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Image hosting that doesn't suck - just drag and drop (min.us)
91 points by chrisbroadfoot on Nov 22, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 79 comments

Is there any other way to drop a picture? Even though drag & drop seems to be the easiest and most comfortable way, for me, it is not :-) I'd have to run some kind of file manager, find the directory, image, carefully position both file manager window and the browser, do the job and then put everything back. Surprisingly hard, but that's a real setup that I have (and many people I know too).

Are you saying that you'd like to do image hosting from command line? I think you might be opposite to the target audience of this site.

That would be cool, though.

Personally, I either want to upload stuff from Finder, or upload stuff from the command line.

What I hate doing is browsing to an image from a file picker.

Something like http://sprunge.us/ for images would be great!

You can use the built-in photo sharing on Dropbox, or use Dropbox integration with http://ourdoings.com/

Imgur has a nice API. I modified a ruby CLI for uploading images to imgur to fit my particular needs; you can find it at https://github.com/xiongchiamiov/limgur (or gem install limgur).

I believe you can also upload things pretty simply using curl, but I wanted to be able to generate bbCode thumbnails and such in one fell swoop.

You could use googlecl: http://code.google.com/p/googlecl/

Nope, but it'd be simply very useful to have at least some option to show file selector when I can put file path in my filesystem, because quite often I have that much more readily available than some option to drag and drop the file.

The upload by folder option is already available in Opera/Internet explorer, we will add it for all browsers soon :)

Something like this would be nice:

    curl -F @/path/to/image.jpg http://min.us/upload

This is Carl, cofounder of Minus. Thank you for the suggestion, Ryan. We've been designing and iterating on an API and have just about finalized it. We'll implement this in a week's time or so, after we fix a few bugs first that folks on this list pointed out to us.

Glad to see you so responsive - and thanks for an elegant image hosting service!

Thanks, it's been very exciting for us! :) - John

Carl here (Minus co-founder). Thank you for the suggestion! Sometimes you want to drag, sometimes you want to pick files from a dialog. Look for this feature in 1.5 weeks or so. We'll also add the API (discussed in this thread) as well. People should be able to use whatever method is convenient for them. Thank you for your feedback!

You don't have to carefully position anything. Just drag the files, hover them over the browser tab in the taskbar, wait for 2 seconds, and it will pop the browser into view. Then drop.

Also, I have Total Commander open at all times. Can't live without it (there are similar tools for Linux, Mac, etc).

I don't have a taskbar :-)

"Alt-tab"ing should work too.

Alt-tab doesn't work for me while I'm currently dragging something (Ubuntu + Compiz).

There's lots of scripts that let you do this with imgur.

I'm sure it would be possible to do the same with this, but I think the site isn't really aimed at 'nix gurus! :D

Just use an unsupported browser (Opera)!

Love it! Clean, so simple it requires almost no instructions and it JUST WORKS. I also love the fact that I don't have to wait for the current image (or batch) to finish uploading and can immediately drag more files in.

(Actually, that last feature made me feel stupid for a moment: I wondered how images seemed to be uploaded so "instantly" and only after testing it on a large image file did I realise that you're just displaying the local image!)

This is Carl (Minus cofounder). Exactly, Evgeny: When you drop an image into Minus, we immediately show the local image to offer the user immediate usability. The image is uploaded in the background. We'll add indicators to make this more obvious. Thanks for the feedback!

The cynical side of me makes me think that this will go down the road of all other image hosting services that didn't suck: To cover the immense bandwidth costs, sooner or later, it will have to suck like everybody else.

At that point, a new service that "doesn't suck" will pop up.

There are several hosting services that offer 3+TB per month plans for 130$ / month. So if you stick with 1MB images you only need to recover ~1 cent per 200 downloads to break even. IMO, that seems doable.

actually, Imgur.com was announced with exactly the same title at reddit some time ago...

edit: found it http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/7zlyd/my_gift_to...

that's what I had in mind, but I didn't know whether imgur was known here.

