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Old 02-07-2017, 08:29 PM   #61
wodahs
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

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Originally Posted by BAXRSIX View Post
I have no problem paying a reasonable monthly fee to have 3rd party hosting... But US$400 per year and NOT billed monthly but in one yearly hit!!
I would also under reasonable circumstances be prepared to pay a reasonable fee to have 3rd party hosting

but the way they went about it like a terrorist hostage situation "we've changed our ToS and you WILL pay us to have it reinstated" situation even at $5 aus I wouldn't pay
but if they had come said we are giving x amount of time as we are changing our ToS so for future use you will need to pay "reasonable fee" or sort your affairs and move on , id be more inclined to pay
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:34 PM   #62
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

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Originally Posted by wodahs View Post
I would also under reasonable circumstances be prepared to pay a reasonable fee to have 3rd party hosting

but the way they went about it like a terrorist hostage situation "we've changed our ToS and you WILL pay us to have it reinstated" situation even at $5 aus I wouldn't pay
but if they had come said we are giving x amount of time as we are changing our ToS so for future use you will need to pay "reasonable fee" or sort your affairs and move on , id be more inclined to pay
Exactly. I'm the same.

Seems a very odd way to do business, there's shooting yourself in the foot and then sticking the barrel in your mouth... Seems the head peanuts at photofarket have chosen the latter.
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:04 PM   #63
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

In my opinion, where Photobucket have got it all wrong, is the AUD$520 you have to pay for the "Plus 500" plan, being the ONLY plan that allows 3rd party hosting.

What you are really paying for in the "Plus 500 plan" is the whopping 520GB of online storage space for your photos!

Who the hell here needs 520 GB!.... That is the equivalent of storing 1.5 million online web sized images of 800 x 600 pixels each being 300kb !!!

In the 3 and a half years I have been a member here at AFF, and adding up the total capacity of all the many photos I have posted in my Show N Shine thread and other posts... I am only using 8% of 2GB or approximately 200MB, since each 800 x 600 pixel jpeg photo is less than 300Kb in size each.

I only use Photobucket for my photos I post on AFF.

As a photographer, I use another online photo storage site with 3rd party hosting, which I've used for the last 13 years and is excellent.(www.pbase.com)... Costs me about $46 a year. ... I just wish I had used this service instead of Photobucket for my AFF photos, but I wanted to keep the two separate.

Now if Photobucket offered a plan that had say 10GB or less with 3rd party hosting for say $10 a month, I think it would be a great deal.

I have a feeling and I am prediting that with the worldwide backlash from millions of their users, and of course very few opting to pay US$400.... They will eventually offer 3rd party hosting plans with less storage space at a more reasonable rate.
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:18 PM   #64
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

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Originally Posted by russellw View Post
It is problematic certainly but not impossible.

Image links are stored in the database as URL's and the bulk of the Tech Portal docs use images hosted here. It is easy enough (using database commands) to amend the URL for a hosted image to another one as long as the image name hasn't changed. It's a basic find and replace task that can be done per user or per thread.

Yes it is not ideal but we'll go through the exercise for anyone who wants to do so.

Cheers
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Hi Russ,

I'd like to salvage my current Project Car build thread and would like to take up this offer. What is the process please and where do I save the files?

Thanks.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:31 PM   #65
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAXRSIX View Post
In my opinion, where Photobucket have got it all wrong, is the AUD$520 you have to pay for the "Plus 500" plan, being the ONLY plan that allows 3rd party hosting.

What you are really paying for in the "Plus 500 plan" is the whopping 520GB of online storage space for your photos!

Who the hell here needs 520 GB!.... That is the equivalent of storing 1.5 million online web sized images of 800 x 600 pixels each being 300kb !!!

In the 3 and a half years I have been a member here at AFF, and adding up the total capacity of all the many photos I have posted in my Show N Shine thread and other posts... I am only using 8% of 2GB or approximately 200MB, since each 800 x 600 pixel jpeg photo is less than 300Kb in size each.

I only use Photobucket for my photos I post on AFF.

As a photographer, I use another online photo storage site with 3rd party hosting, which I've used for the last 13 years and is excellent.(www.pbase.com)... Costs me about $46 a year. ... I just wish I had used this service instead of Photobucket for my AFF photos, but I wanted to keep the two separate.

Now if Photobucket offered a plan that had say 10GB or less with 3rd party hosting for say $10 a month, I think it would be a great deal.

