Tagged: Facebook

Sync Up: What is a 'super phone?'

In this week’s Sync Up segment, we try to define what a “superphone” is and why you should care. We also review Pick & Zip, a new tool that lets you download entire photo albums from Facebook directly to your PC. Finally we discuss an app launching later this month called “SceneTap” that promises to give bar-goers the inside-track on which establishments have the male-to-female ratio that they’re looking for.

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How to download photos from Facebook at once, albums and all

I managed to get an invitation to Google+ before overcrowding forced Google to put the velvet ropes back-up soon after. In my quest to share photos on the new social network, I wanted an easy way to import my existing Facebook photos without pressing Right Click > Save As for hours. Thankfully, someone I follow on Google+ already had the same thought and found a solution.

Pick & Zip is a simple backup tool that downloads pictures from Facebook without the hassle of having to download photos individually. And it’s useful for more than just exporting the photos to another network like I have. What if you need to download Facebook photos for offline storage and viewing, or creating a slideshow for a party? Pick & Zip lets users do that by downloading a few photos, an entire album, or their entire collection, and archives it into a Zip file.

Anyone who has used Facebook also knows that many photos of you stored on the website were posted by friends and family. Pick & Zip takes care of those photos as well. Users can start mass downloads of Facebook photos in which they are tagged or entire albums from their friends.

UPDATE: Looking for a more direct approach? There’ a clever app called Move2Picasa that will do exactly what the name implies. The user just  needs to authorize a Facebook account by visiting Move2Picasa.com and then wait as the app begins downloading and uploading your albums to Picasa.

There’s no way to select which albums because Move2Picasa grabs entire photo library, so you could be there for a while. You also will have a long time to wait for the process to start because it was featured on TechCrunch and was bombarded with requests, so there’s a rather long line.

Here’s how to do it with Pick & Zip.

  1. Visit Picknzip.com and authorize the app through Facebook Connect. (You’ll need to give it permission in order for things to work.)
  2. To download your photos, click “Find My Photos” and click on the “Albums” section.
  3. Hover over the desired album and click the down arrow icon that looks like this.
  4. Click ZIP to download all photos stored in that album.
  5. Then extract that file to have all the photos stored on your computer.

To download only certain photos, click on the album and then click on each image that you wish to save. Once you’ve selected your image(s), press the download button above and click “Download my Selection” on the following page.

To download all Tagged photos, click on the “Tagged” tab and press the “Select All” button. Be sure to uncheck those photos that your oversharing friends tagged you in even though you don’t actually appear in them.

To download a Friends, Groups, or Pages photo, click on the tab on the left and follow the same instructions laid out in the previous explanations.

Now you’ve got an easy path to grab all the photos that you need. And if you’re not comfortable with the app continuing to have access to your information, it’s easy to remove the link between Facebook and Pick & Zip. Visit the Pick&Zip Facebook page and click “Remove” from the bottom left corner.

Thanks, Jake!

Facebook launching music service, but not in Canada

image credit: Forbes.com

According to a report by Parmy Olson on Forbes.com, Facebook has signed a deal with streaming music provider, Spotify, in a move that could see music added to the giant social network in as little as two weeks.

Unfortunately for Canadians and Americans, Spotify has yet to sign the necessary agreements with North American record labels to bring its very popular product to Facebookers in Canada and the U.S.

Olson makes the connection between Facebook and Spotify clear for those who aren’t familiar with the two organizations: Not only is Mark Zuckerberg a big fan of Spotify, Facebook’s first president and early Napster employee, Sean Parker, sits on Spotify’s board, while the two companies also share investors.

But the coming-together of these entities is not limited to dollars and directors. While Spotify started out in 2006 as a way to listen to music online, it has grown considerably since then, most recently in 2010 when it added a social networking feature powered by – you guessed it – Facebook.

Once integrated into Facebook officially, according to Olson, a Spotify icon of some description will appear to the left of users’ Newsfeed.

The intent is move Facebook’s media strategy forward (they already have a movie agreement with Warner Bros.) while giving Spotify access to a massive new source of potential subscribers. Spotify’s free service is ad-supported, but they also have a paid service which is ad-free and offers a higher bitrate for the music streams.

The real question however is: Will this new socially-powered angle prove tantalizing enough to Facebook users to make a real difference for either company? After all, this is hardly an original concept. Microsoft tried to make music social with their nearly-defunct Zune product – even going so far as to let users of their Zune media players “find” other Zune-ers who were located within range of the device’s Wi-Fi connection. Apple has kicked this can too with their poorly received Ping product which is now a feature built-in to every copy of iTunes and several of their devices including the iPhone. Yet even with Apple’s significant market share, Ping is hardly a success story.

