What is the difference between albums and folders on SkyDrive?

Windows Live SkyDrive has a long history and carries a legacy of features. Currently the primary purpose is for storing and sharing files and photos.

SkyDrive in the root location, the first one you come to when you click SkyDrive in the top bar, can contain documents and folders. Folders in the root location have a Folder type parameter. Sub-folders, folders inside other folders, do not have a Folder type.image You can see the Folder type in the information pane under Information.

In the root location the Folder type may be fixed for some folders (legacy Documents, Favorites). Other folders, and all newly added ones, can be of Folder type Documents or Photos and the Folder type can be changed.

When you click Documents in the left pane, only folders of Folder type Documents (and Favorites, if you have any of those) will be shown in the main area.

When you click Photos, only folders of Folder type Photos will be shown in the main area. These are the albums.

There is one other distinction: Only albums, i.e. folders of Folder type Photos, will show in Windows Live Photo Gallery in the upload dialog. So you can only upload photos to “albums”.image

You can change the Folder type of folders in the root location. In the information pane, under Information, you can see the Folder type. There is a Change link.image

Click on Change and a new page allows you to change the Folder type.

The two options are:

  • ● Documents – Store documents, spreadsheets, and other files
  • ● Photos – Store photos to show on your Photos page

To summarize: Albums are folders of folder type Photos. They are located in the root of your SkyDrive. They will be shown in the main display area when you click Photos. These albums will also be shown as album options when uploading from Live Photo Gallery.

Other folders and subfolders may contain photos – by moving individual photos or folders into them. imageWhen a folder, or subfolder, contains a photo, the folder icon will show that photo. When a folder contains more than one photo, the folder will play a continuous little slide show of the photos inside on the folder icon. You can see this by clicking the folder illustration here.

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

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Can I send photos to a SkyDrive album via email?

Update 6 April 2012: As of May 2012 this feature will no longer be available.

Yes, you can send photos to your SkyDrive albums via email. Windows Live SkyDrive offers a large amount of free storage and some nice photo album features. Normally you upload with a drag-and-drop procedure or, even easier, directly from Windows Live Photo Gallery.

ULbE-01pSending photos to a prime-level SkyDrive album via email is another very useful option. The procedure must be enabled first.

Here is how:

Log in to your Windows Live account. In the upper right corner click on your name. In the drop down menu, click Options. See the red pointers in the illustration here.

imageOn the options page in the lower right corner find and click Email publishing.

This takes you to the Email publishing page. Most of the page is greyed out until you click the Turn on email publishing check box.image

When the form is enabled, there are four steps:

  1. Enter the email address (up to three) from which photos can be sent to a SkyDrive album. Note that photos sent from any other address will not be delivered to the album, the email will just be lost.
  2. Enter a “secret” word. This will become part of the address for sending the photos. This is just used to make the process more secure. (No spaces in this word!)
  3. Select album codes. This is an optional step, codes, three-digit numbers, are pre-assigned to your albums. You can change these, but the ones offered will work just fine.
  4. Click the Save button.

Once you have saved the information, there will be a display of the email addresses for sending the photos. Each album – and this is only for the prime-level albums, it does not work for albums inside other albums – has a unique email address. The address looks like this: name.album.secretword@spaces.live.com. Where name is a name derived from your name, it may be slightly different from your user name – be careful with that! The album will be the three digit album number (or other, if you changed it) to identify which album it is. The secretword is the word that you specified.

imageTo send photos to an album you must originate the email from an email address you specified on this page. Attach the photo or photos to the email. Do not use the Photo album feature in Live Mail. Do not “Change to photo album”.

Be sure to use the correct email address from your Email publishing page.

If using Hotmail use Insert: Attachments, do not use the Photos link.

Enter a subject and message if you like so you can find and see the email in your sent messages. Only the photos get to your album, no messages, no hint that they were sent via email. Only JPG photos can be sent to albums, this does not work for sending documents, just pictures.

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

Where are the thumbnails stored for a post with a SkyDrive album?

Windows Live Writer has an insert option for adding a SkyDrive album to a post. When Add online album is selected, an “Insert Photo Album” dialog opens. It may ask for a sign in before showing all the albums on your SkyDrive. Click an album icon and thenimage click Insert to get the process started. Live Writer downloads the pictures from the album in order to create the graphics. An example of a SkyDrive album is shown at the end of this post.

Live Writer creates a folder for the downloaded images and newly created thumbnails on your boot drive under Users\yourname\AppData\Local\Temp\WindowsLiveWriter-xxxx. imageThe album will be shown by a collection of thumbnails, the album title, and a couple of hyperlinks. A new “Photo Album Tools” Ribbon tab is available whenever the album art is selected. The most useful and interesting tools are in the Album styles section of the tab: A half dozen layout styles are shown. The first, default, layout, shows the thumbnails the same way as pictures are shown in a photo email. Two other layouts show the pictures in a flat imagearrangement, the remaining three show randomly oriented little pictures. The thumbnails can be rearranged with the “Shuffle photos” tool. Just click on this command and observe the new arrangement. Continue until you are happy with the presentation. When the post is published to your blog, the created display pictures are uploaded to the blog image store. imageIn this case, this being a WordPress.com blog, the images wind up online in the blog’s Media Library. If one of the random display options is selected this will be one image of the entire arrangement. For the other three layouts, Squares, Grid right, and Grid left, the individual thumbnails are uploaded to the blog media library.

As you would expect, Windows Live Writer does a fine job of cleaning up after itself. In the case of this post, the temporary store contained over 3 GB of material. Once the post has been published this folder is emptied and removed.

Now, aren’t you glad you asked? This allowed me to tell you a little about how Windows Live Writer offers another really nice feature and does a great job of managing it.

