17 Jun 2015 Microstock Uploading and Submission Tools
As a microstock contributor producing anything more than a nominal quantity of images, you’re already using a tool to streamline your distribution process. Right?
The range of tools available is somewhat dynamic, with new tools popping up frequently, and others disappearing just as often. Here’s a quick list of the ones that are currently available.
The current darling of microstock contributor tools, picWorkflow is a cloud-based service, taking over the work of uploading, keywording, categorising and some submission preparation. Prices are per service and per image, so you pay for what you use. There’s free trials and some services have a free-of-charge allowance. The key advantage of cloud-based services like picWorkflow is that you only have to upload each file once. That’s a huge saver for people with limited bandwidth or super large portfolios.
Octopus Microstock is one of two apps that go beyond mere preparation and uploading, fully automating the submission of files. Unfortunately it is Windows only. File preparation and uploading is free, requiring payment only for the submission. The basic tier with 250 submissions per agency is only $9 per month, ranging up to $19 for the 2000 files per agency tier.
StockSubmitter is the other app that automates submission in addition to preparation and uploading. It fully automates the submission process at 15 microstock agencies, uploading to a total of 30. It also works with video and vector files. Metadata assisting tools can be used free, but the key feature, automatic distribution, is paid. Prices are determined by the quantity of files to be sent each month. It starts at €10, up to €40 for an unlimited quantity of submissions.
While a Mac version has been promised for a while, StockSubmitter is currently a Windows only application.
ProStockMaster & Lightburner
ProStockMaster was the original desktop application to streamline uploading for microstockers, though still Windows only. The app is technically free and assists with file preparation submission. However, distribution and submission can only be done via a Lightburner account, which has required a paid subscription for the past two years. Lightburner can be used with any FTP application, or through ProStockMaster, and like picWorkflow, provides a cloud-based platform to distribute the files to the FTP servers of all your configured agencies. Plans start at $9.99 per month for 1GB of storage and 1GB of uploads.
The recently announced Pixendr provides a similar service from a mobile device. From what I can tell, Cushy Stock is no longer available. The StockPhotoExpress website is still online, but no signs of life since 2009.
Which one are you using?