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Mac OS X

Fotolia uploads and sales stats

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What’s new in this upcoming update?

First, Fotolia uploads and statistics will come back. It seems I am going to implement this stuff without using their API, since Fotolia guys are sooo slow in replying emails. Could it be caused by their V2 web site which is unreasonably slow too? :)

Indeed, the site features almost the same functionality like the previous version and with very similar look and feel. They claim it took them 1 year to develop V2. Add here a week or so while Fotolia web was off-line, loosing their money…
And now “completly redesigned” Fotolia V2 still lacks some basic “must-to-have” functionality (IMO), e.g. “Search-in-Forums”. (Should I use Google for that? – come on, guys!)
Personally, I would expect getting something better than their current V2 after all these efforts.
Hopefully, it will change soon. I believe that Fotolia guys have a pool of features that they are going to implement basing on their new infrastructure.

So, meanwhile I am still waiting for my Fotolia V2 API developer key and my customers are waiting to upload their work to Fotolia. It seems I do not have much choice at the moment, so I’ll go for a proven “straight-forward” implementation technique – and this is what will be included in upcoming v1.3.3.

Next, I am working on speeding up the images preparation procedure. More specifically, on speeding up multiple images selection for the upload.

As you know, ProStockMaster sports 2 options for the stock photos upload: uploading a folder of stock photographs and uploading “a manual selection” of microstock images.
Uploading a folder with stock photography is a wizard-based procedure allowing you to upload a folder full of your stock photos for sale just in a few seconds clicking on “Next”->”Next”->”Next”.

Uploading a selection of stock photos is also quite fast. However, making the selection is not fast at all.
You have open each stock image, add title, description, keywords and select sites for uploading. This is a one-by-one procedure, which can be considerable time consuming.
In order to speed up the selection and image preparation process, I am going to add some new functionality to “Copy” button in the main IPTC panel.

“Copy” button will open a wizard asking you if you wish to copy metadata to or from currently open image. Another option will allow you to add sites selection as a part of data that will be copied.

If you select “from this image to other multiple images” the next wizard window will allow you to select multiple files located anywhere in your system. Once you finish your selection, IPTC metadata and/or sites selection will be copied from the currently open file to the selected files.

I believe it significantly speeds up preparation of multiple images that are going to be uploaded on the same sites. If these images represent a set with the same subject, copying IPTC data from the “master” image to all the rest can also help.

Alternatively, if you select “to this” image the wizard will allow you to select a single image on your system, which will be used as a source for IPTC data and/or for the site selection.

Uploading stock photos to iStockphoto.com and maximum number of IPTC keywords

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The automated keywords suggestion mechanism implemented in ProStockMaster brings you tens of relevant keywords matching your stock photo or an illustration. You can enter keywords in virtually any language and our microstock software will save them all with the image, in an IPTC section of the file. Thus your stock images will always carry IPTC metadata and can become searchable by IPTC-reading software like ProStockMaster or Adobe CS family.

IPTC keywords ggestion for stock photography

Probably the fastest and the easiest way to add keywords and metadata to stock photos and raster illustrations, multilingual

Some stock agencies, like iStockphoto.com restrict maximum number of keywords a stock photo can contain. (Anyone can tell me why they do it? I have absolutely no idea. I can not find any logic why they limit maximum amount of keywords. In my understanding, the more keywords an image has, the better it will be found in the searches – what’s wrong with that? However, it seems that iStockPhoto has a different point of view)

Current keywords limit defined by iStockphoto stands for 50 keywords. ProStockMaster does not limit the maximum number of IPTC keywords in a stock image, but it do counts how many keywords the photograph got. And once it is more than 50, the keywords counter become red.

Updated: Java 6 is not supported yet!

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UPDATE:
v1.3 is here and it sports embedded Java, so there are no more issues with variuos Java versions
——————————————————————————————————–

v1.2.3 and all the previous version of ProStockMaster were tested with Java 1.4.2 up to Java 5 Update 11.
The application was NOT tested yet with Java 6.
I am already aware of at least one issue with Java 6.
Symptoms:
a) at every run ProStockMaster shows “updated successfully” message and adds 2 more stock sites accounts to the list of existing sites
or
b) if you select a new stock site it is never shown in the sites list under the image in the main window

Important: At the moment ProStockMaster does NOT work properly under Java 6.
This is because of an error in one of the third-party libraries when the application runs within Java 6 virtual machine.

Workaround: until I did not resolve the issue it is recommended to install latest Java 5 update (currently Update 11)
Java 5 Runtime Environment can be downloaded here: http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index_jdk5.jsp

FIXED – Uploads to ShutterStock fail

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UPDATE: The issue is fixed. The new version 1.2.2 is available for download. You can upgrade your software by following the upgrade notes listed here: http://www.prostockmaster.com/upgrade.htm
I also fixed a minor issue with some gibberish which was sometimes inserted in the generated keywords list and made the version update verification procedure a bit more reliable.
In short, get the new version and enjoy!

-David

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Due to the recent changes at ShutterStock web site there is a new issue with ShutterStock uploads. At the moment the files uploaded with ProStockMaster do not appear on the web site, so please do not upload your work to ShutterStock until the fix is available.