But if social music on Facebook is going to be a success, it will happen in Canada. Why? Turns out our very own country has the world’s most extreme users of Facebook. I can’t say I’m surprised. Sync readers seem to have an insatiable appetite for all things Facebook-related. So that’s all the more reason why Spotify has to hurry up and sort out whatever remaining legal hurdles it faces with record labels and add Canada to its list of supported countries. Heck, given how rabid Canadians are when it comes to Facebook, it might make sense to get the Canadian deals ironed out first, before the U.S. – we could be the perfect test-bed for new features.

Alright readers – your turn: Are you excited by the idea of being able to share your musical tastes with your FB friends via an integrated platform like Spotify?

[Source: Forbes.com]

Samsung: Smart TVs get a lot smarter at CES

Samsung's Smart TV and Smart Hub featured at CESThe age of the connected TV is here and it will take the humble television and turn it into much more than a screen for watching video. Every manufacturer is now shipping or has plans to ship models that will let you do everything from streaming videos to video calling and almost everything in-between. Samsung’s Smart TVs are a great example of how rapidly this technology is evolving. My guess is that those of us who migrated away from the TV to start using the internet for our entertainment will now be coming back to the big screen… and loving it.

PURE Sensia: One sweet internet radio

PURE Sensia Internet Radio with colour touch screenIt would be a good gadget if it was simply a high-end internet radio. Having a colour touch-screen and a quirky-cool football shape makes it even better. But the ability to buy any song you’re listening to thanks to built-in Shazam technology makes the PURE Sensia a truly unique product.

Facebook Mail: the next step in world domination?

facebook-mailSo here’s something that should come as virtually no surprise to anyone who has marveled at Facebook’s stunning growth and popularity: according to tech blog TechCrunch, the 500 million + member social network will announce on Monday that they are launching their own email platform to compete with Google, Yahoo! and the old stalwart, Hotmail er, Windows Live Mail.

As impactful as such a move will no doubt be, for a massive number of Gen-Y’ers it may elicit little more than a “whatever”. That’s because Facebook has already become their de-facto messaging platform. Yes, they have gmail accounts or other web-based email solutions that they use for traditional correspondence, but wall posts, status updates and private messaging within the existing Facebook ecosystem has largely replaced basic email, which for some has become passé.

So why would Facebook want its own email solution? Well, other than giving the rest of their membership with a reason to conduct even more of their online lives within Facebook’s walls, Gizmodo points out that Facebook knows so much about its members interests and activities and friendships that they alone will be able to enhance the email experience beyond simple threaded conversations into something much more meaningful.

The influence being wielded by Facebook and to a lesser extent Twitter is huge, especially in the hardware and web-services development community. Marc Andreesen’s latest venture (he’s the guy who started Netscape) is a new web browser based on Google’s Chrome called RockMelt. RockMelt won’t even run without being signed into Facebook, and its goal is to merge your social and web-surfing experiences into a single application. If this idea takes off, it probably won’t be long before we see Facebook launch its own browser, an idea that has already received wide speculation.

So readers, if Monday does indeed bring us the advent of Facebook email platform, will you be jumping on-board and dumping your current email provider, or is the idea of having that much of your life in one place just too freaky?

Facebook iPhone app update trashes album uploads

The home screen of Facebook's latest iPhone app. Where's the camera? Click to enlarge.

The home screen of Facebook's latest iPhone app. Where's the camera? Click to enlarge.

I admit, in the grand scheme of things, this is a trivial issue – a minor bump in the road and I should probably just stop writing and enjoy my Friday.

But I can’t.

As a new iPhone 4 user, and as someone who has recently decided to upload a photo a day to his Facebook account, I’m irked. Here’s the problem: it seems that the new version of Facebook for the iPhone has a bug. It no longer lets you decide where you want to upload your photos to – such as a specific album. Instead, your photos all go to the “Mobile Uploads” album whether you like it or not. Moreover, adding photos is now a buried feature instead of being available straight from the homepage of the app.

I’ve found a few other people who are frustrated as well, and one of them suggested that deleting and reinstalling the app would bring back the album upload. No such luck.

I can’t imagine why Facebook would want to take such a big step back with their app, especially given their increasing focus on the mobile world.

Here’s hoping they come to their senses and fix this bug… I have Movember photos that I want to share… but not with the whole world ;-)