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ShoZu – Giving it Another Whirl

Over a year ago, I tried ShoZu out as application on my Nokia 6680 and also on my N80 and found it lacking. I had Lifeblog and MMS of which to send photos from my phone to either Flickr or Typepad, so I did not see why I should be using a mobile app that took too many steps, added extra text to the post, and was frustrating. For what?
At the time, ShoZu’s angle was that by using their application on your mobile you would save data fees as it managed the connection and photo size. In the US, I have and had an unlimited data plan, so to click on an app, go through the menu, to save data that I didn’t need to save was too much. In Ireland, I worked out a plan with Vodafone between MMS and data to moblog without paying a fortune, thus interacting with the interface was not worth any savings.
End of Ms. Jen and ShoZu.
Last July, I even commented on Darla Mack’s blog about my crankiness with ShoZu. After making this comment, Sho Zu’s CTO, Andy Tiller sent me this email in July of 2006:

Hi Ms Jen
I saw your comments about ShoZu on Darla Mack’s blog, and was sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with ShoZu. The thing that concerns me most is that you found ShoZu didn’t always work – this is worrying, as ShoZu is normally much more reliable than alternatives. Would you be willing to provide further details?
If you’d like to give ShoZu another go on your N80, I’d be happy to send you the new S60v3 version to install. It includes an option to upload reduced quality images to save your data bill.
Best regards
Andy Tiller (CTO ShoZu)

Mr. Tiller wins points for internet marketing foo. But I still was not convinced about ShoZu. My goals for mobile photography and blogging have always been the least amount of steps from photo capture to the photo showing up here on my blog, not data fees.
Fast forward to the last two weeks as I have been putting my new Nokia N95 through its paces… The two major distinctives that the N95 has over other phones on the US and European markets is the 5 megapixel camera and the onboard satellite GPS receiver.
This last week, I longed for Nokia to have made it an option that if I want to embed the GPS geo-coordinates into the EXIF data of the photos I take, thus making mapping easy and/or automatic. This would have been a dream come true last summer during the Around Ireland project.
In consulting the Oracle of of the Internets, I was informed that ShoZu will take the GPS data in the phone and send it to Flickr when you use their mobile app to upload your Flickr photos from the phone. Well, well, well, well… time to go look at ShoZu again.
I signed up for a ShoZu account, downloaded it to my phone, with a little bit of wrangling got ShoZu and Flickr to agree to authenticate, and off I went. ShoZu 3.2 is still moderately annoying in terms of the number of steps needed to accomplish the task, but ShoZu is sending the GPS coordinates from my phone to Flickr where they are added to the right hand info bar as a place. Click on that place and it gives map. Nice.
This is good. I can ask the N95 to get the GPS coordinates either before or after I take the photo. Then I open “Applications”, click ShoZu, click on “Share-It”, click on “All Files”, choose the photo to be sent to Flickr, open the photo, click on Options – where you can add a title, body, tags, etc. Finish adding text/tags, send it off to Flickr. Check Flickr and there it all is, including the GPS geo-data.
Here are the drawbacks: ShoZu asks you after you take every photo (after every photo taken) if you want to send it to Flickr. If you do this, the photo will be sent with no title, no tags except ShoZu, and no GPS geo-tags (use method in above paragraph for geo-tags). I wish I could turn feature off, as I now have to click “Cancel” to get rid of this to see the photo. The other big drawback is that ShoZu adds the text “- cameraphone upload by ShoZu ” to all uploads. It would be nice to have a “Pro” version of ShoZu of which for a fee, I can have that text taken off every photo sent.
Update: According to Thilo, there is an S60 mobile app named Locr that will also attach GPS data from the N95 to your photos.

One Response to “ShoZu – Giving it Another Whirl”

  1. ShoZu Support

    Hi Ms Jen,
    I have just sent an email through to you following up on your feedback and explaining how to disable ShoZu’s upload confirmation feature. If you are experiencing any other ShoZu-related problems, don’t hesitate to contact our Support team on the following address: support@shozu.com
    Kind Regards,
    Jared Irons (ShoZu Support Manager)