Works great, but when I tested it out as an anonymous user, then decided to sign up, it didn't import the gallery I just made.

Our thinking was that the galleries people create anonymously are different than the galleries people want to associate their user with, so we make sure to make those two histories completely separate. Any ideas on how we can make this more clear from a UX design perspective?

Works as advertised! Minimal and clean.

I just tried to copy the url of my 3.1mb image into my browser but it hanged; turns out you use a base64 encoded string of the whole image to display it like:

data:image/png;base64,... etc

Was this technically necessary? I guess so, but since you show the direct link underneath it, why not replace it with that one?

Thanks for the feedback/comment :) We display the image that way so you are able to Preview it while the image uploads to our server in the backend. Once it finishes however you refresh and will see the images loaded from our server.

We also convert larger images into shrunken sizes for the gallery so it can be viewed without too much lag, but the full size image will still be available via the "Link to Image" or "Download all as Zip" function :)


Correct me if I'm wrong but it's impossible to cover S3 costs with ads displayed near pictures. According to FAQ you are going to leave picture unlimited time (and paying for space in S3) even if no one is visiting page with picture.

Thanks for bringing that up. We are exploring many monetization strategies and business models but we will definitely keep that in mind.

We may implement few different models but in the end our mission is to keep Minus free, simple and minimal in making sharing easy and fast :)

Photos are best viewed on dark background (e.g Flickriver), can you provide some templates and a quick way to switch between them ?

Also, could we have slideshow for playback where nothing will be displayed except the photos themselves ?

Thanks, both features we have on our to-do list already, be sure to vote them up in http://feedback.min.us , we're doing our best to prioritize them.

There are other services with drag/drop to upload your photos. The one I use even works dragging directly from Picasa, so I don't even have to touch my own file system.

From what I can tell, min.us has no other features, so I'm very confused as to why this "doesn't suck". It seems to be a non-unique UI interface to plain old photo sharing.

If you're confused as to why this "doesn't suck", then please tell me why it sucks!

Please note that I didn't make the claim that it's amazing or ground-breaking. :)

This is really nice and clean. Personally, I think it's a bad name though. Minus? I appreciate it does "emphasize simplicity and minimalism", but it's got nothing at all to do with images. Also, it would be even better if you could include some form of federated login so I don't have to sign up.

This is Carl, cofounder of Minus. Thank you for the suggestions. We are looking into adding OpenID and Google Login soon. In the mean time, we designed Minus in the hope that you can use Minus effectively without having to sign up at all!

This is spurred more by your username than anything else, but how is it pronounced? Minus, or "Min dot us"?

Pronounced Minus. Sorry, we've been having to use "mindotus" as username on twitter,facebook etc.. as minus is taken. Still trying to get twitter to release Minus w/o any luck :\

If you get a US tradmark number Twitter should release it in short order.

Thanks, we're just waiting for it to happen :)

Can you trademark an existing word?

You can trademark anything you want. It just might not hold up if it gets challenged.

And I thought Dropbox photos folder was the lazy man's photo hosting thus far... +1 for the minus team!

I'd really like to be able to drag and drop images from other tabs, as saving to disk is a pain in the ass. I suspect, however, that that's a Chrome issue, not a minus issue. Still, great site!

It's actually possible to drag and drop images from other tabs, but there's some weird almost unavoidable issues. Google Docs's presentation app allows you to drag and drop images.

As a photographer, I love that you guys are allowing for the high res uploads. I'm also a fan of the minimalist feel. The animations are very cool but they need to be smoother. :)

Thanks :) We're definitely working on optimizing things for the user end and keeping it minimal/simple is our top priority. If anyone can contribute in terms of optimizing the frontend loading/speed for "larger images" feel free to drop me at john@min.us

Excellent design. Big question: how will they make money?

