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News & Announcements

Checking out another hosting provider

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As a part of our continuous improvement program, we plan to transfer prostockmaster.com to another hosting provider which should allow us to provide the site visitors with the better service and with the new attractive site features. At the moment we are testing the new hosting, checking out its capabilities and features.

While we will try to transfer the web site as smooth as we can, we still should expect a short down time during the transfer.
My guess is that it will last somewhere between a few hours and 1 day.
At that time the web services which ProStockMaster application uses will become unavailable, and first of all it affects the keywords suggestion service.

We are sorry in advance for any possible service interrupt and we look forward to deliver you even better web with more attractive services and interesting options. When we’ll figure out the exact transfer date, we’ll publish an additional announcement.

iStockphoto.com Security And The Latest Physhing Attack

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I guess most of you already saw this message when logged in to iStockphoto:

kkthompson
March 3, 2009 20:10
This afternoon a phishing attack was conducted in the forums and through sitemail. This attack created a fake istockphoto.com login screen, prompted the user for a username & password, saved them to a malicious server, then redirected the user back to the iStockphoto main page

The iStock forums post by the same author says:

It’s an interesting statement, where the first part is correct, while the second part is very confusing. No financial information to breach, oh yeah, really?

Just a week ago Dreamstime complained in this thread that “we had cases when contributors had their accounts accessed, password changed, payment requested”. Now the iStockphoto guys are brave enough to say us they have “no financial information to breach”?

We all know that iStockphoto, like any other stock photo agency has on file your PayPal / MoneyBookers accounts. They also collect funds that have to be transferred to contributors monthly. Should not this stuff be considered as a valuable financial information stored by iStock? And if it is not enough, add here you personal profile details like your home address, phones and your picture ID. And even your images portfolio is in danger since it can be first completely downloaded and stolen and then, just for fun, completely removed from the agency by a hacker who looks for an entertainment on the hacked site.

What happened to iStock on March 3 is not funny at all. And it is a much more serious issue than just a few hours of iStock down time, even if iStockphoto prefers to present it this way. The site stores financial information and digital goods that can be stolen, so their “no financial info stored” statement is very far from the reality.

Faster ProStockMaster, the microstock software for a stock photographer

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We have just released a new Windows package with no embedded Java.
It is a much smaller download – just about 6 MB instead of 19 MB, and it works with your pre-installed Java.

You must have an installed Java on your machine in order to run PSM with this installation! If you are not sure if you got any Java, go to Windows “Start” menu, select “Run” and type in “cmd”.
A DOS-style shell window opens. Type in

java -version

on the command prompt. If you get something like this


java version “1.6.0_12”
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_12-b04)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 11.2-b01, mixed mode, sharing)

it means that you have some Java installed. It is highly recommended to upgrade your Java to the latest version using MS Windows Control Panel prior to starting the application. The minimum required JVM version is 1.5.12.

Since modern Java 6 on Windows is faster than the previous JVM version we bundle with PSM, with the new packaging and with the latest JVM ProStockMaster will run faster! Also, many GUI-related issues are fixed in Java 6, so various skins work faster and behave more stable in JVM 6.

The new PSM packaging also fixes some weird but relatively rare problems with Windows Vista 32-bit/64-bit pre-installed JVMs. If PSM refuses to start on your Windows machine with the bundled Java try this ‘unbundled’ installation package.

Note that ProStockMaster version did not change. It is the same v1.6.0 we have released last month.

If you wish to ‘upgrade’ your existing 1.6 installation with the new packaging, taking the advantage of faster PSM with your latest JVM just get the the setup file and install PSM in the same folder where the previous version resides.

Actually, it’s a ‘back to future’ packaging since we have started the distribution this way. Then we switched to bundled JVM to avoid support issues related to improper Java installations and JVM functioning. Now we came back to that, bring you now both the ‘bundled’ and the ‘unbundled’ packages, so you can choose the package that works better for you.

Installation packages: Worldwide | North America

Co-operation With Microstock Agency PantherMedia

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Yes, I know, I know. You want more storefronts to sell your stock photos and illustrations. The more stock photography agencies sell your royalty free images the bigger revenues you get. We learned that very well and we completely agree.
Every time we talk to our stock photographers they emphasize they would love to expand their sales network, selling more stock content through stock photo agencies and distributors..
We hear it so often that we even put this question in our FAQ

So here are you go: showtime!

Please meet PantherMedia, a microstock agency located in Munich, Germany. PantherMedia has been around since 2004, when the two founders and current owners Petter Ammel and Robert Walters established PantherMedia GmbH. Being the first stock photography agency to offer midstock images, PantherMedia went international in 2008 and is represented by international partners in more than 40 countries.

