Exploring Tonido Photos
At a glance, Tonido looks like a simple way to get access to your system running Tonido and get access to your data. This is true for Tonido Webshare and Tonido Jukebox applications. But that is only half the story. Tonido has built in powerful p2p sharing technology that allows Tonido servers to connect to each other securely to transfer data.
Tonido Photos is one of the Tonido applications that is built to take advantage of the Tonido’s P2P engine. Tonido Group consists of a group of Tonido peers and is the fundamental unit of sharing data. Therefore, at least one group is needed to begin using Tonido Photos. This group may just consist of one user in which case no sharing will be done. Here is the partial list of Tonido Photos’ features
- Photo transfer
- Photo tag, comment, rate capability
- Photo organization and Slideshow
- Photo search
Let’s look a bit under the hood of Tonido Photos to understand how different it is from myriad other offerings. Since Tonido Photos uses the Tonido P2P engine, photos are transferred to other users in a group directly. The photos are NOT relayed, routed, stored in any third party servers. Photos once transferred are available locally and therefore can be accessed without internet connection with little latency.
Furthermore, the data transfer is encrypted using AES encryption for maximum security. No configuration is necessary such as port forwarding, router setting changes to make this work as it is all handled by Tonido’s P2P engine. It is as simple as selecting a folder to share with a group. Tonido Photos will do the rest!
Tonido Photos will monitor the shared folder and will transfer any changes and only the changes to the group members automatically. Tonido Photos user interface will monitor for any received photos or any new comments/tags/rating activity and update the view periodically.
Additionally, the members of the group can configure settings for each group to fit their needs such as the received images store location, group size limit etc. You can explore all available Tonido Photos settings by accessing “Settings” menu in the top right corner.
Tonido Photos UI can only display JPG image format, but Tonido photos will transfer multiple formats and best of all, there is NO size limit on the size of the photograph!
“Torrent Style” Transfer
Tonido P2P Data share engine uses torrent style transfer to optimize the transfer of photos. Therefore, every group member will participate in the transfer (subject to the global upload limit set by the user of course) resulting in much faster downloads. So, larger the group, faster the data transfer to a newly added group member!
Tonido Photos offers an array of features to interact with a photo. At the time of beta, the features are Commenting, Tag and Rating capability. This is available in the control panel on top of the photo detail view as shown.
A photo can be tagged by any member of a group using the control panel on top of photo and the tag will be available to every member of the group!
Tags associated with a photo are displayed when the thumbnail image of the photo is clicked to display the larger view. Tags can also be deleted by clicking the delete icon displayed with every tag
A photo can be commented by any member of the group and the comment will be transferred to every member of the group. The comments are displayed in the photo detail view. The latest comments are shown on top. At this time, Photo comments cannot be edited once added to a photo.
A Photo can be rated by any member of the group and the rating associated with a photograph will be transferred to all the group members. At this time photo ratings cannot be changed once rated!
Tonido Photos comes with powerful tools to organize photographs. Photos can be categorized based on user, group, favorites, tags, timeline, recent comments, top rated. These are accessible on the left navigation panel. Tonido Photos user interface monitors periodically for any change such as new received photos or comments and will update the view.
The views can be filtered further with additional criteria using the drop down menus.
The photos are displayed as thumbnail where possible. Tonido photos will try to generate thumbnail if the photo is of JPG format. For those that cannot be rendered or deleted, a default thumb nail will be displayed.
Additionally, photos can be viewed using the slideshow feature. Slideshow option will be displayed in all views where slideshow is supported.
Tonido Photos comes with a powerful search feature to search photos using name, comments etc
The results will be categorized based on the search hit.
So Why use Tonido Photos?
Tonido Photos’ primary mission is to make sharing of photos simple and secure while providing advanced features such as comment/rating/tag sharing capability. While there are specialist applications available in each of these areas, they all have disadvantages that cannot be ignored.
Disadvantages of web based photo applications
Services such as Flickr, Photo.net, Pbase, Photobucket, picasaweb provide easy to share photographs and collaborate over them but not without disadvantages such as
- Photos stored in third party servers with little control on who can view it/download it
- Limits on the size of photo
- Internet required to access the photograph
- Photo comments/ratings/tags available publically
- Service contracts could be changed at anytime
- Service could be discontinued at anytime (for example Sony’s ImageStation)
Disadvantages of desktop applications
Applications such as Picasa focuses more on photo organization and have no real capability to share other than to upload to picasaweb (an online location). Applications such as Memeoshare depend on storing the photos in third party servers and suffer from privacy and service interruption isssues.
Tonido Photos on the other hand provides complete control on who can access your photo without having to worry about privacy and security considerations. The photos are never stored or routed via third party servers and there is no limit on the size of the photo. The photos are available regardless of internet connectivity because the photos are downloaded right to the hard disk automatically. All comments/ratings/tags are shared ONLY with the group members removing the worry of abuse.
Tonido Photos is an evolving application and expect to see additional powerful functionalities added based on user feedback in future releases.
Interested? Download Tonido and try it out!