Friday, December 16, 2011

Finally I got Android Market on Kindle Fire

Finally, after couple unsuccessful attempts of installing Android Market without rooting my device, I decided to root it. Thanks to The Unofficial Kindle Fire Blog article I was convinced that I can unroot it later.

[caption id="attachment_914" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Android SDK Manager"]Android SDK Manager[/caption]

I already got few first steps covered cause I got Java Development KitMicrosoft .NET Framework and Android SDK installed. I had to download SuperOneClick. Since I haven't done any development on Android besides trying to setup some samples to run on emulator my KIndle Fire was not detected. Amazon Appstore Developer FAQ got precise description (PDF) how to make it happen. The missing step was to update USB driver in Windows Device Manager with the one that Google provides with Android SDK. Unfortunately reboot is required on Windows. After that I could follow steps, run SuperOneClick and reboot Kindle Fire.

[caption id="attachment_915" align="aligncenter" width="175" caption="Android Market"]Android Market[/caption]

Installing Android Market was actually a little bit complicated. Again I got few steps covered by my previous attempts. I already tried to sideload some apps and this option is enabled on my device. In addition it is possible to install GoogleServicesFramework.apk without rooting device so I did it when I was loading some other Google apps. I only needed actual Market app (Vending.apk)and something given in this recipe: MarketOpener.apk. Up to this point it was going according to the plan. Then next step filed. I do not know what is wrong with current version of File Expert available on Amazon Appstore but it does not properly copy files to /system/app directory. Be aware that version 4.0.3 is not working with his recipe. I was trying to copy or cut Vending.apk from my Download directory and paste it to /system/app but it did not happen. I found Root Exploder on this blog. It was able to complete what File Expert could not do. I was able to change permissions of Vending.apk and install MarketOpener.apk. After rebooting I connected my device to my desktop machine and run SuperOneClick to unroot it. Now Androit Makert is functional. Of course it can only allow to install applications that Google marks as compatible with Kindle Fire (sometimes Amazon marks app compatible while Google claims is not).


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

First real problems with Kindle Fire

I must admit I has been trying different apps like crazy, downloading games for my daughter, trying to side load Google Apps, trying if "officially" unsupported apps really cannot run, etc. So far it was pretty nice experience. If something does not work I simply removed it from device.

My first problem happen during when my Thanksgiving trip to Lake Tahoe in Sierra Nevada. Wi-Fi in hotel was slower than mobile connection. I got couple apps stuck in install in progress state. There is no way to stop it, uninstall them or re-download. When I returned home I tried to contact Amazon Customer Service but so far I could find a competent representative. Eventually they asked me to send logs from device. Guess what, their mailbox was overflown with emails and message was returned :-) As a bonus I learned that if you type ;dm in a search box it dumps logs to KindleLogs directory.

Another problem bricked my device for a while. I am using Kid Mode app which hijacks home button so kids cannot go out and do other things. It crashed and after rebooting I got blank white screen instead of Amazon Launcher. Again I had no lack with customer support call. They asked me to fully charge device, reboot and call them back in few hours. In meanwhile I figured out that if I kill Kid Mode app, release Home button from it I eventually got asked to choose default app to be associated with Home button. I chose Launcher and voila I am back. Good thing is that Kid Mode can reestablish child lock when I run it again so everything is back to normal.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011 celebrates 60th anniversary of Stanislaw Lem first book

The Astronauts (in Polish Astronauci) is the first science fiction novel by Polish writer Stanisław Lem published as a book, in 1951. Today published a doodle to celebrate this date.

[caption id="attachment_907" align="aligncenter" width="411" caption="60th anniversary of Stanislaw Lem first book"]60th anniversary of Stanislaw Lem first book[/caption]


Screenshots on Kindle Fire with Dalvik Debug Monitor

Kindle Fire ships with a debugging tool called the Dalvik Debug Monitor Server (DDMS). When you connect device with USB cable you can use ddms utility from Android SDK to take screenshots of device screen without rooting it. If you already have debugging environment set up all you need is to run this utility and take screenshot any time you want. If you do not have it read this article from Pigs, Gourds and Wikis blog.

Hopefully soon we can hear that somebody discovers how to make it on device without debugging it :-)


Friday, November 18, 2011

Google Apps on Kindle Fire

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="307" caption="xda-developers"]xda-developers[/caption]

Thanks to xda-developers forum I got most of Google Apps working on Kindle Fire without rooting a device. Article on the forum keeps changing so maybe later you can find more information.

