More Perfect Pictures

Like some other Mac users, reader Dave Friedholm is a bit frustrated that iPhoto allows him only to order prints through Apple's Kodak print service. He writes:

The problem is that sending online photos off the Mac is a real pain compared to sending them through XP. Do you know of any Mac utility that will interact with the commercial sites equally well? XP's online print ordering wizard is light years beyond anything I've found for my beloved Macs.

iPhoto would be interesting if you could select different vendors as you can in the Windows world. Apple seems to want you to have only one option for output, and an expensive one at that....

If you find ordering through the various online photo services cumbersome (and I'll grant you that some of them could do more to improve their interfaces), you might take a look at the FotoWire Print Service. Using FotoWire's free software, you can send your pictures to a local processing lab. It works this way:

Enter your name, address, phone number, and email account and choose a photo lab from a list that's updated whenever you run the client. You can choose a local lab if you'd like to pick up your pictures (and glower at the operator if you're unhappy with their quality) or have the pictures delivered to you by one of the many services that offer shipping. Drag and drop your digital files into the client and pick the size and quality of your prints. Enter a credit card number and push the Finish button to send your pictures to the service. You'll receive a confirmation email that your files have been received.

I should mention that prints from my local photo lab were costlier than those offered by Apple -- $.49 per 4 x 6 print versus Apple's $.39 a copy -- but prices are set by the lab. If the price-per-print doesn't please you, select a different lab -- one that ships rather than offers pick-up service, for example.

  
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