Photos and Windows Live Spaces: Embed photos or albums.

The latest improvements coming to Windows Live Spaces introduced a few changes to the way photos are handled, but with all of the announcements about Events and the changes to SkyDrive, you may have missed what has just happened.  We thought we would provide a little primer on what is available for Windows Live Spaces and photos, as some of of the changes that have been appearing over the last few weeks are adding up to provide a nice set of services around photos. Brandon has been playing with the new photo features, and we thought we would too:

First, let’s go through some of the changes that had been added previously:

  • Integration with Windows Live Photo Gallery, including upload and download of photo albums from any Space
  • Hi-Res photo capabilities (up to 1600×1200) – called “optimize for printing”
  • Improved slide show controls, using a Flash player and Vista like photo controls

In addition, the new set of features released yesterday added some new capabilities:

  • Embed individual photos or slide shows in your blog or website
  • Post your photos on Facebook

So how does it all work?  Let’s run through an example, using a set of pictures I took this summer on a trip to beautiful downtown Quincy, WA.

To get started, once the pictures are transferred from camera to computer (something easily accomplished by Windows Live Photo Gallery, unless you’re Chris Jones), select the album you want to upload, select any or all pictures from that album, and click on the Publish tab in Windows Live Photo Gallery:

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Windows Live Photo Gallery will give you a choice of “optimize for printing”, checking this box will upload the photos in Hi Res, leaving it unchecked will compress the photos, saving space and time, but leaving you with lower quality photos.

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Once you publish your photos to Spaces, you can get to them from your Space or from your Spaces home page, by clicking on “Share Photos”.  There you are offered a series of choices:

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We want to embed the photos in this blog entry, so clicking Embed offers some code that we can copy and paste into our site (clicking on Blog It does much the same thing, but auto populates a Spaces blog entry with the code already):

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Copy the embed code and paste it into your blog post or website and you’re running a slideshow of your pictures:

Windows Live Spaces

Here’s the code for this slide show:

“<object classid=”clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000″ codebase=”,0,28,0″ width=”320″ height=”240″ id=”PanAndZoom” align=”middle”><param name=”FlashVars” value=”assetsRSS=!629D3050E0813A28!533/feed.rss”><param name=”Movie” value=””><param name=”Src” value=””><param name=”WMode” value=”opaque”><param name=”Quality” value=”High”><param name=”SAlign” value=”LT”><param name=”Menu” value=”1″><param name=”Base” value=””><param name=”AllowScriptAccess” value=”always”><param name=”BGColor” value=”000000″><param name=”SWRemote” value=””><param name=”AllowNetworking” value=”all”><embed src=”” quality=”high” FlashVars=”assetsRSS=!629D3050E0813A28!533/feed.rss” WMode=”opaque” width=”320″ height=”240″ name=”PanAndZoom” align=”middle” allowScriptAccess=”always” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” pluginspage=””></embed></object><br/><a href=”!629D3050E0813A28!533″>Windows Live Spaces</a>”

Embedding a single photo is the same procedure, just choose “Embed this photo”.

What this means, and this goes for the Facebook embed as well, is that Spaces allows you to host pictures and then embed them on other sites, meaning that worries about storage, backup, site maintenance, etc is all taken care of by Spaces.  The changes Spaces made to the photo control a few months ago all make sense now, as it is not only possible but easy to embed slide shows or photos, hosted on Spaces, almost anywhere.  Oh, and by the way, this all works very nicely in Windows Live Writer, making the suite of services all working together quite powerful.