We have few business models in mind and monetization strategies. We will explore them as time goes on very carefully, but right now our goal is to make Minus better and increase compatibility for mobile platforms and more such as allowing documents and other filetypes.


Do any of your business plans involve putting ads on your fantastically minimal design? I'm visualizing min.us transforming into yfrog.com.

We have few ideas that shall not look like yfrog ;)

This looks similar to http://dropmocks.com same people with new domain?

Neat service! Would like to have a copy to clipboard button (A low hanging fruit, I suppose), for the image url.

That is coming this week :D


Curious: Can this be done in pure html/js or is Flash still the way to go to make this work cross-browser/cross-platform?

John: Great implementation. Wishing you much success. I'll be using it for my public images.

Thanks, appreciate it :) As for the copy to clipboard implementation, we're still exploring the best way to do it for max compatibility. If anyone has suggestions feel free to buzz me at john@min.us

You really do need to use Flash, AFAIK. I investigated this a while ago.

Firefox has an API, but the user has to change an option to specifically allow access to the clipboard.

In the end, I figured it wasn't worth it, and that programmatically selecting the textbox was 90% of the functionality without all the headache.

Thanks for the advice, we will definitely look into it!

Having explored it myself, I will say go with flash (Yeah, I am sorry :( ), else you'll run into browserism

Headline could be: The Imgur-Killer

:) Look out for document support soon on Minus including PDF, TXT, DOC, PPT and more!

Will your documents be crawlable??

We have not yet decided on that at this point. Definitely something to consider.

I'm surprised it took this long for someone to create such a simple image hosting service.

Wow. It may just be the simplicity of the two sites, but they share a lot of similar characteristics and design choices. Do you know if that was done on purpose?

Update: Found this on their about page. "The first prototype for Minus was inspired by Glen Murphy's design and was launched on October 13th, 2010."

Totally missed this. A couple things:

A) The name isn't as good. B) You don't get a direct link to the image, just a link to the gallery. C) It seems a little slow.

Otherwise, nice!

imgur is pretty close, and has a huge community (reddit) behind it.

Thanks for the positive feedback :D John here from Minus!

I can definitely see this being more convenient, and the way you've implemented it is certainly slick.

I'd be more interested if it was offered as a service for image hosting/uploading that other sites could use rather than forcing everyone to roll their own Java/Flash/JS+HTML/HTML variants for every new site they do.

Thanks for the feedback and yes I agree that is something we're considering especially allowing others to embed similar drag-n-drop tools on their site to share onto Minus.

We already have an API documented and ready but just not yet released. If anyone is interested in testing it, feel free to shoot an email over to john@min.us and i'll send it right over!

Some tech specs on Minus: http://blog.min.us/2010/10/14/minus-tech-spec/

(PS: We were inspired by Glen Murphy's Dropmocks design and really hope to make Minus into a universal sharing tool with wider compatibility and support for documents, music, video and more in the near future. In the works = desktop app and firefox/chrome extensions ^^)

Cheers John


This is great. I love the simplicity of it. That said, while drag and drop is super easy, I think you should still offer a more traditional upload method in addition to it.

Often times, I have several windows open, none of which is a folder full of images and no desire to re-purpose one or open more. Drag and drop is great if you want to share a bunch of images, but if you're just uploading a screen shot for someone to quickly review or what have you, having to stop what you're doing, open yet another window, browse to the folder, drag browser windows around so that you can then select the photo and drag it into the browser is significantly slower than just clicking a browse button, selecting the image, and clicking upload.

Drag and drop is pretty idiot-proof, and for bulk uploads, it's faster, but for single images and multi-tasking users, it can actually be a lot slower.

Having both options would be ideal.

Traditional upload by 'browse' is enabled for Internet Explorer + Opera at the moment. We'll make it available for all browsers this week, it's definitely good point !

Thanks again :)

Glad to see it in action :)


iOS! iOS! iOS! ...please!

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