Here at last is the demo album. Enjoy!

 

 

How do I upload photos to my SkyDrive?

There are several ways to copy pictures to Windows Live SkyDrive. They can be “pushed” up using Windows Live Photo Gallery (see: How do I upload photos to SkyDrive using Windows Live Photo Gallery?) or they can be “pulled” up form SkyDrive. This second method is the topic of this post.

Here is a step-by-step procedure:

  • Sign in to your Windows Live account. Internet Explorer likely will remember you and sign you in when you go to home.live.com.
  • On your Windows Live home page click on Photos in the menu bar at the top.

image

  • imageClick on the album where you want to add photos. If the album does not show, click View all albums in the nav bar on the left.
  • Click Add photos on the menu bar.
  • The “Add photos” page provides for two ways to copy photos to the album. You can drag photos from a Windows Explorer windows, however, this method is not available on all browsers. The other way is to click “select photos from your computer”.

image 

  • An “Open” dialog window opens. This is actually Windows Explorer. It likely will open to a document folder, so maneuver to the correct folder where the photos are.
  • Select the photos to upload in the normal way – click the thumbnail, hold down the Ctrl key to select more. The other ways work just fine.
  • Click Open (lower right).
  • The thumbnails will start to appear on the SkyDrive page. The default size of the photos to be uploaded is “Large (1600 px)”. If you wish the photos to be scaled to another size, or to maintain their original size, select the option by clicking the size button.
  • Click Continue (it will be unavailable until the “Open “task is completed.image

You will next see a message like at right advising that you are done.

 

That’s all there is to uploading photos to an album on your SkyDrive.

 

 

How do I upload photos to SkyDrive using Windows Live Photo Gallery?

SkyDrive is your free storage and sharing location provided by Windows Live. A number of applications “know” how to upload to SkyDrive and make the process very easy. Windows Live Photo Gallery is one of those programs.image

To tell Photo Gallery about your SkyDrive, simply sign in to Photo Gallery. Over on the upper right side there is a Sign in link.

Click Sign in, then sign in with your Windows Live ID. Once signed in, Photo Gallery will remember and you need not sign in each time.

To upload photos, select them – just click the thumbnail image. If you wish to select more than one, hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on the desired thumbnails. If you have a group of photos in consecutive order you can click the first one, then hold down the Shift key and click the last one. imageTo select all the photos shown in the gallery click Select all on the Ribbon with the Home tab selected (or hold down the Ctrl key and press A ). Be careful with that. This will select thumbnails that are scrolled off the view.image

Selected thumbnails will be highlighted so you can see which ones are selected.

To upload the selected photos click on SkyDrive in the Share group on the Ribbon. If you are not signed in, you will get a sign in dialog here. Then you will see a dialog somewhat like this:

image

There are a number of choices to make in this dialog. Note the Photo upload size – the default is “Large (1600 px)”. Click the down arrowhead for other size options. Note that you can also select Original to upload the photos in their full size. The option Medium (600 px) is ok for photos that are meant only for online viewing. When you select other than Original your photos will be scaled down if the horizontal or vertical picture dimension is larger that the number shown. Smaller photos will not be resized.

In the main area of the dialog you can select one of your existing albums on the SkyDrive, you may need to scroll down if you have many.

The default is to create a new album. Note the text entry box wimageith the flashing cursor. Just type the name that you want to assign to the new album. For a new album, there is also a sharing selector. You can specify sharing here. Of course, you can change that later in SkyDrive.

When you have made your choices, click the Publish button which will now be available in the lower right of the dialog.

imageA dialog will show the progress of the upload process. Remember that this may take some time depending on the number and size of the photos selected.

It really is that simple. You can upload to an existing album or create a new one right from Windows Live Photo Gallery.

 

How do I create a new SkyDrive album?

You can create a new album on your Windows Live SkyDrive a couple of ways. You can do it in your SkyDrive when you are logged in to your Windows Live account, or you can do it from Windows Live Photo Gallery. Actually there are some other ways, here I will discuss just how to create a new album on SkyDrive.

Log in to your Windows Live account: Start your browser and go to live.com. Your browser might have remembered your credentials and logs you in, otherwise you will see the log in page.image

  • Click Photos on the link bar at the top.image
  • Click Create album
  • Type the name that you wish to assign to the album. Note that “New album” is the default name, it is already selected (highlighted) so you can type right over it.
  • Pick who you want to share the album with. The default is Friends, but you can imagechange that by clicking Change.
  • Set the slider to the appropriate position for sharing. You can also share this album with people you specify in the area  below the slider. Sharing of albums and folders is described in more detail another post.

image

  • Click Next. The album will be created. On the next page you have the opportunity to add photos to the album by dragging them from Windows Explorer or from Live Photo Gallery. That process is described in another post.
  • Click Continue to complete the process.

 

To see how to create a new photo album using Windows Live Photo Gallery see “How do I upload photos from Photo Gallery?”

 

How do I get to SkyDrive?

To access your Windows Live SkyDrive log in to live.com with your Windows Live ID. This gets you to your Windows Live Home page. Across the top are links including Office and Photos, these access the documents and albums sections of your SkyDrive.

image

To see all of the contents of your SkyDrive, right-click on Windows Live. On the small drop-down menu click SkyDrive. This will show all the contents of your SkyDrive. Here is a typical view:

image

Note that the contents is organized into sections. Shown are folders, documents (not filed in any folder), and photo albums. Also note the little symbols in the lower right corner of the icons. These indicate how that item is shared. The little padlock indicates a private item – only you have access to that. The people symbol shows that the item is shared with one or more other specific users. The small globe means that the item is public and accessible to anyone in the world.