PhotoZoom Is Now DeepZoomPix

Did you spend a lot of time creating your PhotoZoom albums, as I have? Then take note of the following:

PhotoZoom is now DeepZoomPix!

PhotoZoom got released in March 2008 and can be seen as the initial incarnation of DeepZoomPix. DeepZoomPix is a technology demonstration designed to show three technologies: use of Microsoft Silverlight to create a rich interactive UX for exploring images, the Silverlight Deep Zoom technology and Windows Azure Services Platform.

Now what does this transition mean? Don’t worry about your PhotoZoom albums (yet), they are still there, be it that you need to update your embed code/album URL if you integrated it into your site.

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There are lots of cool new features:

– Seamless navigation:
DZP enables the seamless exploration of albums of photographs. Users can navigate the photographs using mouse or keyboard and zoom into them to see them at their highest resolution. Users never wait to reload a page – the entire experience is fluid.
– Layout options:
Arrange images in different ways including by in a calendar style view by date.
– Dynamic filtering:
Tagged images can be filtered interactively with live updates to the displayed set of images and you can add your own tags to images.
– Interactive slideshow:
Users can zoom into and pan around images while they are playing a slideshow. Slide timings are customizable and navigation can be controlled using the keyboard.
– Import photos from the web:
DZP can access images stored in other services on the web. If you are a Facebook user, the DeepZoomPix Facebook application enables you import your public Facebook galleries into DZP. If you are a Flickr user, DZP can use the Flickr API to import your Flickr photos. Finally, if your photo service provides RSS feeds containing JPEGs, DZP can use those too.
– Shareable mini-viewer:
Embed your slideshow in your blog or website, or send to a friend using the DZP mini-viewer.

Sounds good, no? One thing I don’t like is the fact that when you embed the viewer you can’t see the whole album at once, as you could with PhotoZoom, only a slideshow now. Unless I overlooked of course, if you find a way to embed the whole, please let me know! And there’s another catch you won’t like: on December 31st 2009, when this technology demonstration is closing, your albums will be gone too! Look at point 4 of the DeepZoomPix rules you have to agree on when you get started:

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Can’t say I’m happy with that, can you? Sure, showing off technology is nice, but then to take it away? You can’t download your pictures from it either, so make sure you back up your pictures elsewhere.

And what is going to happen after December 31st? Will this technology be solely for developers, the DeepZoomPix FAQ clearly states there is no intend to turn DZP into a product or a service, or will we see it integrated into Windows Live Photos? And what about the DeepZoom Composer, will this be updated to work with PhotoZoomPix? May we see this integrated into Windows Live Photo Gallery perhaps (if this technology is extended to WL Photos)? I sure hope for both, dev stuff and the Windows Live Photos/Windows Live Photo Gallery integration as in my opinion this technology should be available to everybody, not just the very techsavy ones.