Extracted from a February 26, 2006 posting on IT News Online
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Printing is the Best Way to Save Digital Photos Says Doug Rowan
IT News Online Staff

ZoomAlbum said that as consumers rapidly shift from film cameras to digital, one of the biggest challenges facing the industry is making it as easy to get a print from a digital camera as it is from a film camera. Today it remains that the primary way people share and enjoy photographs is through prints, albums and scrapbooks.

"With film cameras, consumers are used to shooting a roll, dropping it off at the 24-hour pick-up, and saying, 'I'll take one or two prints.' It was drop-dead simple to make prints that you could instantly share, archive or organize in a scrapbook or album to look at later," said Doug Rowan, CEO of ZoomAlbum Inc., who is regarded as pioneer and leading driver of digital imaging and content management.

Rowan said that the great thing about digital cameras is you can take many more pictures than with a film camera. Unfortunately, once you get to 500-1,000 digital images, it gets pretty hard to organize, catalog, and create a "digital shoebox" to easily and quickly find the pictures you want.

If you could create a "digital shoe box" you would still face two major problems:
- How do I find the picture I want?
- How can I be sure that the digital shoebox will last over time?

Relying on hard disks or CDs or DVDs as the best storage option for the digital shoebox is risky. Digital, while a superb storage media, also lays a trap: many consumers believe that digital images will last and stay unchanged forever. This is false. For the safety and protection of their images, consumers should assume that every hard disk will fail; and that almost all CD-ROMS or DVDs will have a life of less than ten years.

"If you want a picture to be around for future generations: you should print it on archival paper. Then you can scrapbook it, because with scrapbooking you can tell a story and not just have a collection of photos," said Rowan.

One way to solve this problem is to provide consumers with an easy way to scrapbook their digital images in a printed photo format that:
- Offers a seamless way to sort, choose and arrange images for easy printing on photo paper that fits into an Inkjet printer
- Provides formatted, high-quality glossy photographic prints that can be folded and fit into an album cover with simple adhesive
- Uses a protective hard cover to safeguard photos from the damaging effects of light and the wear and tear of handling.

Rowan also offers this piece of advice: "When making the print decision, consumers must take care to choose carefully and select the right printer, printer paper and the ink to ensure long-life. Use photo albums to tell a story, as opposed to creating ones that just have photos matted down; and try to add text, so that the person in the photo is 'talking' and the album itself tells a story."