I have a feeling and I am prediting that with the worldwide backlash from millions of their users, and of course very few opting to pay US$400.... They will eventually offer 3rd party hosting plans with less storage space at a more reasonable rate.
I wish i had kept my zenfolio account active .... as that was only about $25 a year ... and better quality image hosting than Photobucket as well (Their compression sucked).

Might look into doing it again ... was easy to use and manage ... and had a decent interface to setup Albums/etc
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:17 AM   #66
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

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Originally Posted by BAXRSIX View Post
The photo you upload to Photobucket that you then link to a thread here has its file name changed by Photobucket in the direct link with an extension added to the filename.

For example a photo I upload with the filename "diff-3.jpg" then gets changed by Photobucket to "diff-3_zpsrtbtdeie.jpg"....
After checking it out on PB, this doesn't seem to be the case for my photos... Perhaps accounts differ from one to the other in some fashion?

In my case:

- All jpeg files that I have uploaded to PB have retained the original xxx.jpg file name
- When I downloaded copies of the lot just recently, they also retained the original names.
- The jpeg file name appears to be the same in each direct link as well, apart from jpeg file names that include a space.
In these cases, the space is replaced with the characters '%20',
Eg. ... i530.photobucket.com/albums/dd344/sneak880/General%20Stuff/white%20AU.jpg
Note that the space in the album name is also replaced with the '%20' characters.

In the case of a prospective upload to the AFF server, a batch editing procedure for image links may need to decypher
whatever appears after the final slash in the direct link line. If the file names don't quite match exactly due to some added junk
characters from PB? This may not be possible? Or, in my case, the AFF image link line could simply use the same '%20' character
for a 'space' without editing the final element in the link?

Given that the jpeg file names are recognisable, I would consider doing the link edits myself for my build threads if the AFF image server
gets up and running and I can access an edit function to my own threads for a period of time. My main build thread is
only 18 pages, so it's doable in a 'manual edit' type fashion. A different task however for those with a thread of 50 or 100 pages!

Images (hosted by PB) that I have posted here and there on AFF, in all sorts of areas on the forum could not really be tracked
and links replaced manually. Perhaps Russ and the AFF crew has a robot method for this type of editing, forum wide?
That task is a mountain indeed, but then computers are fast with the right driver.

In regards to new image hosting options, I am only considering AFF at this stage. The prospect of moving to another US based host
service seems just too unreliable.

Last edited by EB#; 03-07-2017 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:56 AM   #67
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

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Originally Posted by wodahs View Post
...and today get another email from them ! (just a moment ago) selling snake oil water repellent spray for shoes WTF...
Yeah, I saw that one too. A desperate measure from a desperate company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nstg8a View Post
Seems a very odd way to do business, there's shooting yourself in the foot and then sticking the barrel in your mouth....
This new Photobucket business method seems like both to me.....

Although I have downloaded new copies of all my images, I will retain all my PB files in place as well. I guess I retain a slim hope
that they may reverse their decision on 3rd party hosting and open the links again. Highly unlikely I know. Even if they do reverse
or change their position, how would that be reconciled with the muppets that have already coughed up $400?

I expect that most will not pay the $400 ransom/subscription and PB will lose millions of accounts, but there are many who will pay up.
Some PB users may rely on the image hosting to run websites that generate some form of business or revenue. Others may simply be so
addicted to their own online celebrity and linked selfie albums that they will pay up too.

For my part, my PB account does contain some junk, but it is essentially an image bank for my threads here at AFF.
My build threads have taken a lot of time to prepare, but it is kind of fun and conducted in the spirit of freely provided information,
on a free Ford Forum, on an open internet. My contributions to AFF are about enthusiasm for cars and free information sharing, not revenue.

The new PB business model, and the way they have implemented it, no longer fits with my view of a free forum based
information service or the internet generally. I have a sense that the PB backlash is building, world wide.

It is interesting to consider what would happen if Facebook suddenly introduced a membership fee of some kind....
Maybe that's been their plan all along?
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Old 03-07-2017, 08:41 AM   #68
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

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Originally Posted by EB# View Post
It is interesting to consider what would happen if Facebook suddenly introduced a membership fee of some kind....
Maybe that's been their plan all along?
It's simple really from a business model perspective. If the ad revenue is sufficient then they can retain their present model of 'free to users' unless they get greedy.

The problem for large operations like those two is that in the current climate of falling on-line ad revenues they are probably starting to see an impact to their bottom line.