Initially my attention to PantherMedia was drawn a few months ago by a stock photography expert Andy Goetze, who runs Stockphototalk blog. Later on, working with PantherMedia on various technical and business issues I was absolutely charmed by people who run this venture.

So, while writing this post, it was very easy to me to figure out a few reasons why you will love submitting your stock images to Panthermedia.net

First, because PantherMedia can sell your work as a midstock for prices $50 and more! Take a look at their prices: for instance, if you sell a stock photograph with a merchandise license, it can go at 449.90 €!
And here comes the second reason – you keep up to 60% of that! The “up to” part of your commission depends on the license and exclusivity you choose, but if you go for it – you get your 60%, absolutely. Remember, this 60% are out of a midstock $50+ price!

The third reason why you should register with PantherMedia right away is that ProStockMaster is now tightly integrated with PantherMedia.net and you get your sales stats for any stock photo you got with PantherMedia, directly at your desktop.
With PantherMedia.net working with ProStockMaster API we completely automate collecting stock photos sales and downloads statistics on per-image base.

Still not convinced that you should sign up with PantherMedia? Come’on! And how about 33% off for ProStockMaster PRO license once you sign up there?
Typically, we do not offer discounts, even for the Christmas period. You probably noticed that we never did it in the past. However, we believe that PantherMedia and their customers is a very special case and we are happy to offer them a $5999 ProStockMaster PRO licenses, 33% off our $8999 list price. Register with PantherMedia and find out tour special offer there.

And here is the last but not the least reason why you should select PantherMedia in the list of agencies where you contribute your images.
These guys are really care about their photographers and their community. Yes, they really do. Try them out, it’s free (the fifth reason to join 🙂  )- and you will see that you enjoy your stay there.

Disclaimer:
I do not work for PantherMedia and I never ever did. I was not paid to write this post. And if you buy a PSM license through PantherMedia site for just $5999 instead of $8999, I am loosing money… 😀

Introducing a new license type: Basic License ($29.99)

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We introduce a new license type: the Basic License ($29.99) , which gives a stock contributor an unlimited set of features for 3 months. The Basic license can not be renewed / upgraded.

The license previously known as “Unlimited” is now called “Pro”. Pro license has no expiration period.
The support and software upgrades services for Pro license can be renewed for $39.99 annually.

Changes in stock photos keywording algorithm

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UPDATE: v1.5.4 fixes v1.5.3 critical failure
We also speed up the thumbnails display

A word about the stock photos keywords suggestion service:
the keywords list is now sorted in the order of relevance to your search pattern, top-down, thus the most relevant keywords are always on top.
In addition, the logic of suggestion algorithm has been changed – in the older versions of PSM the more keywords you type in the less results you got.
Starting from this version, the more keywords you type in to describe your stock photograph or an illustration, the more relevant results you get, and not necessary less keywords will be suggested.
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v1.5.3 released yesterday has a critical issue:
only the first image in the batch to any agency is uploaded

We will release the fix with v1.5.4 in the next 24h

We add Wiki to our web site

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As a part of the latest site improvements we have added Wiki to our web site.
Meanwhile, there are just a few basic HOW-TO articles there, but we hope it will be more soon.

Further optimization of microstock workflow

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We switched on the auto-upgrade flag for v1.5.1, so if you run a previous version of ProStockMaster the software will offer you to upgrade to the latest 1.5.1.

1.5.1 comes with more exciting microstock tools inside, further optimizing your stock photography workflow.
Again – if you feel that anything went wrong with the upgrade, just download and install the full version of the software on top of your previous version or in parallel to it.

It is correct for both Mac and Windows versions.

Microstock photography for Linux

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I am happy to say that we keep pioneering the stock photography software market by introducing ProStockMaster for Linux. Since the latest v1.5.1, the first in the world desktop software for a contributing stock photographer is available for the Linux photographers too!
Linux is now just another part in our standard delivery packages and the Linux binaries can be downloaded at our download page – along with Windows and Mac installation packages.

Linux user can easily keyword their stock photos using built-in keywords suggestion tools, upload all stock images at once to the top microstock sites and track their sell statistics per a stock photography agency.

Extending Fotolia sales statistics

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We extend Fotolia sales statis support in v1.5.1 of our microstock software, including now the download and sales statistics for all international customers who use local Fotolia sites in their languages, like es.fotolia.com, de.fotolia.com or fr.fotolia.com.

Additionally, Fotolia microstock sales statistics in ProStockMaster software will show now the number of the current month downloads and the monthly earnings for the stock photos sold.

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