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We've always been trying to share photos within our family, despite all living in different countries. This has been very challenging. We have about 50GB of photos that we share with each other. Everyone organizes them differently, so rsync/Syncplicity don't work. Everyone likes their photos on the fast hard drive rather than a slow website with reduced quality, so online sharing websites are a no-go.

So far we have been essentially syncing them manually, via a shared folder that new photos are placed to and collected from. This is laborious and prone to errors, that usually leave one of us without all the photos without even knowing.

To those who are in a similar situation, how do you solve this?

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Have you looked at Windows Live Skydrive? 25GB of free storage per Windows Live account, with the ability to share specific folders with specific Windows Live users...So if each family has one account, then you each have plenty of space for each family's photos...Three families, say, has 75 GB of storage combined...

25 GB of free online storage

Store, access, and share thousands of documents, photos, and Microsoft Office files on Windows Live SkyDrive. SkyDrive password-protects your files so you control who has access to them.

Easily upload and share photos and videos so you can access them online. Share one file, a whole folder, or a photo album with anyone you choose—including an entire social network

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+1 The good things about using SkyDrive is that the slideshow thing is very slick and you can also easily set permissions, so that only your friends/family can access the photos. They only need a Windows Live ID. You can also upload full size images and they are all easily downloaded in one go, in a zip file. – paradroid Nov 19 '10 at 1:39
Whoa, that sounds terribly complicated. I've already got a much better set-up with Syncplicity. They can just copy the photos to a special folder on their disk and forget about it. The recipient simply takes them out of theirs. MUCH better than shuffling around huge zip files manually. – romkyns Nov 19 '10 at 10:36
@romkyns: It's hardly complicated, especially when hundreds of millions of people already have a Live ID as they use Hotmail and/or Windows Live Messenger. – paradroid Nov 19 '10 at 18:05
@jason Fine, it's not complicated but it's still far more trouble than my current Syncplicity approach. – romkyns Nov 20 '10 at 10:09

Use a photo sharing service like flickr

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Have you tried Dropbox? It offers shared folders which integrate seamlessly with your desktop file browser. It's pretty fast, since everything is cached locally on your hard drive, as well as being accessible on the web. You would need the $9.99/month package or above for each user though since you need a lot of space.

You could also roll your own system with something like rsync and some basic shared web space.

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No, I can't. As stated in my question, everyone organises their photos differently, i.e. in different folders. rsync/Dropbox/etc will replicate the structure too. – romkyns Nov 18 '10 at 11:18

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