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Show HN: Dead simple photo sharing
41 points by irrationaljared on Dec 14, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 54 comments
Hi all, about a month ago my wife was complaining about how annoying all of the photo sharing services were. Either the UI was overly complicated or it would ask people to register for the service before they could view the photos, etc.

So I decided to build something dead-simple that she could use. There are no frills. You just create an album and email it around. The link goes directly to the photos.

It's not fancy at all (very utilitarian), but she appreciates it, so I thought I'd launch it as a full service and share it with people.

It's called SimpleNeat http://www.simpleneat.com

If people try it out feedback would be appreciated.

Simple, useful, great UI and best of all no account required.

Awesome job.

Only question is regarding the switch between view-only and collaborative. When I choose to allow friends to contribute to the album, the provided link doesn't change.

I assume you have a view-only link and an edit link that is passed a var to allow people to modify it. How does this work in your application?

Yes, right now the "view-only" link becomes a collaborative album through a boolean set in the database. I'd be happy to create a separate url if you think that would make it more obvious.

Just thinking out loud but if I went on a hiking trip with a couple of friends and we all wanted to show off an album of pictures to other, it makes sense I would give a view-only link to people who wanted to view the album and an edit link to those who came on the trip to contribute photos.

It could be something as simple as selecting "Yes" generates an edit var with the associated link. If someone pastes the edit URL into their browser and the edit var = the album id, allow edit. Else force view only.

Edit* This is just an opinion and what logically makes sense to me. Would love to hear what others think.

I actually debated this quite a bit and went back and forth on it. I eventually decided that I wanted to keep it as simple as possible and figured that people might have a bunch of people add photos and then they could switch it to view-only to share with other people. Or they could create a copy of the album that they can reorder and delete extraneous photos that they can share in view-only mode.

I'd certainly consider tweaking it, though, to make it possible to share a view-only and collaborative album simultaneously.

Here's a clickable link:


Also I should note that it works well in mobile safari. You can easily bulk upload photos from your mobile phone that way. I'll probably be making it in to a native app as well for the hell of it sometime soon.

Looks good. Only critique I would have:

You say no registration required but next the create album button are sign in and register buttons. I'm sure there would be some users who think they need to register/sign in before clicking the create album button.

I also don't see on the home page what I would get if I did register (even though it's not required).

I can see how that might be confusing. I'll have to give that some thought.

You don't really get much through registration right now other than a simple way to keep track of the photo albums you've created...

>> "You don't really get much through registration right now other than a simple way to keep track of the photo albums you've created..."

That's what I would have guessed. I don't think it's that big of a deal but it might be confusing to some users, especially if you are targeting less tech savvy people looking an easy way to share.

One minor issue is that you don't escape the user-input provided when people submit titles to their image.

  * Create an album.
  * Upload N images.
  * On the result page click the "Edit" image link to get a form where you can set a title for that specific image.
  * Enter "[script] .. alert(3) .. [script]".
  * Marvel as the alert-box fires off when the image is re-viewed.
Otherwise good job.

(And you do escape input for the album title. So this looks like an oversight.)

Thank you for reporting this. It was an oversight. It should be fixed now.

I love this! Bit of feedback: if I were to use this to share photos taken for a client, I would love a way for my clients to be able to download all the photos in one go.

Yes, that is the biggest feature people have asked for. I'm trying to figure out the best way to do it.

Quick question. Would it be ok if you clicked a link and then it emailed you a bit later when the download was ready?

You could do it how Github (at least used to) do the tarball downloads for specific commits. You would click the button, which would turn into a twirling thing, the server would generate the file, and it would use ajax to actually start the download once it was ready.

How about bittorrent sync for that purpose?

I don't know much about bittorrent sync. How does it work?

Really simple and neat. You might want to add HTTPS though.

Thank you, that's a good idea.

It's very nice. I'll consider using it and watch as it hopefully evolves.

Just one critique. It looks a little too... neat (like it hasn't been lived in). The images on the home page that are so integral to the look, come across as stock photo'ish (even though I'm guessing they're not). It might just be that the three home photos look like they're from the same family trip.

Also an aside - and I hate this part - get yourself a privacy / terms / dmca / takedown request section as soon as reasonably possible. If you plan to let the public have at this, you're going to get all sorts of terrible shit uploaded sooner than later. You can probably mostly clone Imgur on this.

Thanks for the feedback. All of the example photos are my own, but I can try to make it look a little less stock-photoish.

Good point about the privacy terms. I have examples from my other websites that I'll throw up there.

Looks great. I'd love a way to view full resolution images without having to download it.

Good to know. That wouldn't be too hard to add.

Out of curiosity why do you want to view the full-resolution photos vs. the ones that are scaled to fit your screen?

As a user who would also want this feature, I would say it is because you sometimes want to see full detail. If, for example, someone sends you a link to a painting or some old coins you might be buying or whatever.

Fair enough. Feature added.

There's now a link next to the "Download Photo" button called "View Original" when you click to view the larger photos.


Unfortunately on Chrome this link doesn't work because the photo is stored in a way that tells Chrome to automatically download the photo. I'll have to dig in to figure out if there is a way to force the photo to be displayed instead of automatically downloaded.

