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.
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:
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.