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ProStockMaster 2.0.3 for Mac and Windows helps selling photos online

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New release 2.0.3 of ProStockMaster comes with the following changes

  1. Added scrolling for language context menu, so all languages are reachable for all screen resolutions

    Scrolled languages menu

    Scrolled languages menu

  2. Fixed issue which did not allow suggestions for multiple keywords / keyphrase.

    Keyphrase suggestions

    Keyphrase suggestions

  3. Mac: application menu moved to top menu bar where it is supposed to be for a Mac app
  4. Mac: folders tree changed to be more Mac-like, showing “PLACES” and starting from the user’ home folder.

    Better Mac experience

    Better Mac experience

New release: ProStockMaster v2.0.2 for Mac OS X

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We just have released the new 2.0.2 version of PSM for Mac Os X Snow Leopard. This release follows previous v2.x releases for Windows, switching PSM to work with your (free) Lightburner account. Thus you get the best of the two worlds, browsing and adding metadata locally, while uploading only once for all microstock channels via online software. For more information see release notes  for 2.x versions.

 

Once you’ve downloaded the latest software, make sure that

  • You have a valid Lightburner account (free signup here)
  • You defined your microstock agencies and/or private FTP sales channels in Lightburner
  • You provided PSM with your Lightburner username and password (Tools -> Lightburner account menu in PSM)

Known issues

  1. Sales stats received from Lightburner.com always overwrite any data you might enter manually. Still thinking how to handle the logic here.

NEW: ProStockMaster 2.0 Beta for Windows

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I am happy to announce that the long awaited PSM v2.0 BETA is currently released for Windows OS. This is a major software release changing how PSM works with your images. While the user experience and the GUI mostly remain the same, other software layers were significantly modified.

Main changes

  1. PSM now works as a Lightburner.com client, uploading images exclusively to your Lightburner.com account. If you did not get your free Lightburner account yet, go get it now.
  2. It means that now you can upload your images to as many microstock and traditional stock photography agencies as you wish, either by using pre-defined Lightburner.com microstock sales channels like iStock and Shutterstock, or by defining your own private FTP channels.
  3. It also means that PSM will now upload images only once, to Lightburner.com, instead of uploading them N times to N agencies. Thus you save time and bandwidth.
  4. Lightburner accounts are set up for automatic distribution of all uploaded images, no additional action required. Once PSM uploads the images Lightburner will distribute them to the microstocks of your choice.
  5. The IPTC/EXIF/XMP metadata library is replaced by a more sophisticated solution. WARNING: MAKE COPIES FOR ALL JPEGs BEFORE YOU APPLY ANY METADATA CHANGE, particularly because it is an early BETA release of the software.
  6. The database structure was cleaned up and was significantly changed. The new database is incompatible with DBs of PSM 1.x.x. If there will be a huge demand for the backward compatibility I will consider adding a DB convert utility.
  7. Some less important functionality existed in the previous versions is removed to reduce the number of features delivered in this BETA release.

DOWNLOAD: http://prostockmaster.com/dc2/Setup_ProStockMaster.exe

Once you’ve downloaded the latest software, make sure that

  • You have a valid Lightburner account (free signup here)
  • You defined your microstock agencies and/or private FTP sales channels in Lightburner
  • You provided PSM with your Lightburner username and password (Tools -> Lightburner account menu in PSM)

Known issues

  1. Sales stats received from Lightburner.com always overwrite any data you might enter manually. Still thinking how to handle the logic here.

 

** Please report the bugs to support(at)pixamba(dot)com! **

Thank you!

Microstock Portfolio Analysis With Free LightBurner Tools

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New free microstock submission service LightBurner keeps adding new functionality. The latest update includes more new stuff in the Analytics sections of the subscribers account.

In this post I will review the first group of LightBurner’ Analytics tools, discussing how they cgoan help you to sell more photos via microstock photography sites.

Disclaimer: all numbers, stats and graphs in this posts are used for illustrative purposes only. They may or may not be based on the real statistical data.