  1. I downloded GApps archive from link provided in the post.

  2. Unpacked files and copied to connected Kindle Fire download folder.

  3. Using ES File Explorer from installed from Amazon Appstore navigate to where I got .apk files

  4. First installed GoogleServicesFramework.apk and restarted device.

  5. Later I was trying different apps:
    Maps - worked
    Reader - worked
    Gmail - worked
    Youtube - worked
    Street View - installed but there is no app icon to click. Maybe I need to launch it from Maps?
    Books - worked
    Google+ - worked

  6. I did not try Talk and Voice cause it makes no sense running it on device without camera and microphone.

  7. I did not try Market cause I read reports that it would require rooting to make it work

I only briefly run all this apps so there is no guarantee that somewhere down the road some functionality is not working. I have seen few error messages on the way so maybe it's not as good as it seems :-)


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kindle Fire Newsstand

I haven't had paper magazine subscription for couple years but now I got this new media consuming device so I wanted to try how it works in digital era. I subscribed to two trials of cooking magazines cause it seems like most practical things I might use.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="470" caption="Kindle Fire Newsstand"]Kindle Fire Newsstand[/caption]

Selection was quite limited so my favorite Cuisine At Home was not available. I chose  Bon Apetit and Everyday Food. First impression is that they look quite like real versions. But there is a catch, all this pretty photos take a lot of space and on digital reader space is limited so I hope that there is a way to store everything in Amazon Cloud otherwise if I got couple subscriptions I will run out of space pretty soon. Second, I do like that half of the pages are ads. Did not I paid for subscription? Why I have to still download all this commercial payload? In traditional newspaper model for years people tolerated this double dipping model cause it did not cost them money. When you got newspaper which 20% is actual content you most likely discard unwanted ad pages. You cannot do that with digital file. First it is in one piece, second, it is DRM protected. In result you got crippled product and you have to pay for storage or bandwith. I think publishers need to change their distribution model if they want to be success in digital age. Right now they just repackage their current junk and hope people will buy it as they used to.


My short wishlist for Kindle Fire

I have played with Kindle Fire for two evenings my experience is quite positive. It does a lot of things right but there is a small number of things I wish to be there but I could not find a solution for it so far.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="470" caption="Kindle Fire"]Kindle Fire[/caption]

  1. Some way to group/organize apps. Maybe folders or pages but if typical user downloads a lot of stuff in a first week it is pretty messy. Maybe it is there but I haven't read manual :-)

  2. Cloud printing solution. I wish it could be easy to print from this device. Some apps claim support of Google Cloud Print but reviews do not confirm that. I need to do more research on that.

  3. Screen shots, the best thing would be system wide gesture similar to Print Screen command on Windows. Right now I am not going to root my brand new device in order to check some screen capturing apps.

  4. Screen mirroring to allow stream my Prime videos on big TV in my living room. Something similar to AirPlay. Tried iMediaShare app andit islimited to it's own channels. AppleTV support is in Beta and for me only worked with Picasa photos. I was not able to stream movies. On the other hand DLNA support seems to be be pretty good. Worked with my Samsung TV without any problems. I am still waiting for doubleTwist + AirSync update. Right now it is not compatible with Kindle Fire and it is hard to tell if it can mirror screen.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kindle Fire Initial Thoughts

Yesterday I received my pre-ordered Kindle Fire. First I must state that I have no prior experience with tablets or iOS so I am not going to compare my experience with Kindle Fire to anything else.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="470" caption="Kindle Fire"]Kindle Fire[/caption]

I was surprised with minimalistic packaging. When you open box that Amazon ships you will find only slate wrapped in plastic and small card. The card describes how to turn device on and how to unlock the screen. That's it. No user manuals, warranty cards, special offers. You also get small micro USB power supply but I bet you can charge Kindle from any USB port on your computer if you already got this type of cable.

Initial setup.
First step shown after pressing power button (I am not sure, but most likely device was only in sleep mode) is Wi-Fi setup. It worked without problems with my router. So far I haven't seen any connection drops. I got NetgearWNR2200 in 300Mbps mode and AppleTV2 is constantly dropping connections so I was skeptical but KF seems to handle it better. Second step was downloading of OS update and it took a while but no problems to report. At the end I asked about my identity. It looks like it was preloaded with my data so I did not have to enter anything about my Amazon account. It just registered my device.

