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Lyve, the personal media startup that introduced its own $300 photo-centric backup device last year, is getting a lot more affordable: Any Seagate drive that has at least 500GB capacity can now be turned into a Lyve backup device, the company announced at CES in Las Vegas this week.
Users just have to download the free Lyve desktop app on their Mac or PC to make use of the drive. After that, Lyve will automatically back up any photos or videos from that computer, as well as any media recorded with mobile device that has the Lyve app installed, onto that drive.
Lyve was first only available to consumers who purchased the $300 Lyve Home device, which is essentially a connected hard drive with phone-sized screen and Lyve’s media management software.
In October, the company also started to make its apps available to users who don’t have any Lyve hardware, giving them a way to organize all their media on multiple devices through one app, but not offering any back-ups. Late last year, Lyve also announced the $200 Lyve studio, which comes with only 500GB of storage, and doesn’t have a screen. Since the release of the free apps, Lyve has seen 250 million photos and videos added to its service, Lyve CEO Tim Bucher told me during an interview at CES.
With this new update, Lyve seemingly deemphasizes its own devices, but Bucher said that we can continue to expect new devices for Lyve. Some of these are going to be made by partners, he added, without elaborating further. Seagate would be an obvious hardware partner for Lyve; the hard drive maker has a significant investment in the company. However, Bucher said that Lyve may also team up with other storage media manufacturers to turn their external hard drives into Lyve storage as well.
Lyve also plans to release an SDK for its service in 2015, and the company is getting ready to update its mobile apps with tagging as well as photo editing features, which it is providing in partnership with Aviary. Users will be able to buy premium effects for editing through in-app purchases, and Bucher told me that there will also be other premium services this year. That’s why making Lyve more readily available via external hard drives will actually help the company to make more money in the long run, argued Lyve’s VP of Marketing Tami Bhaumik: “It allows us to accelerate our plans.”