LightBurner Analytics: The SEO Group

This group of graphs shows the current status of customer’s LightBurner portfolio from the SEO perspective. Microstock is a part of the Internet domain and online stock photography agencies play the Internet game following the common SEO rules. If you want your images to sell well you also have to know these rule and to follow them. For a large and quality online portfolio SEO-compliance is probably one of the most important success factors, particularly on the highly competitive microstock market.

Microstock agencies use image metadata in searches,  and embed it into dynamically created web pages when showing images, categories, authors portfolios and similar.

Microstock Photo Page at iStock

Microstock Photo Page at iStock

Most online stock photography agencies will use a stock image title as the title of the dynamic page, created for that image. See “Beautiful blonde woman” text in the browser’ title bar on the top of the image above? This is the image title taken by iStock system from this image’ IPTC/XMP metadata on upload, and saved in iStock database. Now this title is displayed each time a page for “Beautiful blonde woman” is viewed. The title is also repeated on the web page itself, describing the image to the buyers and to the search engines.

Search engines pay special attention to pages titles because this is what they display in search results as hyperlinks.

Keywords are probably less visual on this iStock page, but definitely not for the search engines. Keywords come at least twice on a stock image page at major microstocks: once as HTML metadata, and the second time as visible hyperlinks helping to perform a search by that keyword. Here are the keywords for this page embedded into HTML metadata:

<!DOCTYPE html><html><head><title>Beautiful blonde woman | Royalty Free Stock Photo Image | iStockphoto.com</title><meta charset="utf-8">
<meta name="language" content="EN" >
<meta name="title" content="Beautiful blonde woman | Royalty Free Stock Photo Image" >
<meta name="description" content="Royalty Free Stock Photo, Beautiful blonde woman, copyright gruizza, iStockphoto LP" >
<meta name="keywords" content="Beauty, Beautiful, Blond Hair, Blue Eyes, Carefree, Caucasian, Close-up, Copy Space, Color Image, Cute, Looking At Camera, Human Face, Female, Human Finger, Ring, Earring, Teenage Girls, Women, Human Hand, Human Head, Horizontal, Head And Shoulders, Make-up, Candid, Nature, Mouth Open, People, Photography, Purity, Sensuality, Naked, Sex Symbol, Studio Shot, One Woman Only, Young Adult, One Person, Expressing Positivity, Young Women, Only Young Women, Front View, Touching, dark background, stock images, royalty free images, stock photography, stock photos, inexpensive, istockphoto" ><!--[if lt IE 9]><script src="/static/1293128469/js/html5.js"></script><![endif]--><link href="/istock_news_rss.php" rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="iStockphoto.com - Latest News" >
<link href="/feeds/newest/" rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="iStockphoto.com - Latest Images" >
<link href="/istock_forums_rss.php" rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="iStockphoto.com - Latest Forum Threads" >

I would not say that iStockphoto does a great SEO here since very similar keywords like “Young Women, Only Young Women” will be typically considered as duplicates and the list of keywords in this HTML meta tag is way too long. Anyway, it’s good enough to illustrate my point.

Keywords you select play an important role in SEO, used at least once, and typically twice on each stock photo page. Keywords help search engines to index microstock content with proper tags, and help microstock buyers to easily search by clicking a keyword link.

Stock Photo Keywords @iStock

Stock Photo Keywords @iStock

And here LightBurner comes to help. New SEO analytical tools available with any free LightBurner account help microstock contributors to properly index their stock photos with metadata before submission, optimized for the search engines and for the online use.

Let’s review a few samples.

Length Of Stock Images Titles

Length Of Stock Images Titles

The graph above shows that this LightBurner portfolio got 586 titles shorter than 30 characters. It is a a serious warning, since we typically will try to keep our titles reasonable long and keywords-intensive. The graph suggest to target the ‘long titles’ group, which has no image in this specific portfolio at the moment.

In fact, the above iStock image of blond woman is a good example of a bad title 🙂

Here is why – the title has only 3 words, and the total length is 22 characters only. Even knowing that iStock’ cannibals always eat up about 60-70 title characters by adding most searched general terms like “stock photo” and “royalty free”, we still can easily have our own 50-chars title, getting much more sympathies from the search engines.

