible text formats between my windows system and linux  ::). So I opened the xy.sh script with the editor available in the cPanel file manager, deleted everything and punched it in again. NOW it worked!

The rest was just gathering all required data for my 12 or so micro accounts.
I don't claim I understand what the "expect" command really does but it seems to locate text strings in the response from the ftp server so the script can send data (login/password) where and when needed (Linux experts, please forgive me  ;D). The actual response is displayed in the SSH client, so it is not too hard to figure out.

I didn't even have to start each script manually. With another script all.sh like this

#!/bin/bash
./xy.sh
./yz.sh
./zz.sh
....

I could run all uploads in one go. App. 40 images were distributed to all my micro accounts in less than an hour. Very nice. And I even got a detailed error message in a case of one malformed image file name. Took the guesswork away as to why this file didn't arrive.

I am happy  :). Goodbye Lightburner and thank you for your service so far!

There is only Veer left where I couldn't get it to work. They use FTP with TLS/SSL on a Windows NT server. I have no idea how to edit the script to account for that. Expert advice on this is very welcome!

A note regarding security: Logins/Passwords are clearly readable in these scripts. I made sure the image/script folder is outside the public_html area and I deleted the scripts on the blue host server after the upload was done. I will upload them again when the next batch is ready. Experts: is there more one could do (such as encrypting the ssh files)?

I wish good luck to everyone who is going to try this as well!  8)

 


« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2013, 03:32 »
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this sounds really great.. do you think it would be a good idea to implement this in stockuploader? i mean, somebody could choose between normal uploading, or uploading once to my ftp server and then having the server upload everything.. what worries me is the server load if more people start using it.. i would have to do it over "slots".. so that only 1 or 2 users can use this function at the same time.. or the ISP is going to kill me..


 

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