THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.
From the PR FIRM: When a close friend lost all of her digital images during a lightning storm, inspiration struck Matthew Stanchie. With a background in technology, and as a father of two young children himself, he felt for the young mother who lost every image she had ever taken of her 2-year-old son. He thought that there should be a simple, fool-proof way to backup digital images, so he created Picture Keeper. Despite working for Hewlett-Packard, the thought of backing up his personal photos gave him a headache, and he could only image what others without a background in computers went through. So, he created a user-friendly program that automates the task (making sure to get the approval of an evaluator from his target demographic—his wife.) Picture Keeper plugs into any PC, including Macs, and copies all images with one click. With Picture Keeper, it’s a snap to save.
The Picture Keeper is the simplest of solutions. Plug it in, and with one click it searches for every image on a computer and uploads them to a USB flash drive for safekeeping. Digital cameras make it easy to snap dozens of pictures at a birthday party, or a thousand pictures during a vacation, but it’s easy to forget about backing up digital images until it’s too late. Sudden events like a computer crash, fire or theft can’t be predicted, but you can prevent against total loss by backing up digital images often and keeping them in a safe place (separate from where your computer is.)
Using CDs for storage is one option, but they’re susceptible to scratches—rendering the data on them useless. Standard USB flash drives work, and have greater storage capacity than CDs, but they don’t address the problem of finding all of the images on a computer, nor can they help identify newly added images since your last backup. Considering the time involved just searching for images on a computer, it’s no wonder many people put it off for a rainy day.
With Picture Keeper, users plug the USB drive into a computer and click the “Start Backup” button. The device automatically finds and copies all images with jpeg/jpg extensions on the computer. Folders and subfolders are also copied just as they are on your computer, making it easy to find files once they’ve been copied onto the Picture Keeper.
Since Picture Keeper’s program runs from the device and not the host computer, it’s possible to add images from multiple computers, Mac or PC, without having to download software to each computer. Advanced Options allow users to specify alternate file types and search in additional locations on the computer, to ensure that everything you want to keep safe has been copied. Another problem with backing-up digital images that the Picture Keeper fixes is trying to keep straight which photos have already been saved. If a few weeks or months pass between backups, there’s no easy way to verify what’s already been saved, other than going through the backup folder-by-folder. Picture Keeper takes out the guesswork, since it can be used to update a preexisting backup. Just plug it in, hit “Start Backup,” and the Picture Keeper will only copy new or recently altered images to the device.
Picture Keeper can even be used in digital frames and at photo development stations found in many grocery stores and pharmacies across the country. Just plug the device into the Standard USB slot for access to the images stored on the device, no fumbling with multiple camera cards needed.
Picture Keeper is currently available in three sizes (with developers at Picture Keeper hard at work on an external hard drive version, which would be able to hold 100 to 300+GB) :
Picture Keeper 4GB - Holds up to 4,000 (1MB) images. $29.99
Picture Keeper 8GB - Holds up to 8,000 (1MB) images. $39.99
Picture Keeper 16GB - Holds up to 16,000 (1MB) images. $59.99
Unsure if the 4GB or 8GB is needed? Picture Keeper has a step-by-step guide available at www.picturekeeper.com, to help users find out how much space they will need to backup their images. While on the website, users can sign-up to receive Backup Reminders from Picture Keeper, so they’ll never forget when it’s time to backup their images.
Bonus: Picture Keeper just won a Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products for Summer 2009 award. Winners of the Best Vacation Products for Summer Award are carefully chosen using extensive criteria developed over many years by noted child development authority and author of Dr. Toy’s Smart Play-Smart Toys, Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D. (a.k.a. Dr. Toy). Among the criteria used to determine winners are: safety, age-appropriateness, design, durability, lasting play value, creativity, good value for price and, naturally, fun. All of the winners, including Picture Keeper, are featured on Dr. Toy’s website at http://www.drtoy.com/.
My take: As the very smart Lisa Orman said, this product falls squarely under the "WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT" category. I mean, if I were someone who actually knew how to write code and such, which I don't, but STILL. Picture Keeper is pure genius in my humble opinion. When I first received my 16 GB flash drive from Picture Keeper, I plugged it in right away. Why a 16 GB and not the 4 or 8? Dude, I used their tutorial to find out how many pictures I had on my hard drive already and the result was over 8,000 (over 8 GB)! I have an external hard drive too that I HOPE is automatically backing everything up like it's supposed to but I am not tech savvy by any means so Picture Keeper is giving me the peace of mind to know at least my pictures (irreplaceable pictures of my beautiful bay-bees) are definitely backed up.
Any who, you might be asking, "Is it easy to work?" The answer would be a definitive "yes." I personally had issues (I really don't know when the last time something just worked the way it was supposed to for me, really, I'm just not a lucky gal in that regard). So Picture Keeper stopped working midway through the download and mysteriously erased itself. The upside of this was that I got to spend a few hours online with the ab-fab Matt (inventor of Picture Keeper) who logged onto my system in real time to look around and try and fix things (awesome, really just awesome online support even though it was kind of creepy to see my mouse moving around on it's own). The down side was he had no answer but he did send me a new drive and a pre-stamped envelope to send back the old drive. He suspected I had a virus but after multiple, and I mean multiple, scans over several days (with at least six different anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc, etc. programs), nothing was found on my system. So I plugged in the new flash drive with some trepidation but presto! (it worked like a champ!) I saw all my 8,000+ pictures go right to the drive. I'm thinking it won't be long before I'm in need of that 100 to 300+GB version, wouldn't you agree? So if you are like me, and store all your precious memories on YOUR hard drive, I highly recommend you run (figuratively speaking) over to Picture Keeper and buy your own peace of mind (which, much like the Master Card commercial, you know is priceless).
Discount: Enter Blogger10 to get 10% off any purchase at Picture Keeper
The giveaway: Win a 4 or 8 GB Picture Keeper (size of your choice, depending on your image file size needs).
To win: Visit Picture Keeper and run the size analyzer to determine the size Picture Keeper you need. Leave me a comment here telling me that size. Be sure to leave your email address with your comment if you are not a blogger or your email is not easily found on your blog. This giveaway is open until 11:59 p.m., EST, Wednesday, July 22, 2009. Good Luck!
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This review was sponsored by