Our Final Phanfare Fling
The last few days I've enjoyed some final Phanfare fun...much of which I'll miss.
- We watched some Phanfare albums on our Roku. I didn't normally do this because I liked the Phanfare slideshows on the computer much better. Roku didn't have the Ken Burns (panning and zooming) effect. Someone has a Roku app for SmugMug, but it doesn't seem to work.
- We watched several Phanfare album slideshows. These were great slideshows for not much effort on our part. Background music. Ken Burns effect. We loved them. Our friends loved them. We'll really miss this feature. SmugMug's slideshows are bad. There are threads on this SmugMug discussion forum dating back many years asking for improved slideshows on SmugMug (even pointing to Phanfare as the way to do it)...seemingly falling on deaf ears. Zenfolio also offers music with slideshows (but last I tried them, no Ken Burns effect). Maybe SmugMug can inherit Phanfare's stock music for starters. Phanfare's slideshows were done in Flash, so SmugMug probably doesn't want to inherit that code...but if it got us better slideshows quickly on SmugMug, it would be worthwhile.
- I fired up the Phanfare Mac client. It still worked great. I almost thought it was going to let me upload more photos, but it got started and stopped. I had also used the client app a little bit in my pre-SmugMug migration preparations. I lost the installer for the Windows client somewhere a few years ago when I changed computers, so I couldn't try that. Even after Carbonite killed off the Mac and Windows clients, some of their help instructions still told you to use the client apps. In some cases, that was the only way to accomplish a task.
- I took screenshots of all of my automatic notification groups for subsites. As near as I can tell, SmugMug doesn't provide such an option. This was another fabulous Phanfare feature (although along the way from original Phanfare, to Social Phanfare, to Final Phanfare, I certainly expressed displeasure to Andrew a few times for constantly changing my workflow...but I really like how it ended up). This was such a great way to quickly share photos with family, friends, church groups, school groups, scouts, and other activities. At least I know who I mailed some things to, but I might have to find another way of notifying them whenever I get things configured on SmugMug.
- I took a final look at some of my site statistics and album viewership reports.
- I read a few random Phanfare blog and forum posts...fun memories. I see they're still up today, even though Phanfare is locked out now. I also took a visit to the Facebook page. I kind of figured the Phanfare domain would redirect to SmugMug now.
- And on the technical side, I also took at look at some of the response headers on Phanfare...still using IIS 6 and ASP.Net 2.0. I remember when Carbonite was telling us nothing new was happening because their engineers were busy "upgrading" things on Phanfare. All they ever did was keep the existing infrastructure in place, take our money, and discontinue almost anything that was going to cost them money to fix (I think they actually did have to fix a video encoding problem at one point...maybe they figured they wouldn't get away with discontinuing video support).
Oh well, here we are in the foreign land of SmugMug now. Thanks to @leftquark and other support people who kept us alive in the process. It's certainly a different land than Phanfare.