Matt's Blog

Sony Announces ImageStation Closing, Nobody Notices

September 14th, 2007 at 11:27 PM (10 years ago) by Matt Freedman

ImageStationI got an email in the ‘box yesterday from Sony saying that ImageStation (their uploading, sharing and ordering pictures service) will be closing on February 1, 2008. You can see a screenshot of the email here.

According to their shutdown schedule, after November 11, 2007, you will no longer be able to upload or order pictures. All you will be able to do is view, download and order a backup (CD or DVD) of your pictures. On January 14, 2008, you will no longer be able to order a backup disc. And, finally, on February 1, 2008 the ImageStation servers will be shutdown and all remaining accounts and pictures will be deleted. No copies will be kept.

To make it easier for all their customers, they’ve teamed up with ShutterFly and you can initiate an automatic transfer of all your pictures to them. But they still recommend you either download your stuff or order an archive disc.

You can learn how to download your images here.

I’m guessing that they’re closing down because of lack of people using it. It doesn’t seem like a very popular service. You never hear about it, and I don’t think they’ve added a lot of new features recently. I didn’t even hear anything about them closing down in the blogosphere. I thought at least TechCrunch would post about it… Sony provided the following reason for the shutdown (in their shutdown FAQ):

Sony Electronics has decided to close ImageStation, its photo sharing service, in order to focus on the company’s core businesses, products, and services.

In the early days of digital photography Sony realized the need to provide an online photo service to support their digital camera customers. In the years since, many capable online photo services have become available and our customers now have a broad range of options for storing, sharing, printing and creating photo gifts.

I signed up for ImageStation back when I bought my first digital camera, a Sony, in 2004. I never really used the service.

I went to sign in to ImageStation to see what pictures I had in there, and I was presented with “This Image is Temporarily Unavailable” instead of my images. Nice…

Sony has setup an FAQ on their shutdown.

ImageStation seemed like a good service, but other, apparently better, services have started to replace it. I doubt anyone will be devastated by it’s shutdown.

5 Responses to “Sony Announces ImageStation Closing, Nobody Notices”

  1. SamIam
    SamIam says:

    I used imagestation frequently for ordering prints. Their service was fast and efficient, and for a sony product they had suprisingly competitive prices. I think they were ahead of the game at one point, having a public viewing gallery and good community features (unlike Ofoto, Shutterfly and Snapfish) but once sites like Flickr started to appear they were unable to offer competitive sharing options and people just lost interest. Too bad, sony has done this more than once…had a good idea that they ultimately killed because they were beaten at their own game by more nimble, fast competitors or bad business decisions.

  2. lori
    lori says:

    I have used imagestation on a regular basis. Others were always impressed with the quality of prints, small to poster sized. The prices were very competitive. I’ve referred many to their service over the years and am very disappointed in their decision. I do not look forward to the task of replacing this excellent service. Now I need to decide, do i rush some last prints in, or do i boycott this slap in the face?

  3. john galt
    john galt says:

    I MUCH prefered Dropshots to imagestation anyway. A real sharing platform – http://www.dropshots.com

  4. Lori
    Lori says:

    Its not about photo sharing for me.. its about reliability and quality of printed materials at competitive prices. There are plenty of sharing platforms around.

  5. Ari
    Ari says:

    I’m getting the same “This image is temporarily unavailable” message. Not impressed at all – very amateurish.

    I assure you I won’t be shedding too many tears, although it is a tad frustrating to have to shift it across to somewhere else.

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