ProtectMyPhotos launches very easy online media storage


ProtectMyPhotos is a newly launched service that aims to make the online/offline photo storage and viewing environments seamless. This Windows desktop client automatically syncs folders on your computer with your online storage space and Flickr account, reflecting changes on the desktop online in near real time. Online consumer media storage is a relatively crowded market (probably not one I would get into) but ProtectMyPhotos is a solid addition to the field. As consumer demand for this type of service continues to grow rapidly, there will likely be room for lots of players in this vertical – unless the big guys come in and completely dominate the field. Whether and when that might happen is anyone’s guess.

ProtectMyPhotos is a privately funded Boulder, Colorado company led by Cliff Shaw, the man behind Pearl Street Software, makers of Family Tree Legends. Shaw said that his work in the genealogy space demonstrated that easy online photo storage is what’s in the largest demand by consumers. ProtectMyPhotos has an experienced team strong in building retail partnerships. That’s going to be very important as there is no shortage of competitors in online photo storage.

ProtectMyPhotos scores high in ease of use. The client displays online storage in a way that looks just like the desktop, complete with hierarchical folders and typical metadata. It can autodiscover particular folders on your computer that contain media files or can be directed to sync with particular folders on the desktop. Photos can be taken offline and edited, changes will automatically be made online and all previous versions are stored. The company seeks to offer the easiest program for mainstream users to adopt. They’ve done a good job of it.

Multiple users can be given permission to access accounts and photos and changes can be synced automatically with Flickr accounts. ProtectMyPhotos is currently working on an API that it will provide to other services seeking to automatically sync desktop and online files. They believe this will be key in furthering mainstream adoption of web services and I think they are right. Whether it’s Google Office, Zoho or the company that stole the show at Office 2.0, Joyent, the prospect of ProtectMyPhotos sharing with others the capability to sync files online and off is an interesting one.

The file backup service costs $40 per year for 40 GB per year with additional space available at the same price.
That space can be used to backup and sync any type of file, the company is emphasizing photo backup only because it believes that’s where the market is.

Venture funded Carbonite (our review) offers similar services at a similar basic price point but without storage limits. See also MyFabrik’s interesting local storage partnership with Maxtor, extensive online UI but more expensive service. There’s also Earthlink’s WebLife, and StashSpace for similar functionality with video storage and editing. StreamLoad is one of the most interesting players in this vertical, offering large amounts of storage space for free or dirt cheap. Those are just a few of the most recent entries, there are quite a few others as well. Zoho lovers can look forward to the forthcoming ZohoDrive.

ProtectMyPhotos believes their service will stand apart in ease of use, distribution channels and perhaps API fueled partnerships. There should be no shortage of consumer demand in coming years for automatic backup, but it’s only a matter of time until Google, Microsoft, AOL and everyone else gets into this game in a serious way. AOL already has. ProtectMyPhotos sees itself as a logical acquisition target. That could make sense, or the company could be viable if a market for small independent media storage services continues to emerge.

More TechCrunch

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

18 hours ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

3 days ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

3 days ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies