Phanfare Refugees

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  • eisenseeisense Reston, VAPosts: 8Registered Users Big grins
    Fellow refugees, It's possible to download your entire Phanfare site content to one's computer via java applets for PCs or Macs found here:

    http://carbonite.force.com/phanfare/articles/en_US/Phanfare_Article/Phanfare-Premium-Pro-Downloading-Your-Content-from-Phanfare-Premium-and-Pro#download_entire_collection

    The download preserves the dated album structure with sub-folders. Out of > 40,000 photos in over 1300 albums (at the end of the transfer process an error message revealed the filenames (including the filepaths from where they were uploaded to Phanfare) for about 600 files. That's a 0.7% failure rate. Not too shabby. Each downloaded photo is accompanied by a separate *.xmp file.

    Credit for this goes to my brother in England (who introduced me to Phanfare).
  • eisenseeisense Reston, VAPosts: 8Registered Users Big grins
    > @writing1 said:
    > Last December, I paid a SmugMug customizer to transfer my 8,000 family photos to SmugMug and create a site that resembles the Phanfare one I had used for 12 years. It may help you to see how close he came. Compare “New Mexico" in Phanfare (http://albums.phanfare.com/isolated/BRGa78hm/1/14330945) and SmugMug (https://murawski.smugmug.com/2015-2019/2016/New-Mexico) (the lighter Phanfare background is a recent change of mine).
    >
    > SmugMug photos open faster than Phanfare's, and SmugMug's collage layout looks more modern than Phanfare’s odd version, but SmugMug is a pain to work in. Right-click options for deleting photos and other everyday tasks are sorely needed. Adding "A favorite part of the world (August 2016)” below the New Mexico breadcrumbs required a workaround unknown to SmugMug's tech support. And you can’t isolate a portion of a SmugMug site as you can in Phanfare; breadcrumbs let viewers open everything. Then, as others have reported, photos don't transfer to SmugMug in quite their Phanfare order, and rearranging them takes endless hours.
    >
    > SmugMug would have fewer emails to answer if it created some how-to’s or templates for making Phanfare-like sites. Lacking them and any interest in learning SmugMug from scratch, I worked with @jerryr (http://www.jrcustomization.com) to jumpstart things.
    >
    > Finally, I can’t figure why Carbonite bothered to buy Phanfare and then let it languish and die. As for the short notice about closure, it’s inexcusable.
    >
    >

    Very helpful post. This unhappy refugee heartily endorses your suggestion re: SmugMug staff providing how-to's or templates for making Phanfare-like sites. I'm amazed that a high level organization based on dates isn't a standard part of the SmugMug repertoire.
  • MikeLaurelMikeLaurel Southern CaliforniaPosts: 67Registered Users Big grins
    > @writing1 said:
    > Last December, I paid a SmugMug customizer to transfer my 8,000 family photos to SmugMug and create a site that resembles the Phanfare one I had used for 12 years. It may help you to see how close he came. Compare “New Mexico" in Phanfare (http://albums.phanfare.com/isolated/BRGa78hm/1/14330945) and SmugMug (https://murawski.smugmug.com/2015-2019/2016/New-Mexico) (the lighter Phanfare background is a recent change of mine).
    >
    > SmugMug photos open faster than Phanfare's, and SmugMug's collage layout looks more modern than Phanfare’s odd version, but SmugMug is a pain to work in. Right-click options for deleting photos and other everyday tasks are sorely needed. Adding "A favorite part of the world (August 2016)” below the New Mexico breadcrumbs required a workaround unknown to SmugMug's tech support. And you can’t isolate a portion of a SmugMug site as you can in Phanfare; breadcrumbs let viewers open everything. Then, as others have reported, photos don't transfer to SmugMug in quite their Phanfare order, and rearranging them takes endless hours.
    >
    > SmugMug would have fewer emails to answer if it created some how-to’s or templates for making Phanfare-like sites. Lacking them and any interest in learning SmugMug from scratch, I worked with @jerryr (http://www.jrcustomization.com) to jumpstart things.
    >
    > Finally, I can’t figure why Carbonite botheed to buy Phanfare and then let it languish and die. As for the short notice about closure, it’s inexcusable.
    >

    Thanks for sharing your information. I looked at some of your SmugMug vs. Phanfare pictures. I noticed that you didn't use Phanfare collage feature, which looks a little more like SmugMug's. I appreciate some of your comparisons between your SmugMug experience vs. Phanfare experience. These may be things I get to look forward to. I've been on SmugMug for a while, but found Phanfare to be much better. I kind of wish they would have moved all the SmugMug customers to the Phanfare platform and then made improvements to the Phanfare platform to add the missing SmugMug features to Phanfare. There is much I'm going to miss.