Do that. Try 50+ characters length titles. I am sure you will see the difference in your stock photos sales quite soon.

And here is another graph, showing how many images carry keywords in their titles.

Number Of Keywords In Title

Number Of Keywords In Title

And here we are getting the red flag again!

Less than half of the portfolio has a keyword in the stock photos title.

We specify the keywords because it’s a good way to describe the stock image. Furthermore, buyers search by the keywords. If no keywords are used in the title it simply means that that title is non-descriptive and it should be replaced.

Non-descriptive titles are really bad for SEO. With no keywords in the title images will not be found in the search engines. An image by another microstock photographer, who reasonably used keywords in the images titles will be preferred by the search engines.

Yet another graph below shows the distribution of the stock photos portfolio by the keywords groups depending on the number of keywords.

Number Of Keywords Per A Stock Photo

Number Of Keywords Per A Stock Photo

It looks like the images in the reviewed portfolio are heavily ‘over-keyworded’. Indeed, 35-50 keywords are typically enough to describe an image for any microstock agency.  We need even less than that for the proper SEO. 35-50 keywords per image will typically give the best performance for our stock images portfolio.

In the next post I will review other microstock portfolio analytical tools coming with you free LightBuner account.

Get a free LightBurner account now, check out how your portfolio looks to the search engines. Maximize the portfolio’ visibility and sales.

iSyndica closes

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iSyndica, an online microstock distribution service, recently announced it’s closure. Despite their prices that were considered high by the microstock contributing community, iSyndica service attracted many serious microstock photographers, vector artists and videographers. With the service shutdown all the contributors’ portfolios, their associated metadata and the sales stats will be permanently lost. iSyndica is scheduled to shutdown on October 10 2010.

iSyndica is closing

IMPORTANT

If you have an iSyndica account I suggest you to download all the dump files that iSyndica offers (see iSyndica’ answers below). Probably we can help you to utilize this information with your portfolio. If such an option is of your interest drop a comment here. The more interest we see the bigger is the chance we’ll make it happens.

Would not it be great just to ‘export’ your online portfolio with all it’s metadata and the associated sales stats and use it with ProStockMaster/Pixamba software? With a little help from iSyndica team we probably could do that too.

Since the latest iSyndica’ announcement I am getting many emails from the iSyndica customers. The most frequent questions are:

Will you guys support custom FTP?

Yes we will. This feature is currently in the development and will be a part of our next major release, which is scheduled for October 2010.

Do you plan adding more agencies?

Yes we do, and a few of them are already in the pipeline.

Will you support video and vectors upload?

Yes we will, from mid-November 2010.

Here is he original closure announcement like it looks on iSyndica web site http://www.isyndica.com at the moment of writing (Sept 28 2010):

iSyndica is closing

We wish to thank all of you for your support over the past 2 years. Unfortunately, we have, for many reasons, decided to discontinue the service, with an effective last day set to October 10, 2010.

We have compiled the list of Q&As below to help you understand our handling of the situation. Further contact will also be made on a one-to-one basis within your iSyndica account and by e-mail.

How long will the service remain available?

Service will remain available and operational until October 10, 2010 at 23:59:59 UTC. However, effective immediately, you will no longer be able to place orders for credits or storage, or change your subscription. Note that FTP uploads will no longer be allowed as the FTP server will now be used to allow you to provide you access to backup information as well as letting you dump a backup of your catalog that you may re-download to your computer.


Will I get a refund?

Yes. On October 10, 2010, your subscription and credit balance will be tabulated to provide you with a pro-rated refund. Information will be made available in your account detail pages and you will further be contacted to arrange for the refund.


Will you pay my affiliate balance?

Yes. Your affiliate credits will be paid out as part of your final refund.


Will there be any payout limit?

No. There will be no payout limit: we will honor our obligations in full and refund you all that is owed to you.


What happens to my files online?

