iSyndica – Like Magic

I have been testing iSyndica for a little over a month now and would describe the service as no less than ‘magical’.

If you aren’t familiar with iSyndica, it works like this.

  • You upload your photos / video / vectors to iSyndica via FTP or online uploader
  • You click a couple buttons on the iSyndica website
  • Your images are immediately available on 35+ websites, ready for submission

That description may be a little simplified, but it is essentially what happens.  Want more info?  Here is the breakdown…

Getting your files onto iSyndica

This is the only spot in the workflow where you have to sit and wait.  I found uploading via FTP the simplest, and comparable to uploading to any other website.  Once the files had finished uploading they were immediately avaible for editing for syndication on my iSyndica control panel.

Last minute editing

If you don’t keyword your images before uploading, iSyndica provides a nice user interface to add keywords to your images.  The UI has made great use of AJAX, letting you edit the keywords on all your files without the page ever having to reload.

What sites does iSyndica Support?

I think it would be simpler to list the sites iSyndica DOESN’T support, but quite frankly I couldn’t find one.  The current list of supported photography sites is at 35.  That is more than enough to satisfy even the most ‘band wagon hopping’ prolific microstockers.  If you do manage to find a site that iSyndica doesn’t support, perhaps a site of your own or the ‘next big start up’ you can enter the settings as a generic FTP account.

Entering your account information for the various microstock sites is straight forward with the iSyndica double checking the credentials immediately, letting you know if you made a mistake.

As an additional feature, iSyndica also support a number of ‘promotional’ sites where you might want to upload part of your portfolio to generate traffic or advertise yourself.  These sites include facebook, twitter, Flickr, Picassa etc…

Sending the files out – the magic happens

Now the magic starts!  I have a fast internet connection, but a 500mb video file still takes around 2 hours to get online via FTP.   Photos can be uploaded quicker but a folder of 50 images can easily take close to an hour.  Once the images are online with iSyndica however – you simply select the images you want to syndicate, then start selecting the sites you want those images sent to.  Seconds later the files are ready for editing at the microstock site.  If you are used to having to wait 10 hours to upload a folder of images to 10 sites, or 20 hours for 2 videos to 5 sites, you are in for a treat. This is where you will go wow.  With iSyndica you are uploading your image once but getting your images online everywhere.

So what’s the catch?

So with all these great features, what is the catch?  Well none, really – except maybe that it isn’t totally free.  They do have a free trial account however, and if you are hobby photographer, that may be all you need.

Pricing is based on a credit system.  In the trial account you are given 100 free credits to use each month.  That means you can upload 100 images to 1 site, or 20 images to 5 sites.  One upload to one site costs 1 credit.  Full pricing info here.

For hobby photographers, iSyndica ends up being quite cheep, if not free.  For full time microstock photographers, the costs start adding up.  I have a fairly low production level for someone doing microstock full time, but I still try to upload 200 images / month.  I upload these images to around 15 sites.  To accomplish this through iSyndica, would cost me 3000 credits (200 images x 15 sites), which come at a cost of $40 ( the largest package which includes 1200 credits/month) + $18 (1800 additional credits) = $58/month.  $58/month isn’t really a big deal when making a full time income from microstock, and for someone with a slow internet connection this would be very tempting.  iSyndica is up against stiff competition however as their main competitor is ftp uploading from your computer to each site individually.  This method takes 15x longer in my case, and requires a dose of patience, but it is also free.

Added Value

iSyndica offers a few things, general FTP uploading does not.

In the ‘Syndicate’ panel, you are given a clear overview of which images are uploaded to which sites.  This list can include all your files, only images from organized groups, or by upload batch.  For those with poor organization skills – this could be very usefull

iSyndica also provides pretty graphs of your earnings from the majority of the sites.  The graphs can be displayed in a variety of ways – daily / yearly, sales / downloads, including / excluding certain sites etc.

If you are paranoid about hard drive failure, iSyndica has that covered too.  With everything but the free account, you can download your files from their site – providing you with a great backup resource.

Another interesting feature is their downsizing option.  If you want to re-size your images before uploading them to a certain website, you can automatically set this in your settings.

What I miss

After using iSyndica for a few weeks there are a few things I miss.

When selecting a number of photos I would really like to see how many images are selected.  Having such powerful tools can make for powerful mistakes.  If I select all images in a group, I would like a note that I have selected, for example, 50 images.  I often know how many images ‘should’ be in a group, so this would also give me confirmation that everything got into that group correctly.

I would like to see reporting of earnings by group.  Being able to see how much a given shoot has earned is very important information which can be difficult to glean from the microstock sites themselves.   iSyndica doesn’t do this yet but I see it is in the ‘planned’ features.

[iSyndica Forum Discussion]

About The Author:

Tyler Olson works as a microstock photographer who also runs the MicrostockGroup forum and blog. Being so closely involved in the microstock community as a submitter, forum moderator and blogger, Tyler is able to keep updated in the constantly changing microstock marketplace.
Posted on December 21st, 2009 in Reviews | tags: , , ,
  • atre

    I’m confused – I read at several blogs that iStock and Shutterstock are not supported – has that changed? Thanks.

    • iStockphoto is supported but not shutterstock. If you sign up for a trial you can check it out for free.

  • The lack of Shutterstock support is a major point to “What sites does iSyndica Support?” and should be included in that paragraph of this article.