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January 21, 2010

Eye-Fi Fo Fum

The words in the title were not uttered by Thunderdell the Giant, but Google the Giant has a killer deal I’d like to share with you. It concerns Picasa and a free Eye-Fi card.

Picasa is Google’s free photo organization and storage service. You can download the program for free and use it to edit, organize, and turn your photos into albums, slide shows, and videos. You can then post them online to share with others. However, you only get 1 GB of free space, and that’s not a whole lot when you are an avid photo buff.

One of the exciting new features of Picasa is that it will search all of your photos and use sophisticated face identification technology to label all the folks in your people pix. It works surprisingly well and can save you untold hours of manual identification.

Accordingly, to accommodate an expanded storage plan, Google has made an offer that seems to be too good to be true and too good to turn down. If you expand your storage plan to 200 GB for $50, Google will give you a free Eye-Fi card that costs $99. So, for a hundred bucks you get a $99 Eye-Fi card and 200 GB of storage.

What an Eye-Fi card you ask? Well, it’s a standard size SD card with 4GB of memory that you put in your camera. It also has a built-in Wi-Fi transmitter that connects to your computer and uploads your photos automatically. All you have to do is turn on your camera, it connects, and starts uploading your photos seamlessly. You can connect to 32 different networks.

Eye-Fi will also upload your photos to any of the popular photo storage services online such as Flickr and Picasa. You can control the photos you want to share and with whom. You can even upload to your Facebook account and automatically share photos with friends. By the way, it sends both photos and videos so that you can upload to YouTube as well.

But, that’s not all that Eye-Fi will do for you. It also geo-tags each photo before uploading it. It doesn’t work with GPS but rather with cell phone tower triangulation. So, if you are in a poor cell-phone reception area, your geo-tags may not work too well. But so far, it has been an incredible tool that can save hours of manual labor.

Normally, Eye-Fi charges an extra $15 a year for the geo-tagging service and $10 a year for the upload service to online storage facilities. However, this is all free with Google’s amazing offer. These services will continue to be free as long as you maintain your minimum 200 GB storage agreement with Google.

All you need to take advantage of this offer is a Picasa account and an SDHC compliant camera. If you’re not sure, take a look at the list of compatible cameras. If your camera uses an SD card, it will probably work with Eye-Fi.

There are many different Eye-Fi cards available that range from $49.95-$149.95 and from 2 GB to 8 GB that you can buy in retail outlets such as WalMart, but you won’t get the deal offered in the Google Picasa storage bundle. To secure your free Eye-Fi card, go to http://www.eye.fi/google.

Note that the card you will receive is the 4 GB Home Video version. It may take a couple of weeks for it to arrive in the mail, so you have to be patient.

Not surprisingly, as Android phones are a Google enterprise, there is a free application that allows you to upload photos from your camera to your Android phone. The app is called Eye-Fi Droid. Learn more about it at the developer’s Website: http://eyefidroid.leshak.com where there’s a video of the upload process in action.

I highly recommend the Google Picasa/Eye-Fi bundle. It’s an amazing bargain, a real no-brainer. But you should take advantage of it ASAP, as it’s a limited time offer.

Posted by conradb212 at 12:38 AM | Comments (0)