You can download your files from your account individually, or use a custom FTP connector to export them to a server under your control. If you run out of credits for this operation, please contact us and we will arrange for an export of your files.
After October 10, 2010, all files will be deleted permanently from iSyndica.


Can I download a backup of my file catalog?

Yes. If you do not have an external FTP server available, you can use iSyndica’s FTP to syndicate any file you wish to backup there, then download them to your computer. Visit your FTP account settings to get your login information and configure a generic FTP connector on your Channel List. Then syndicate all the files you wish to download. Once syndication is complete, simply connect using your favorite FTP client and download your files.


Can I get a data dump of my metadata?

Yes. Also on your FTP account, you will find a tab-delimited dump of all your metadata, keyed from the name of the files you uploaded. The file is named Metadata.tab.txt.


Can I get a data dump of my syndication history?

Yes. Also on your FTP account, you will find a tab-delimited dump of all your item syndication, keyed from the name of the files you uploaded and target agency to which you sent the file. The file is named Syndication.tab.txt.


Can I get a data dump of my reporting data?

Yes. Also on your FTP account, you will find a tab-delimited dump of all your reporting data that you may import in Excel or any spreadsheet program. This dump will contain additional information that was not made available on your general report summary, such as image references on each agency (with link to the display page for the item), license type, etc. The file is named Reporting.tab.txt.


What about my private information?

Your information will be erased from the system before we even close our hosting account, to ensure your privacy. We will not sell your email address or anything. By all means, feel free to change your agency login information – it is a good practice to change your password ever once in a while.


What about my Amazon or Paypal subscription?

Within a few hours, all payment subscriptions will be permanently canceled. You will no longer be charged for anything. You may receive a notification e-mail from Amazon or Paypal (respectively) informing you of the cancellation.

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

Please send an e-mail to our support group and we will do our best to address your inquiry.


v1.9.0 released

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We have released ProStockMaster v1.9.0. The new release speeds up stock photos thumbnails displaying and folders browsing.

New & faster thumbnails creation mechanism

New & faster thumbnails creation mechanism

On Mac, v1.9.0 also eliminates the dependencies on the old PowerPC code and Apple Rosette, and runs with Java 6 whenever it is available.

No Rosetta anymore! Faster Intel-native Java

v1.9.0 is a major release with some new stuff inside and we highly recommend to download and install the FULL VERSION of the new release instead of using the auto-upgrade procedure, both Mac and Windows. For the Mac users installing the FULL version instead of the auto-upgrade is a must to speed up the application, so please do so.

Unfortunately, the capabilities of PSM auto-upgrade are limited and we do expect problems with auto-update this time, so again – PLEASE INSTALL THE FULL version instead of auto-upgrading.

Further releases will be based on the technology introduced in v1.9.0, so it is quite critical to make a timely update now.

How to install the full version if you already got PSM installed and want to keep your data

Sell Photos Online as Microstock With Free ProStockMaster Software

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Press Release

Life just got easier for stock photographers looking to sell photos via microstock agencies. Released as freeware, ProStockMaster free microstock software application helps photographers to sell photos online through multiple stock photography agencies.

Pixamba, the leader in software solutions for the microstock and stock photography market has released ProStockMaster, the award-wining microstock tool for stock photographers as freeware.

ProStockMaster is a free desktop software application which helps photographers to sell images online through multiple stock photography agencies.

Adopted by thousands of amateur and professional photographers since its first launch in 2006, ProStockMaster is the first application dedicated to simplifying the process of submitting stock images to multiple microstock and traditional stock photography agencies at the same time.

ProStockMaster is available for Mac Os X and Windows (7, Vista, XP, 2000, Me, 2003).

Free microstock software - Mac screen shot

This free software application helps stock photo photographers to sell more images quickly as it automates the tedious tasks of keywording, managing and uploading photos and traditional royalty free and rights managed images to stock agencies. With ProStockMaster contributing stock photographers can spend more time doing what they love – shooting pictures.

ProStockMaster free microstock software helps stock photographers to easily sell photos online through the following leading microstock photo agencies: – Dreamstime.com – Shutterstock.com – iStockphoto.com – Fotolia.com – 123rf.com – BigStock.com – CanStockPhoto.com – PantherMedia.net – Alamy.com

The free microstock software offers the following features:

  • Simultaneous Upload of Stock Photos to Multiple Microstock Agencies. Contributing stock photographers can post stock images and entire folders to multiple stock photography agencies just in one click!
  • Automated IPTC Keywording Of Stock Photos: ProStockMaster microstock software suggests additional relevant keywords that can be used for the description of a stock photograph or illustration. The software supports built-in translation from more than 40 languages, helping stock contributors to describe their stock images in their native language.

IPTC Meta data keywording for stock photos

  • Stock Photography Earnings Statistics: With ProStockMaster stock photo takers can now review their sales and download statistics for their stock images portfolio in all supported microstock agencies at the same time.

Microstock sales stats

  • Stock Images Metadata Simplicity: ProStockMaster free software for a microstock photographer makes it easy to find images on photographer’s computer. The software keeps all the stock images indexed with IPTC metadata and supports a built-in fast search mechanism, helping photographers to find their images by keywords, titles or descriptions. For some microstock agencies, this free microstock application keeps track of per-image stats and earnings. ProStockMaster users can easily copy IPTC metadata between similar images, which significantly reduces the preparation time for series of stock photos taken at the same photo session, at the same location or with the same model. ProStockMaster allows stock photographers to batch-process their photographic metadata preparing their stock images for microstocks sales.
  • Standards Compliance: Full support for IPTC, Adobe XMP and EXIF meta-data standards.
  • Photo Data Review: ProStockMaster free software monitors stock imagery EXIF data inserted into any digital picture, including: aperture, shutter speed, program mode, ISO, flash mode, post-processing software and more.

EXIF metadata for stock photography

David Mail, CEO of Pixamba said:

“We are proud to release  ProStockMaster as free software, allowing the global community of  contributing microstock photographers to easily upload stock images,  selling stock photos and illustrations through top microstock agencies.  For four years our microstock software has helped tens thousands of  stock photographers to save time and money selling photos online. We  keep working on this proven free microstock tool, bringing even more  highly demanded keywording,  management and stock imagery distribution  functionality soon.”

About ProStockMaster

ProStockMaster was first launched in 2006 and rapidly became a favorite desktop software for microstock shooters. The software runs on Mac Os X and Windows and saves stock photographers hours of tedious work, automating keywording and simultaneously uploading stock photos to multiple microstock agencies. Selling photos online with ProStockMaster turns out as an extremely easy task for amateurs and professional photographers who value their time. ProStockMaster is developed and distributed by Pixamba, a company specializing in media management solutions for the creative industry. For more information and to download ProStockMaster, please visit: http://prostockmaster.com

For further information requests please contact:
David Mail, Pixamba
tel: +1-877-PIXAMBA
email: [email protected](dot)com

CanStockPhoto – sales stats for every stock image at your fingertips, better security and reliability

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ProStockMaster microstock software v1.7.2 now works with CanStockPhoto via our proprietary PSM API. From now on all microstock contributors can track their microstock sales and download stats for every stock photograph or an illustration submitted to CanStockPhoto with ProStockmaster microstock tool.
All data is transferred over HTTPS, which significantly improves the communication security between the microstock photography agency and the stock photographer’s computer.

Many thanks to Duncan Enman, CEO of CanStockPhoto and his great team for making this possible.

Today: moving the web site to a different hosting provider

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Today we are moving the web to a different hosting provider. During the next 24 hours some of PSM services such as keywords suggestion can work sporadically or do not work at all. Hopefully, all the transfer will go smooth and we will be up and running again very soon. The DNS change propagation takes 24-48 hours (less in North America, more for the rest of the word), so maximum in 48 hours all the changes will be adopted by DNS servers worldwide and you will be able to work with the site and with ProStockMaster as usual.

We do this change because we are continuously looking to improve our services and add more web and application features and we need an infrastructure which can support them all.
Sorry for the inconvenience

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