Mac users can already use Stamps.com Inc.’s
service to create postage using their own pictures, but that’s about to get a lot easier thanks to a new, free standalone application with greater functionality than the Web site. PhotoStamps for Mac is coming to Panther and Tiger later this month.
PhotoStamps, a service that’s been approved by the United States Postal Service (USPS), lets you turn your digital images into valid postage that can be used to send letters, post cards and packages. The standalone application coming to Mac OS X v10.3 or higher integrates with your iPhoto library. It will also let you import .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, .TIF, .PNG, .PCT and .PSD-format images.
“This simplifies it,” Stamps.com president and CEO, Ken McBride, told MacCentral. “The new application makes it easier for someone who already has their digital photo library in iPhoto to send it to the PhotoStamps.com service.”
And while the Web service only allows you to choose one of ten different border colors, the Mac client will let you select any color you want using Apple’s color tools. What’s more, Stamps.com plans to incorporate Tiger-specific functionality in a future release that will let you apply Core Image-based special effects to your images, as well.
“The Macintosh has so much power when it comes to color functionality,” said McBride. “Now when you’re creating borders for your PhotoStamp, you can use any color you can choose on the Mac palette.”
Once you’re done with your custom stamp image, the PhotoStamps for Mac client uploads your picture to the service. When the image has been approved by Stamps.com, a sheet of 20 stamps containing the same image is printed and delivered to you within 7 to 10 days of your order, using Stamps.com’s standard delivery service. A sheet of 20 37 cent stamps for US$16.99 (volume discounts are available when you order multiple sheets).
The PhotoStamps service supports postage rates from 23 cents to $3.85. The stamps on the PhotoStamps sheets use a special encoding technology recognized by the Postal Service’s machines.