The battle to post your content online!

uploaders 2

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.

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10 Replies to “The battle to post your content online!”

  1. Well – the notice pops when you take one if Shozu is running (I don’t leave it set to automatically upload everything) and you can say yes or no.

  2. Hi Jonathan,
    I was about to reply to your other post but I may as well reply here instead 🙂

    Thanks for your review of ShoZu above, and yes we are working hard to increase the upload limit without impacting negatively on reliability. Handset memory and battery life being key issues when you start dealing with really large files.

    In regards to your other issues on the N95, I’ve tried to get my N95 looking pretty much as close to yours as I can. In your case I’ve been testing with Fring, Jaiku, Mail For Exchange, Gmail, Y-Browser and ShoZu. Is there anything I’ve missed?

    Running all these along side each other can slow the phone down if they’re all busy doing something at the same time due to the memory constraints on my phone (mine is an N95-1) but at present I can’t seem to lay blame on any one app. For example, if I’m logged into Fring and Jaiku and then set off a bunch of uploads with ShoZu, things can slow down because my data network/WiFi is now really getting hammered. And also vice versa if I’m running ShoZu and Fring in the background then start Jaiku, things can get slow during heavy transfers from either app.

    We’re trying to cut memory usage as much as possible as we release new versions (another one just around the corner) and we’re really hoping to incorporate an ON/OFF switch too. At present you can kill the ShoZu process by holding down the menu key while you have ShoZu open and hitting “C” to close it.

    We test against other third party apps as best we can, but it is one of those things that is constantly changing and impossible to keep the status quo for everybody! But we have certainly dedicated a lot more resources to this task since devices like the N95 came about. If you use any other third party apps that you could recommend we test against we’re always open to suggestions. Also stay tuned for new releases as we address issues such as yours which pop up in the blogosphere.


  3. Mark –

    I don’t think I am doing anything out of the ordinary and on my N95-1 I was not able to run it ever. On the current N95-3 when it launches it looks as if nothing happens, but I can see it running via handy taskman. Choosing shozu causes a visual hiccup in the display and then nothing.

    I was able to briefly get it going, but it simply will not work. I am using whatever version you offer from for the N95. At the moment my N95-3 shows Jaiku, Gmail, Web and Shozu running … (and handy taskman).

  4. Once you have Nokia Online Share set up, you can upload a picture right away.

    First, go into camera settings and make sure “Show captured image” is on.

    After taking a picture, click on the envelope. You’ll have options to send via mms, email, bluetooth, IR and web upload.

    Pick web upload and you’ll be sending your picture in no time.

  5. @AL – The key point being that you have to go through a number of steps that have been predefined by either zonetag or shozu – like tags and privacy settings.

    I use it regularly… and hope it improves. The new aggregation (feed) feature is very cool.

  6. Jonathan,

    I’ve been running Shozu on my N95-3 non-stop, not a single hiccup, no problems, every photo has ended up on Flickr where I wanted it to. Wonder what we are doing differently?

    I have my Shozu set to auto upload, but to ask me first if I want to upload or add details, if that helps.


  7. @Matt – I have no idea why it refuses to work reliably for me. I was able to upload a few items when I first got this new N95, but then it just kinda crapped out.

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