    I really wonder what Carbonite was thinking, too. At first, I thought it was a brilliant maneuver by Carbonite--ample cross-sell opportunities, etc. But they seemed clueless.
  • darryldarryl Major grins Posts: 1,000Registered Users Major grins

    Thanks @eisense for the reminder about the Phanfare Java export. Man, I'm gonna have to downgrade my version of Java on this Mac, but hopefully that'll work. Here's my idea:

    At this point, I believe you should have an archive that retains a date-based album folder structure. If so, then I recommend taking everything Smugmug migrated for you, and putting that in a big folder called: "Phanfare Failed Migration"

    And then, again, from a fast connection, I recommend you try uploading a year with not so many galleries. Because according to this:
    http://feedback.smugmug.com/forums/17723-smugmug/suggestions/6770429-upload-folders-and-have-hierarchy-automatically-cr

    "Earlier this week we launched a folder uploading feature. From within the Organizer, you’ll have the option to upload folders from your desktop. We’ll automatically recreate the hierarchy as folders or galleries on SmugMug and upload the images inside."

    If that works, I'd try dragging the rest of the years.

    Everything SmugMug tried to upgrade should still be in the "Failed Migration" folder, but hopefully this saves you from having to manually try and fix the organization.

    I'm going to play with this myself and see how it goes.

  • darryldarryl Major grins Posts: 1,000Registered Users Major grins

    Doing the Phanfare Java app export now. Folders for each Album do not contain dates, but they do contain a Description.txt file which does have the date, so a bit of scripting could let me rename the folders to include the date, and then those could be uploaded to SmugMug in an orderly fashion. (Phanfare app creates top-level year photos, which is like the old Phanfare Navigator view.)

  • UserNameUserNameUserNameUserName USAPosts: 2Registered Users Beginner grinner
    1) I complained to Smugmug about the default setting to Private when they migrated our photos. All mine were Published in Phanfare. I spent hours setting them back to public inn Smugmug. Over 100 Folders and 2,200Galleries with 98,000 Images. They said they want to err on the side of saftey.

    2) More than 45,000 of my photos were scanned from sildes and negatives where the date of the image is meaninless. I automatically named file using the format "yyyy-mm-dd-xxx EVENT Name" ['1973-11-15-001 The Big Day', '1973-11-15-002 The Big Day', '1973-11-15-003 The Big Day', etc]. In Smugmug I many more hours changing their date decending order to sort by filename.

    3) SmugMuf never even considered giving us the option of a theme like we had in Phanfare which was the reason I was with PhanFare and not SmugMug in the first place.

    All they tell me now is how they at Smugmug want to help me celbrate their photos.
  • MikeLaurelMikeLaurel Southern CaliforniaPosts: 67Registered Users Big grins

    I recently ran into a thread on a photography forum. It was a post from a few months ago, and I suspect it was Andrew. He was responding to a Photographer about the recently-announced Phanfare migration to SmugMug. It looks like Andrew contacted SmugMug and gave them some input on how to better do the migration shortly after the SmugMug migration was announced. I know SmugMug improved the migration experience based on some initial feedback. It looks like some of that may have been from Andrew.

    I mention it just as a "warm fuzzy" -- it looks like Andrew was still trying to help us, his former customers, have a better experience with an unfortunate situation. Thank you, Andrew.

  • KarinaExPhanfareKarinaExPhanfare Melbourne, AustraliaPosts: 93Registered Users Big grins

    Thats really nice to hear. Andrew was the heart and soul of Phanfare and I often think about what a fabulous place it would have been if he had been able to retain the company.

  • MikeLaurelMikeLaurel Southern CaliforniaPosts: 67Registered Users Big grins

    Here we are around a year later, and I see SmugMug just acquired Flickr.

    I thought on one of these threads a year ago that @leftquark gave some encouraging remarks that we would see some new features on SmugMug to make it a better experience for Phanfare users. I haven't seen any big improvements. A month or so ago I had lunch with a friend I hadn't seen in a while. I had gotten her on Phanfare many years ago. She really doesn't like SmugMug and asked me to let her know if I figure out anything better. I think I'm in the same boat. I'm not real happy with SmugMug and really wish it was better. It still takes so much longer to accomplish my basic tasks and then I still don't have anything as good as Phanfare with the auto-email about new albums posted to subsites. The whole thing was brilliant and very useful. Now, family and friends ask me about photos, as they used to get updates and now they don't. I don't have any good news for them.

    I think a fundamental problem with SmugMug is its security architecture. It's very difficult for me to have the Phanfare subsite experience without a lot of work. Kind people here have tried to help, and things look promising, and I get thwarted by the security architecture. Unfortunately, that's probably a difficult thing to change.

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