We're a small case in point. We only run Google ads for unregistered users viewing the forum and the volume of those has remained pretty static for the last 5-10 years as have the ad impression total counts. At the peak for Google ads (2011-14), this was generating 4 times the revenue it does now or, in other words, there has been a 75% drop in the impression rate during that time.

Makes no real difference to us with our two parts of not many impressions but for a facetwit or photoracket and their millions of impressions a day, I'd hate to think what impact that has had.

Doesn't excuse the approach taken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepscobra
Hi Russ,

I'd like to salvage my current Project Car build thread and would like to take up this offer. What is the process please and where do I save the files?

Thanks.
We are still sorting that out. You can upload them to the AFF gallery for now which has a (current) user limit of 500 Mb and a maximum file size of 500 kb per image.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EB#
After checking it out on PB, this doesn't seem to be the case for my photos... Perhaps accounts differ from one to the other in some fashion?

In my case:

- All jpeg files that I have uploaded to PB have retained the original xxx.jpg file name
- When I downloaded copies of the lot just recently, they also retained the original names.
- The jpeg file name appears to be the same in each direct link as well, apart from jpeg file names that include a space.
In these cases, the space is replaced with the characters '%20',
Eg. ... i530.photobucket.com/albums/dd344/sneak880/General%20Stuff/white%20AU.jpg
Note that the space in the album name is also replaced with the '%20' characters.

In the case of a prospective upload to the AFF server, a batch editing procedure for image links may need to decypher
whatever appears after the final slash in the direct link line. If the file names don't quite match exactly due to some added junk
characters from PB? This may not be possible? Or, in my case, the AFF image link line could simply use the same '%20' character
for a 'space' without editing the final element in the link?

Given that the jpeg file names are recognisable, I would consider doing the link edits myself for my build threads if the AFF image server
gets up and running and I can access an edit function to my own threads for a period of time. My main build thread is
only 18 pages, so it's doable in a 'manual edit' type fashion. A different task however for those with a thread of 50 or 100 pages!

Images (hosted by PB) that I have posted here and there on AFF, in all sorts of areas on the forum could not really be tracked
and links replaced manually. Perhaps Russ and the AFF crew has a robot method for this type of editing, forum wide?
That task is a mountain indeed, but then computers are fast with the right driver.

In regards to new image hosting options, I am only considering AFF at this stage. The prospect of moving to another US based host
service seems just too unreliable.
The %20 method for spaces is globally used and it's no different in the back end of the forum. What I am hoping is that we can just replace the photoracket part of the URL with the relevant URL from alternate storage or AFF storage on a global basis per user as editing threads is not a function that can be provided with that level of granularity for individuals and we don't want to open up whole sub forums for any user to edit.

Cheers
Russ
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:16 AM   #69
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

Looking at their T&C's they basically own everything you put on the site and have the right to provide your details to anyone the feel like.

If I'm reading it correctly If you sign in through Facebook or similar then their rights extend to that as well.....

Mark everything as Private and they apparently have no rights....
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:00 PM   #70
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

My photos are still being hosted
Maybe if you go over a certain threshold they send you the upgrade notice ?
I'm not a heavy user of PB so maybe have gone under their radar.
Bit of a tragedy though seeing heaps of threads with photos deleted ...
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:03 PM   #71
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

Just testing :

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Old 03-07-2017, 12:36 PM   #72
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

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Looks like Phildo's pictures are still working that's a relief.
I've been paying $US2.99/month for several years now. My stuff got popular, and was exceeding the free bandwidth limits a very long time ago.

With my various Photo Essays and build threads, I'm actually exceptionally well organised.

I'd go do a job on the car, and take a bunch of photos along the way.

Once the job was done I was spending 5-6 hours going through photos, deleting unnecessary ones, Photoshopping them, uploading them to Photobucket and finally writing a text file with the Photobucket URL links in it.

I'd sit at my desk at 2am, think that it would take an hour or so to get it all done and then be going to bed well after 7am. They were some long and late nights. For the amount of effort that I put in each time, I was going to make damn sure that it was going to be around for as many years as possible.

Then I'd copy and paste the text as a reply to some random existing thread so that I could check and proof read it. The occasional typo slipped through, but overall I did pretty well at making sure that everything made sense and was in the right order.

I was posting each thing on four different forums, with this being the main one. Hence having it all written up in a text file, so I could just copy and paste quickly and easily.

Maybe because I've been paying the $US2.99/month I won't have to change anything, but even if I did, all I would have to do is upload the photos elsewhere and have the links changed on here.

