Microstock Plus – Easier uploading

As you know, I am a solid believer in Stock Submitter to prepare, upload and submit my images and videos to all the 20 or so sites I support. The ease with which it is able to submit images without me ever visiting the agency saves me a lot of time and effort. I’ve written a series of blogs about it starting with this one. Recently the developer came up with an interesting enhancement to the local app – Microstock Plus. It is still in beta and so he only opens up registration from time to time, but check the link above to see if you can sign up.

Microstock Plus is an uploading and submission system for users of Stock Submitter

But what is it? Basically, the Stock Submitter App runs on your computer. You navigate to the folders holding your stock images or videos and can modify (or add) keywords, descriptions, pricing information (where it matters), model releases and so on, and then select which agencies you want to upload to and submit. All the uploading takes place over your own internet connection and so if you are uploading 4K videos to 5 agencies, it can take a long, long time!

Microstock Plus is a cloud based system that syncs to your local app. You can use it on purely on its own and it does have many of the features of Stock Submitter, but I’ve been using with my local App. I think I prefer that as I have keyworded and stored the images on my own hard drives plus I get separate storage on the cloud part. So in essence, you set up everything locally, select the agencies you want to upload to, but, instead of setting up all those parallel FTP connections, the App just uploads them to the Microstock Plus cloud server instead. All the details – keywords, pricing, model releases – go along with the uploads to that server. Once that process is started, the files also start to be uploaded from the server to the agencies, and, finally, all the submission process takes place from the server as well. So my files are uploaded once and then distributed from that cloud server to each agency without using any more of my bandwidth or time.

You do need to set up Microstock Plus as an “agency” in the local App, and you need to find a setting in the features part of the App to make sure your model releases are also uploaded to the cloud server, but from that point on, it all works as though Microstock Plus was just another agency:

Integration of Stock Submitter and Microstock Plus

Here is an example of the video part of my system. I’ve just finished keywording some editorial videos and I want to upload them to Shutterstock, Pond5 and Storyblocks. So I select the videos to upload, choose the thumbnail frame for the video if needed, the select those three agencies in the list at the bottom of the screen. I also select Microstock Plus. The system then knows which agencies I want to submit to, and to just upload one copy to the cloud server and then go from there.

So far, it has been very smooth (especially bearing in mind this is a beta version). The system syncs back to my local App with the status of the file, so I can tell which ones have been uploaded and which submitted without having to go the the cloud server itself. You can go there with your browser and see the same information – as well as being able to resubmit a file (such as a video that you forgot to add a release to) without uploading the file itself again.

There are still some agencies that Stock Submitter doesn’t support directly – Canva, for instance. For these, I have set up a local FTP connection in the App and that can still be used. If you select an agency that uses a local FTP, then the system is clever enough to upload the images to the cloud server for the agencies it does support and still use the local FTP for those it doesn’t. So you still get the benefits of the cloud for most agencies without having to remember to upload to the others separately.

At present, this is included in the package you have for Stock Submitter (which can be free for smaller uploaders). Not sure how it will evolve as the developer will have to pay for the storage and the bandwidth he is using to upload our files, but for now, it is well worth investigating.

(Visited 2,669 times, 1 visits today)

23 Responses

  1. Darryl Brooks says:

    Does it do anything for the agencies where Stock Submitter just did the FTP part and you have to finish on your own? Not sure if you have any like that, but I have several.

    • admin says:

      Good point – I have updated the article to cover that. The local App uses the cloud for most of the agencies and still uses the local FTP for the ones that the cloud doesn’t support.

  2. J. Ross says:

    A bit off topic, but… I noticed recently that you have Zoonar listed as one of the agencies to which you submit. I understand that they are a German company. Are there any concerns one would have, other than those we have related to using microstock sites in the US, when using a foreign agency? I want to avoid any international snags if that is a potential.

