Photosynth: User Review

By Sunshine | In News | Posted August 21, 2008 5 comments

As Kip mentioned in his post about the Photosynth release, I’ve been playing about with Photosynth. I was that is, ’til it decided it won’t publish any more of my Synths. I made two, deleted one and then it’s seems to get stuck on publishing with every next one I’ve tried. I’m not the only one with this issue either, an employee just answered it has to do with the writing to the back-end which can take some time especially if the server load is high…I’ll leave the current try open then and be patient (fingers crossed). Hope it’s just start-up issues, just as PhotoZoom took ages to render at the beginning too.

Anyway, what can I tell you about it so far? Let’s start by showing you a video from the Photosynth Team on how to make a Synth:

Video: Photosynth

Now you have some impression, on to my personal experience with it.

After failing to create an account directly on the website from the Sign-in page found on


I went ahead and downloaded/installed it. You will get to the install by clicking on the “Go” button on the Home page

PS-Go PhotosynthInstall

Please note the minimum system requirements in the screenshot above. Installing went like a breeze, quick and easy as did creating a profile (account) from the app itself. You get prompted to create one and led to the site to create the profile, after which you can return to the Photosynth app to create your synth.

PS-create profile 

So after that I was wondering what to make a Synth of, hmmm tough one…decided to make one of a wooden fish from Mexico that I got from my neighbour as a present (watching his house when he’s on hols). So after taking loads of pictures of the fish I started the Photosynth app, named the Synth, added in all the pictures, chose a thumbnail and clicked the Synth button to upload.

PS-app  PS-completed

Only 53% synthy, bah, well I guess it’s not that easy to get a 100% synthy one with an object…first try though and as with everything practice makes the master. What also helps is to read the The Photosynth Photography Guide (1Mbyte pdf).

Back to my first try, now it’s up there I want to share it, how can we do that? We can copy and paste the URL into an email message or click the “Share” button (the envelope) on the bottom right of the Synths’s page. The button to the left of that one is to get the embed code so you can share it on your own site/blog or social networking sites such as Windows Live Spaces.


Now what’s that flag doing there? Well that is to report that Synth (Photosynth Code of Conduct). When you click on it you get a code you have to paste into the Abuse Reporting Form linked to in that same window.

Curious how my first try worked out? Here it is, using the embed code given:

Have fun with Photosynth, you have 20 GB of space at your disposal, this adds to the already existing amount of storage you get from Microsoft.

Participate on the forums
Photosynth Blog
Press Release (includes 4 videos of Microsoft Live Labs introducing Photosynth)
Integrating Photosynth with Virtual Earth

Update: In another forum thread ScottF (employee) replied that uploads have been disabled for now while they try and fix the problems that arose. So no more play for now, not even for Scott. Let’s hope they sort it soon!

Posted August 21st, 2008 at 10:34 pm
Category: News
Tags: PhotoSynth
  • Matt doesn’t load…. seems that IE can’t find the page. is this just my computer?

  • Sunshine

    It’s not your computer Matt, it’s loading every now and then and if it does it be in limited mode. Just a minute ago I saw a message in my embedded Synth here saying:

    “The Photosynth site is a little overwhelmed just now. While we’re reviving it you can still install the viewer and check out some amazing synths. Download and install our viewer, and then refresh this page.

    Can’t get enough of Photosynth? Please check out our blog or join us for general discussion on our community site hosted by Get Satisfaction.”

    Looks like they weren’t quite prepared for the demand.

    Reply at their forum:
    “Photosynth has been under incredible demand since we released late yesterday evening. Getting ready for the launch we did massive amounts of performance testing, built capacity model after capacity model, and yet with all of that, you threw so many uploads at the service we had to throttle them back for a few hours.

    At the same time, we tried to tweak a few database settings to allow us to handle more uploads and inadvertently introduced a bug that is causing a small percent of synths to fail with an error code or hang right at the end. We’re rolling back that change now and that should fix the majority of those errors.

    While that is being fixed, we are adding capacity as fast as we can and letting in more and synthers. Keep trying, but it might be a few hours before we can get everyone in. In the mean time, we hope you will check out our “How to Synth” video, grab a camera, head outside and start taking pictures for the next awesome synth.

    No excuses; just the facts on why you are seeing these issues. We really appreciate the enthusiasm and are hard at work ironing out the issues and adding more capacity.”

  • Sunny

    It’s not possible to embed a Synth to Windows Live Spaces. Because spaces doesn’t support Iframes. :-/

  • Sunny

    well, not in a blog entry

  • Sunshine


    You can in the Sandbox Module ;)