I keep all my photos organised. The folder for the Photo Essays is currently 62.6Gb. Each job has three folders - the original photos, the Photoshopped ones and the final resized ones.

The folder of photos for my 2006 FPV Tornado build thread is 31.7Gb. The folder of photos for the 2007 FPV Tornado build thread is a lot smaller, at 17.4Gb.

It always shat me off when people uploaded photos and the links were gone later. That was one of the reasons why I was so determined to make all my stuff permanent. i started doing the Photo Essays in early 2011, and all of them are still as complete and functional as the day they were posted.

The one thing that always really ****ed me off about Photobucket was the lack of statistics. I would have loved to have known how many times various images were views. Maybe I should look at setting up my own hosting in the future for that.

TL;DR: I've been really, really, really, really anal about keeping all my photos organised.

My various threads: http://www.fordforums.com.au/search....&starteronly=1
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:46 PM   #73
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

This is a cross post because there is another Photobucket thread, but I assume most people hear are using phones to take their photos initially

I use Google photos, just take the picture with my phone, and its auto synched to Google
Then using the Web, go to Google Photos, share the photo, then open the shared link, and then copy image address (right click). Its a super long URL without a file extension, but simply add "?.jpg" to the end of the URL after 'no' so that it works in forum posts.

Also right at the end of the URL is the photo dimensions in pixels, you can just resize it you wish. I just take a rough guess at 50% a side, and it seems to work out alright, or just use a standard 640:480

Of course thats a few steps, but so is every other method too, but the best part is you have full control over removing the photo if you want.
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:52 PM   #74
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

Don't ever think your work goes unappreciated Phildo.
I had that link to your essays bookmarked as https://fordforums.com.au/search.php?searchid=11531540 and then it stopped working for some reason.
Just bookmarked the new one, many thanks.
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Old 03-07-2017, 05:00 PM   #75
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

Chrome have an extension that might help...
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/d...fegnfnflicjjgj

You need to clear the cache, but I went to some builds I never looked at the PB images came up, Im trying this now
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Old 03-07-2017, 05:20 PM   #76
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

PhotoBucketHead still working for me on the Forum and I don't pay anything. Odd...
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Old 03-07-2017, 06:36 PM   #77
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

Photobucket have been hacked and its a scam?
Explains why some still have full functionality!
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:16 PM   #78
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

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Photobucket have been hacked and its a scam?
Explains why some still have full functionality!
JP
It would be a logical assumption that they're having a bit of a cash flow crisis.

Everyone, including me, should be downloading everything.

Bloody nuisance for me; I've got about 5,700 photos on there in numerous different folder structures.
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:04 PM   #79
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

Me too. I hope the chrome app will help me relink my build threads.
UK
Already downloaded all my pics, took a couple of hours on and off.
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:34 PM   #80
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

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Originally Posted by FairmontGS View Post
PhotoBucketHead still working for me on the Forum and I don't pay anything. Odd...
I read somewhere, (can't remember which news article it was now) that Photobucket have first targeted those users whose 3rd part linking bandwidth had reached or was greater than 10 GB as the cut-in alert point.

Maybe, its the popularity of of a member's photo embedded posts here and on other blogs / forums that causes the urge in bandwidth usage very quickly.
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:30 PM   #81
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

Well that's my project thread buggered!!

I have no idea where to start to rebuild the thread either.
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:44 PM   #82
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

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Well that's my project thread buggered!!

I have no idea where to start to rebuild the thread either.
I'm sorry mate :(
A few of us in the same boat now.
I'm not doing anything just yet, waiting for Russ and the Team to sort out a couple of options for us. I know it will take time.
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:46 PM   #83
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

Ive been playing tonight. Changing my [img] to thumbs works at the moment
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SO far..
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:07 PM   #84
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

Like this



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Old 04-07-2017, 09:11 PM   #85
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

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Originally Posted by BAXRSIX View Post
I read somewhere, (can't remember which news article it was now) that Photobucket have first targeted those users whose 3rd part linking bandwidth had reached or was greater than 10 GB as the cut-in alert point.

Maybe, its the popularity of of a member's photo embedded posts here and on other blogs / forums that causes the urge in bandwidth usage very quickly.
well mine must be popular as I only had just over 100 pics there at around 20% of my small allotment used
and I got the email and my pics have been halted
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:13 PM   #86
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

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...We are still sorting that out. You can upload them to the AFF gallery for now which has
a (current) user limit of 500 Mb and a maximum file size of 500 kb per image.
I now have a copy of all my PB images that were linked into my build threads and various threads/discussions here at AFF.
The set of 1500 images (each under 500kb) totals about 250Mb and I am now considering loading them to my gallery space here at AFF.

