If you use a Nokia N-Series you are probably familiar with the web upload (now Share Online 3.0 beta) feature on your phone to share content to Flickr and Vox. You may have also heard of and tried Shozu or the recently updated for S60v3 Zonetag. Shozu is the only application that easily lets you upload to services beyond Flickr and Vox. Zonetag can understandably only post to Flickr. All are free to use, but have different features and limitations. Like most things, applications are personal and I’ve been testing them all to see what works best for me. My needs are pretty simple for images – I only use Flickr. My video site of choice Viddler is not supported by any of these services, so I’ll keep this post to photos which is what I capture far more often anyway.
For a long time I was a Shozu loyalist. Because you can set Shozu to work in the background automatically, it’s very easy to lifestream your photos and videos to the site(s) of your choosing. I prefer to review before I post and Shozu supports that as well a fully manual mode where you launch it and choose what you want to post. I also like that Shozu asks whether screen shots should be uploaded… If you are on a supported device and use GPS, you can also geo-tag your images which is very cool for the map feature on flickr.
I have two issues with Shozu that seem to be echoed by other power users and for some reason have yet to be addressed in any meaningful way. If you shoot video, you’ll find the 10MB file upload limits imposed by Shozu quite stifling. My other more critical issue is that it has simply stopped working in a reliable manner for me on the N95. While it performed really well on the N93, N80 and N73, the N95 has been a source of pain. As I result I’ve been very open to change.
Nokia Share Online 3.0
The Nokia Web Upload option is something easy to use for any N-Series owner. After you get a special password via the Nokia / Flickr site you can then send up to 6 pictures at once up to your Flickr account. It’s quite simple, though more passive than Shozu in that there is no option to be prompted to upload on each shot. This is a feature I really like about both Shozu and Zonetag. As the Web Upload function has evolved into the latest beta labs creation Share Online 3.0, you can finally upload in the background! I’ve never had a problem using previous or even the latest beta versions. It’s very straight forward and simple.
Zonetag + Zurfer
Zonetag is very intriguing. It’s a product from the Yahoo! Research Berkeley and supports a large number of features for Flickr (owned by Yahoo as well) which make it a pleasure to use. Zonetag runs in the background on your device and when you snap a pic, prompts you to upload. If you say yes, you get a details screen which lets you set tags, control privacy settings and adjust the geo-tag. I love that I can control privacy so my public vs private shots are a non-issue. The geo-tagging system is also very slick. It seems to use A-GPS which works great on the N95. You can make Zonetag guess and then correct and teach it later via Flickr’s site or you can set more specific detail as you go. Unlike Shozu and Share Online, there does not seem to be a way to use Zonetag to upload if you say no on the initial prompt.
If you add a second application from Yahoo research called Zurfer, you can engage Yahoo very interactively and make and review comments on your shots or those of either contacts or the public pool. I did a walk through on Zurfer one back in June…
Nokia’s Share Online application offers a more limited view into Flickr than Zonetag but for the first time enables viewing of your photostream locally on the device for both you and your Flickr contacts. Shozu does not offer viewing of Flickr content, but it’s an easy way to see when a comment has been posted to an image of yours.
At this point, Zonetag offers the highest level of flickr integration — especially with the addition of Zurfer to view back upstream. The Nokia Share Online application shows a great deal of promise — though I can’t currently add tags, set location, or upload right after a shot is taken. All of these are must have in my book for any serious user. It’s unclear whether Nokia’s plan is to cover a broader base of user and let the 3rd party guys go for the power users, but I think an integrated native solution is a killer app. Shozu seems hit or miss. It work on some N95 and yet has not worked on my two devices through several firmware updates. While Shozu has the potential to do more than the others with the additional services supported, if it doesn’t work none of that matters.