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Dropbox shows iPhoto what simple really means

Note: Dropbox—sadly—removed this feature in July of 2017, so don’t even bother reading any further.

Did you know that Dropbox lets you create photo albums? No? Me neither, until this morning, that is. And it turns out, it’s incredibly easy to do:

  1. Copy or move a folder of images into your Dropbox folder. Choose any location within the Dropbox folder that you wish; I set up a Photos folder to hold slideshows.
  2. Open the Dropbox web site, and sign in to your account.
  3. Navigate to the folder you just uploaded, right click, and choose Create album.
  4. Click Share album, then copy the link or directly invite those you’d like to see the album.

That’s it, your’e done. The only time-consuming portion of the process is uploading the images; creating and sharing the album takes almost no time at all. That’s about as simple as it gets.

Now assume you want to do the same thing using iPhoto: create a web-based slideshow of images for anyone to see via a shared URL. Sure, you could use iCloud’s Photo Stream, but that’s not a web-based solution. Instead, you’ll need to use File > Export in iPhoto, and either create a Web Page or a Slideshow. Slideshow is really misnamed, though, as what it really creates is a movie of your images. So Web Page it is.

The Web Page dialog has a number of settings that you’ll have to configure:

Once configured, click Export…and then navigate the Save dialog to find a spot to store the slideshow. Click OK to get out of the navigation dialog, and now you’ve got the slideshow…on your Mac, at least.

You’ll now have to find somewhere to upload the slideshow…somewhere like Dropbox, perhaps. But if you’re going to do that, you can save a bunch of time and needless HTML/CSS files by just uploading the images directly to Dropbox. As an added bonus, I think the built-in Dropbox slideshows look much nicer than those exported from iPhoto.

Back in the day, iPhoto used to let you share a slideshow to a mac.com URL, as I recall. Today may be all about Photo Streams and iOS devices, but there’s something to be said for the utter simplicity and flexibility provided by sharing a slideshow via a URL.

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