By the way, the 'upload guide' by Raptor is very handy, thanks....
https://fordforums.com.au/showthread.php?t=11447020

Just have a few questions:

- Have you had any success with editing image links from PB to AFF, in a global manner for a forum member?
- The upload function in my gallery area does not seem to include the 'load by folder or album' option, only a single file. I'm not sure how to select multiple files...?
- I did a test upload of one jpeg that includes a 'space' in the file name and the uploaded version amended the space to an 'underscore'. Would this create a conflict of some kind in relation to previous comments on the '%20' character etc ? Many of my jpegs (and hence old links) do have spaces in the file name.
- Aside from the delete single file feature, it appears there is not a 'multiple delete file' option in the gallery, just in case I need to delete a batch after an upload. Is this correct or am I missing something?

Tips and comments would be most welcome.

Cheers.
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Old 04-07-2017, 11:08 PM   #87
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

Yeah, wow, thanks Photofckit. Thanks for all the info fellas, especially EB# - I've just started downloading my albums. Russ, I reckon the idea of having AFF host images is an excellent one, and I'd be happy to contribute a bit more cash to have that feature.
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Old 05-07-2017, 07:05 AM   #88
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

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Originally Posted by BAXRSIX View Post
I read somewhere, (can't remember which news article it was now) that Photobucket have first targeted those users whose 3rd part linking bandwidth had reached or was greater than 10 GB as the cut-in alert point.
I figure that is the case too.

I've had a 'free' PB account since 2008, but it has only grown to 260Mb of content at 2.6% of the allocated 10.1GB free space.
Of that content, about 250Mb is linked (3rd party hosted) to threads here at AFF over many years. AFF is the only real
purpose for my PB account.

My PB account could be regarded as tiny on volume but I'm unsure how that translates to 'bandwidth for linking images'.
Archived and old AFF threads & posts with my pics would never see much traffic, but I suppose my main build thread
has experienced a measure of consistent viewing over the years.

Anyway, it looks like some solutions to the dilemma are in the works - be it via another hosting site or here at AFF.
Thanks again to Russ and the AFF crew for looking into it and helping us all out.

Last edited by EB#; 05-07-2017 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:16 PM   #89
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

I remember this issue with Imageshack a few years back, so I personally swapped over to imgur.

For anyone who wants to use imgur in the interim whilst Russell works out the best plan of attack for the future, here's how to easily upload images at the right size and get them here;

1. Log in or register with imgur.com.
2. Hover over your username (top right of screen) and select 'images'.
3. Select 'auto resize' on right of screen and choose your desired image size (generally 800x600 for forums I've found). If you don't select an 'auto resize' resolution then your image will upload at its full size.
4. Now you can just drag your picture from its folder on your computer and drop it in the middle of the imgur website and it'll automatically upload at your selected size or at full size if you didn't choose an option in 'auto resize'.
5. Click on the image you just uploaded, select the BBCode and paste it into your post. Various other types of links (including direct) are available too.

If want to upload multiple images then follow the steps as above, up to and including step 3;
4. Select 'Add Images'.
5. Select 'Browse'.
6. Select as many images as you need to upload in one sitting, but you need to select them all by holding the 'control' button your keyboard and clicking each image. That'll highlight each clicked image and once you're ready select 'Open'. All your images will now upload.

If you forgot to choose an 'auto-resize', but have already uploaded your images at full size;
1. Hover over the image you need to resize.
2. Click the little pencil symbol.
3. You can now select even more images to edit in the same sitting, but each is done separately. If selected, each image will be surrounded by a green box.
4. Click 'Edit' (will be just above the top right picture in your gallery).
5. Now you should have the image open for editing and you'll see in the top right of the editing area is the dimensions of the image. Change the left number to any number (as above I generally use 800x600, so it'll be '800' in this example) and leave the tickbox for 'lock proportions' ticked. As the proportions are locked, the right box does not need to be edited or changed as the appropriate number will be created automatically.
6. Click 'Apply' (opposite corner to size dimensions we just edited).
7. Click 'Save' (centre top of screen).
8. Now you'll return to your image gallery if you only selected one image to edit, but if you selected more, then they'll automatically appear for editing now and so just repeat steps 5-7.
9. Once back in your image gallery follow step 5 from the top instructions to the links for your image.