Are your originals actually the original files? Some people have strong opinions about data leakage via EXIF metadata, specifically location and sometimes date/time. Do you strip that information out during upload/resizing?

Overall, it looks great. My family would definitely use it, for similar reasons to yours. Nice work!

The original photos are processed for more efficient storage, so I believe that all EXIF data is stripped out, but I'll have to check to make sure.

The code/library/service responsible for storing the original file on S3 is most likely setting "response-content-disposition" to "attachment" when it stores the file on S3. That tells S3 to deliver the file with "Content-disposition: attachment" in the HTTP headers which is what causes browsers to save to disk instead of display.

You want "Content-disposition: inline" or no content-disposition header.

I was able to fix this. You should be able to view the photos via the link now, but if anyone has trouble with it please let me know.

It's mostly due to the fact that the scaled version is only the middle ~50% of my 1920x1080 screen. I suppose what I might really want is scaled, full screen, and original.

The interface is better - but otherwise, how is this superior to imgur (http://www.imgur.com)? Imgur has obviously already scaled.

imgur is more about sharing a single photo or creating a meme. This is more about creating and sharing an album of photos. The features of SimpleNeat include things like reordering photos, custom urls for albums, easy downloading, and, eventually, easy printing or creating mugs or t-shirts.

It's more about that because those are the most used functions, it's very easy to upload an album, and you can re-arrange,and download them, the custom URL is not possible if you're scaling up that large.

This feels more family oriented than imgur. I know that sounds silly, and maybe at some point this will be overrun with meme's too, but in its current state I would rather use this to send an album to my grandma than imgur.

The layout for "Allow others to add photos to this album?" option doesn't seem very natural. Personally, I first tried to click Yes to toggle it on/off took me about 10s or so to see that it actually was 1 yes and 1 no button, naturally I thought it was 2 different settings.

But yeah might just be because I'm so used to iOS but who knows.

When I try to get a full-size version of my picture after uploading it I get an error message:

"We're sorry, but something went wrong.

If you are the application owner check the logs for more information.

Thank you for that feedback. I'll play around with some different ways of showing the collaboration option.

I was just making some changes to the site to fix a bug and introduced another bug :) It should be fixed now.

This looks great! I love that there is no account required.

However, since I can use it without an account, why would I register? You may want to add some motivational copy to the registration page to tell me.

Also, these two statements from the "Free" section don't seem to match: * Original, full-size photos are stored for one month. * Full-sized photos can be downloaded for $0.99/album after one month.

Maybe the second one should be "for up to one month"?

I'm not entirely sure that I care if you register. It might be beneficial, but I'm more concerned about you finding it useful and using it / sharing it with other people. If a lot of people use it anonymously I think it would be fine, although maybe that's naive...

The second line is meant to explain that after one month you can pay $0.99 and download all the full-size photos (before one month you can do that for free). Is that how you understood it?

If a lot of people are using it for free how do you pay for bandwidth?

What happens with the photos if you cannot afford to run the service?

The cost of storage is very low, so I'm hoping that between some reasonable advertising, pro accounts, and printing services the hosting bill can be covered even with a lot of free accounts. DropBox has done this successfully, so I think it is very possible. Over time the cost of storage will continue to drop as well, making the financial equation more effective...

Very nice :)

I made a very simple photo hosting service almost a year ago http://img42.com (it leaned more towards temporary hosting though).

Nice work ... what about privacy tough? If I am not mistaken, the album id is 6 chars long with the combination of lower and uppercase a-z and digits, can be brute forced...

Yes, that's true. It's not particularly secure. I don't think many people are going to try and gain brute force to a random photo album, especially considering 80% are blank with people just trying out the site..

Great iniative, Just for thought: the individual photo on the grid could have some highlighting option so users can 'pin' desired photos to viewers

Have you tried our app? http://Eversnapapp.com

Well done on your site. It's simple enough.

The difficulty in this space is that you have to be on as many platforms as possible. By definition, most events have users with multiple platforms. Android, IOS, etc...

We allow users to contribute to an album via Hashtag, emailing photos to a custom email address, and native mobile apps on android and IOS. This tends to be very difficult and even harder if you try to use trigger.io or sensatouch or a similar such system. Building native is hard.

Every month we see 2 to 3 new startups in this space.


Like it! But thinking of family photos I always think about private albuns feature.

BTW: welcome to 2014 :)

© 2014 Irrational Design Contact

Ha yes, I was too lazy to put in 2013 and then change it in a month :)

I'm just using this on my mobile device, and it's great! Simple and straight to the point.

This is awesome.. great work. Would love to see that you add https.

Good to know. Out of curiosity (and excuse my naivety if this should be obvious), but why is https so important to you in this situation?

This is something I was missing since Facebook bought Drop.io.

What happens if I claim an album that isn't mine?

Claiming an album simply adds the album to your "My Account" page for easy access. It would be very hard to claim an album that wasn't yours without knowing the url which is randomly generated so it's very difficult to guess...

Nice, I like that you don't have to register.

Very nice!

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