This issue will be fixed during the next few days. Hope the update version will be ready for download before the weekend. Those of you who use version 1.2.1 will be informed automatically on ProStockMaster’ start that the new update is available. If you have an older version please go to “Help->Software Updates…” menu and verify periodically if the update is already available.

I am negotiating with the few sites to establish and use a dedicated stable API that will eliminate such unpleasant situations in the future (some of them already have such API). As usual, these things take time. Sorry for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding

Automatic updates

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It looks like ProStockMaster needs a completely automatic update procedure (similar to anti-virus DB updates).
I’ll try to implement it in one of the next releases. Once implemented, the software will just update itself on its start if a new version is available on the web, instead of showing up a message “Update available, please download and install”.

Version 1.2 is coming! Keywords suggestion, folders upload and more!

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This Service Pack upgrades the application from version 1.1 to version 1.2.
The upgrade is free of charge and available for both evaluation and commercial license holders.

ProStockMaster v1.2 Release Notes
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1. New functionality added:

1.1 “Upload Folder” wizard (“Tools/Upload Folder…” menu)
Allows upload all the images in the selected folder and, optionally, subfolders to the selected stock photo sites.
All files in the selected folder(s) are verified for IPTC data vailidity before upload. Files with invalid IPTC data
(e.g. with no keywords) will be rejected from the list of files to be uploaded.
The upload window can be minimized or send to the background and the photographer can continue
working with ProStockMaster during the upload (be carefull not modfying the uploading files)

1.2 “Generate” button in the main IPTC panel activated, keywords generation functionality added.
Type a couple of keywords for your new image, than press “Generate” and wait for a few seconds.
The keywords text area will be filled by the additional popular keywords associated with the keywords you typed.

1.3 Two more stock photography sites are supported: Fotolia and LuckyOliver. Go to “Tools/Sites…” to activate them both.

1.4 “Help/Software Updates…” menu is partially implemented: if selected, the application will look if a new version is available on http://www.prostockmaster.com
However, the download and install of the upgarde is not automated yet – if available, the upgrade should be done manually.

1.5 Added support for proxy with authorization. In order to switch proxy support on, add proxy parameters to “ProStockMaster.properties” file.
The format is name=value, one parameter on each line, like it is shown below:
proxy.user=username
proxy.password=pswd
proxy.host=hostname
proxy.port=8080

2. User interface is adjusted for the high-resolution monitors.
Follow resolutions are supported now:
1920×1200, 1920×1080, 1680×1050, 1600×1200, 1440×900, 1280×1024, 1280×800, 1280×720, 1024×768, 800×600

3. Search cancel confirmation is removed as unnecessary

4. Evaluation license changed: 30 days expiration only (no upload limits anymore)

5. Issues solved:
3.1 “Application failed: null” error message during the program installation on non-US Mac OSX with Java 1.4 and 1.5 and on non-US Windows with Java 1.4
3.2 Attempt to close the main window by pressing “X” in the top window bar did not show the confirmation dialog and did not save the UI settings

“Application failed: null” on Mac OS X with non-English locale

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So far only one problem was reported:
the application fails to install on non-English Mac OS X showing the message “Application failed: null”. This is due to the Sun’ bug discussed e.g. here: http://forum.java.sun.com/thread.jspa?threadID=444943&messageID=2622985

The same problem can be found on Windows with non-English locale running Java 1.4, but there is the fast fix – just upgrade your Java to version 1.5.
Java 1.5 Virtual Machine for Windows has this issue solved, but Mac’s Java 1.5 still has the bug.

The problem has been isolated and fixed and I will include it in the service pack, which hopefully will be released at the next week. The service pack will also include some new stuff, but this is a subject for the separate thread

v1.1: So far so good

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Well, I have got tens of downloads in the just a few days from the version upload to the web. No problems in the software found yet.

Some problems were raised when the new version was installed along with the Alpha2 trial and is located in the same place. Please DO NOT install v1.1 “on top” of Alpha2! Completely remove both Alpha2 program directory and its DB before installing v1.1.

It is highly recommended to verify before the installation that you have working Java on your computer.
I recommend JRE 1.5 update 7 for WIN and at least JRE 1.4.2 or higher for MAC.
You can verify it works Ok by simply running ‘java -version’ from the command window. You are expected to see 1-2 string with the text similar to “Java Virtual Machine version 1.5 update 7 …”. If you get something like “command not found” in response to your “java -version” command you java installation is probably corrupted.

Thanks to everybody who already downloaded the version and of course to people who decided to purchase it!

Mac package update

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The Mac packaging is updated!
Now Mac version is packaged with native Mac bundler and finally ProStockMaster on Mac is delivered and installed like any other native Mac application.
I like Mac look & feel: http://www.prostockmaster.com/images/mac_main_screen.jpg – really cool Mac-native GUI.

Mac version is here!

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While many developers upgrade their software using more and more advanced tools and technologies, I had to downgrade my code recently due to Mac java support. Typical OS X java version is 1.4.2 and thus I needed to compile and fix everything for 1.4.2 instead of 1.5.7 I used for Windows.
Nevermind, now it works on Mac! And with pretty cool Mac UI.
On Windows I still recommend to install Java 1.5 update 7 since it provides much better UI and faster performance

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