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Dropbox wants every image you take

Dropbox, the rapidly growing file sync-and-share solution, announced a new feature yesterday for Mac users, to save your screenshots in Dropbox.

I take a lot of screenshots, and until yesterday I was using Droplr, a desktop-and-cloud solution, to capture them. The technique was to use a different key-sequence than the built in Mac screen capture approach, and Droplr capture the image and moves to the cloud. I wanted the images accessible, but not jamming up my hard drive. But this also meant that whenever I want to use an image, I would have to download it. Droplr creates short term URLs, so I have been unable to simply link to the images in my cloud Droplr account. Obviously the company doesn’t want to pay the bandwidth when images are fetched. And this also means I had to subsequently delete those images. A number of annoying steps.

The Dropbox approach is different. By agreeing to use Dropbox to capture my screenshots (the first time I treid to create one after downloading the new version of the Desktop app), Dropbox is now managing them in a Screenshots folder within my Dropbox folder.

margoscreenshotsBecause I have a Dropbox super-duper account (extra storage, etc.) with the so-called Packrat option, I can delete files on my hard drive but they are still accessible on my cloud account. So now I have cut out some steps that formerly were involved with using screenshots in blog posts: I don’t have to download, since they are accessible in my Dropbox folder on my hard drive, and instead of deleting screenshots one by one after using them, I can delete then once a week or month, and not worry.

But leaving aside my use of screenshots, which is excessive compared to most people, Dropbox is slowly encroaching on owning all photos. I have already enabled the Dropbox service that pulls all images off my camera when I attach it to my laptop. Dropbox has also created a new feature to suck all your photos from iPhoto:

iPhoto_splashI confess that I don’t have any photos in iPhoto so I didn’t try this, but the point is the same. Dropbox wants to own all your photos, and to do so in at an unobtrusive, background level.

I am predicting that soon they will integrate the screenshots into the cloud image display capabilities, like slideshows, etc., but they haven’t yet.

Dropbox is sneaking up on us, one file type at a time. They now are smart about images and videos: what’s next? Presentations? Word/Keynote docs? Excel/Numbers spreadsheets?