Hope that helps people out with the mass migration from Photobucket.
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:11 AM   #90
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Default Re: Photobucket... WTF!!

http://www.news.com.au/finance/busin...9a62e6ec2520c6

Amazon, eBay images held to ‘ransom’ by Photobucket


A POPULAR website used by sellers on auction sites like Amazon, Etsy, eBay and Gumtree is facing a growing backlash for effectively demanding a “ransom” from its members.

Photobucket, a US-based image and video-hosting website founded in 2003, quietly changed its policy late last month to prevent users from hosting their content on third-party websites unless they pay a $US400 ($526) annual fee.

Members who used the previously free service to store their content for use on auction sites, blogs and internet forums have discovered their images replaced with a message asking them to “update your account”.

No warning was given, but the company posted a brief blog post on June 26 announcing an “update to our terms of service”, with the change buried towards the end of the article.

The move means more than a decade worth of images hosted all over the internet have suddenly turned into broken links unless members sign up for one of Photobucket’s “competitive subscription plans”.

“Photobucket have killed the internet ... Well done,” wrote Twitter user Wevsky. “I want to know why you think it’s cool to destroy a decade worth of posts on many forums and expect people to be held to ransom for 399.”

Andrea H. tweeted: “Soooo angry! I have five years of blog posts that are ruined now.” Evelien added: “My blog looks like s***. Thousands of articles — SEVEN years of work.”
Colin Graham wrote: “Congrats on successfully committing corporate suicide. Wouldn’t it have been less messy to simply shut down altogether?”

Twitter user Spammals described it as “how to destroy a business overnight”. “Even if you revert the change it’s too late,” they wrote. “The damage is now done and it grows worse every second.”

Many likened it to recent ransomware attacks which lock victims out of their own computer systems until they pay up. “Anyone else surprised Photobucket isn’t offering Bitcoin as the only method of payment?” asked Twitter user McMike.

User Superfuture wrote: “We now have 3.2 million forum posts from 2003 littered with your ransom images. This has to be illegal. Hello all class action lawyers.”

Stefan Bosman tweeted: “Thank you for all the good years I’ve had with your product. Now deleted my account due to the $400 blackmail. Good way to go out of business.”
Photobucket, which claims to have more than 100 million members and 15 billion hosted images, has not responded to the growing backlash save for a few tweets.

“Thank you for all of the recent feedback and questions,” the company tweeted on Sunday. “We are trying our best to respond quickly and thank you for your patience .” A day earlier, it tweeted: “Want to know more about 3rd party hosting? Check out our FAQs.”

UK-based vintage store Retro 2 Go, which sells goods on eBay, was one of those affected. “I have quite a bit of editing to do,” the store’s owner told the BBC. “A bit of notice would not have been unreasonable to expect. I have deleted my accounts and would not use [Photobucket] again.”

On Reddit, one user wrote that while Photobucket was “absolutely entitled to change their business model whenever they feel like it”, the way the company handled it would “go down as one of the great customer-service f***-ups in internet history”.

“Folks, you’re witnessing the death of an internet business,” another user wrote. “This is the kind of screw up a company never really recovers from.”

Another wrote that “you can’t even begin to imagine what this will mean to internet forums and blogs”. “Older internet users remember what a dumpster fire the internet was when Angelfire, Geocities, and Tripod stopped offering free hosting,” they wrote.
“Broken links everywhere and it was the exact same cause, they started out to give everyone free hosting, but they reached critical mass as more people signed up for the free than the paid.”

In a blog post, marketing firm Aqueous Digital described it as a “case study on how not to do it”. “Not only did they dump this on their users with zero notice but they are compounding the issue with their communications, or lack of them,” the company wrote.

“From a commercial point of view, there must have been a growing imperative to step away from a model primarily reliant on advertising. With a growth in customer numbers and an increase in bandwidth usage, their cost base must have been spiralling. It’s a byproduct of their success.

“The solution however surely was not what they have come up with? Firstly, why make the change with no notice? Why simply change overnight and then dump on your customers? Secondly, how on earth did they arrive at their pricing point? When so many people use their service specifically for third-party hosting and nothing else, why provide this service only at the highest price point you have?”

Photobucket was acquired by Fox Interactive Media in 2007, but in 2009 was sold by Fox parent company News Corp, publisher of news.com.au, to Seattle-based mobile start-up Ontela.
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