    Thanks,

    Jeff Ross

    • admin says:

      Hi Jeff
      I’m not aware of any issues. Many of the companies have foreign ownership – Canva is based in Australia, I’m pretty sure Pond5 is based in Ireland (for tax purposes probably), Dreamstime is somewhere in Europe as well I think. The only issue I have come across is that Zoonar has started with-holding some German tax and unless you fill endless forms in, you would have to either ignore it, or try to claim back on your US tax return. Did you have any particular worry?
      Steve

      • J. Ross says:

        No, I was just curious as I am thinking about uploading to that platform. Thanks for your opinion and willingness to share! – J Ross

  3. Trong Nguyen says:

    Hey Steve,

    If it’s possible, could you please share your experience uploading to YayMicro and PantherMedia. I have uploaded images to those agencies successfully using this tool, but those images are sitting on the queue/incomplete line and I have to end-up with submit them manually (one by one on PantherMedia).

    Thank you,

    Regards,
    Trong

  4. Jacob says:

    Hi,
    I am new to StockSubmitter. Do You have trouble assigning iStock terms via the app or is it just Me? It says no API key provided 🙁

    Jacob

    • admin says:

      Hi Jacob – yes, this is a problem. iStock cut the developer off from having access to their API because, they said, too many incorrect keywords were being submitted. However, the new extension that he created – Microstock Plus – does now have access to iStock. It is a bit more complex and I’m not fully up to speed, but you can go to the Plus website and assign the correct terms, I believe.

  5. Microstock Plus does not show up on the list of available agencies in StockSubmitter for Mac.

    • Steven Heap says:

      I don’t know this directly, as I don’t use Mac, but there are delays before features become available on the MAC version. You might be able to use Microstock Plus as a purely web based solution though.

  6. Sue Gresham says:

    Regarding Zoonar – I have found them most polite and helpful.

  7. Hi Steven any other submitter you can refer me to it seems Microstock + not open yet, i’ve tried a few times already

    • Steven Heap says:

      Sorry – I found this in spam. I do see occasional posts in the Microstock forum of other alternatives, but Microstock Plus and StockSubmitter (the app version) work very well for me
      Steve

  8. Rubén says:

    Hello Steven, I just signed up in Microstock plus, I can not connect with istock ESP agency, they ask me to fill the Api key and Api secrete and I can not find them anywere, how can i solve that problem? thank you, Ruben

    • Steven Heap says:

      I’ll ask the developer and report back here.
      Edited: Seems like my information is incorrect. You need the API keys for both the desktop and the web based system.

  9. ruben says:

    Thank you Steven, have you got the keys for istock?

    Because I use Mac, I just tried the online web system. I made test with some files. I notice that shutterstock were only uploaded, not submitted. I had to to it manually in the site. with dreamstime was OK. With depositphotos, only one photo were uploaded. The microstock plus site said for files uploaded, but only 1 got uploaded and submitted.

    Thank you in advance for your help

    Ruben

    • Steven Heap says:

      I believe it is against the law to try to reverse engineer software to access security elements so that isn’t a suitable subject for discussion. With Microstock Plus, the uploads and submissions do not occur immediately. I notice that it does take some time for those “secondary” uploads to the agencies to occur and then longer for submissions to occur. Not sure if that is what caused your issue.

  10. ruben says:

    Thank you Steven,

    Another problem is that, the program cut the date and place of shoot in the description of editorial photos. When uploading, it is ok, i can read the whole metadata, but on submmiting process, the date and place like: Nome, Alaska – September 1th , 2019: are missing. As a result, Shutterstock reject the photos because the description it is incomplete according the editorial rules.

    I saw there is a delay between uploading and submmiting.

    By the way, did you find the way to add istock as agency? If the program ask the API keys, should not be illegal to have them, The problem is that not body know how to get them, it is really wierd.

    Neither Microstock Plus nor stock submmiter have a contact support page. (they have a contacts link that when you make click, goes to the payments suscription planes. I just got the email of Dmitry (The Developer) at the end of the Terms and Condition page.

    Well see what happen with all this,

    Ruben

  11. ruben says:

    I have an update from Dmitry:

    1. Unfortunately, our keys were blocked by Getty so we cannot provide them anymore. However, you could try asking in StockSubmitter telegram group – I heard, someone has them there.

    2. By default the system will use titles when filling in the title field on agencies that do not support a separate description. But you can change this behavior in Shutterstock settings – enable the “Use description as title” checkbox.

I'm always interested in what you think - please let me know!