User experience.
Finally it shows main screen which looks like bookshelf. Kindle Fire does not have any buttons so most of apps got think belt at the bottom of the screen to activate toolbar. It is not a big deal when you get used to it but some applications not written for Kindle Fire might have part of their screen covered by it. Device comes preloaded with all Amazon Android apps and without any Google apps. If you stay in Amazon ecosystem it might be sufficient. So far I cannot tell when I need to get something from outside. One of the applications I was counting to get was doubleTwist which is not supported yet.

When you looks at your shelf you might noticed that some stuff is on your device but a lot of media is offloaded to Amazon Cloud. I am ok with it. I already uploaded my music to their cloud so I can stream it instantly on this device. All my Kindle books also appeared automatically but when I tried to open Kindle downloaded a book from net. When you buy app from you desktop computer browser it will end up in a cloud too. You have to install it to the device later.

1-Click everywhere.
If you are Amazon Prime user and got it turned on you will noticed that it's extremely easy to shop with this device. It never asks you any questions so I am a little concerned if I can give it to my daughter. She might buy something without even knowing it.

I read reviews comparing this device to other tablets claiming slow performance and limited experience. Yes it is not iPad2 or any high-end Android tablet but if you are only interested in consuming media and you are Amazon customer it could be sufficient. I haven't tested any games that require a lot of GPU power but for casual gamer mostly playing flash games on internet it was fast enough. There are many things I haven't touched so far so later I might have different opinion. Right now I think that for average consumer it will be sufficient.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Extended license on Shutterstock - Racetrack Playa

One of my favorite photos, I have been there only two times so far and this photo comes from my first trip. It is two hours drive one way from Ubehebe Crater on a pretty rough road which does not require 4x4 but if you do not have it you would be extremely slow. If you reach it you will see sailing stones a geological phenomenon where rocks move in long tracks along a smooth valley floor without human or animal intervention.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="301" caption="Racetrack Playa"]Racetrack Playa[/caption]

Racetrack Playa is a seasonally dry lake (a playa) located in the northern part of the Panamint Mountains in Death Valley National Park, California.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

July 2011 Earnings Breakdown

After almost record last month I did not expect much from current result. Still it was 4th best month overall and 3rd best on SS. DT bounced back from the bottom, it was best month for them this year. 123RF was on the other hand having 2nd worst month of this year. FT was also down and IS almost repeated result from last four months. SXP continues to disappoint and it was beaten by CSP. Veer and BS added few sales this month.

Jully 2011JulyJuly/JuneRPD











































[caption id="attachment_880" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="2011 July Microstock"]2011 July Microstock[/caption]


Friday, July 22, 2011

Extended license on Shutterstock - Big Sur HDR

This time I sold extended license of the image I made in Big Sur. I am not doing it as often I I could cause I simply forget shoot with exposure bracketing. Image has been processed in Photomatix.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Big Sur"]Big Sur[/caption]

Big Sur is a sparsely populated region of the central California coast where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Extended license on Shutterstock - NYC

This is probably going to be my best selling image after another extended license sold today.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="NYC"]NYC[/caption]

I have noticed that this image was used on for Sylvania SYTAB10MT 10-Inch Magni Tablet

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Sylvania SYTAB10MT 10-Inch Magni Tablet"]Sylvania SYTAB10MT 10-Inch Magni Tablet[/caption]


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

June 2011 earnings breakdown

With couple more dollars it would be the best month of this year thanks to strong performance from SS and 123RF. For the later one it was actually best month this year. These two delivered almost 80% of total revenue. Rest of the top 5 was around 15% and way below last month’s results. SXP is slowly falling into non-existence. ThinkStock earning are roughly 20% of what SXP used to be.

Comparing RPD we again see increase at SS and 123RF and drop on 4 other top agencies. Since on most of the sites I do not have enough volume to properly judge these numbers I can only talk about trend here. Also I am trying to get out from partner programs on IS which immediately caused huge jump in RPD there since subs from ThinkStock are no longer reported for them.

May 2011MayMay/AprRPD

[caption id="attachment_870" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="June 2011 Microstock"]June 2011 Microstock[/caption]

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

CEL sold on 123rf

For quite long time I have not seen any extended license sold on 123RF. This time it is a photo of Polish Easter babka I had made couple years ago.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Easter Babka"]Easter Babka[/caption]

Babka is a spongy yeast cake that is traditionally baked for Easter Sunday in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Western Russia


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Extended license on Shutterstock - San Jose City Hall

First day of the month brought me nice surprise, extended license sale on Shutterstock. I have been selling quite a few images from San Jose, California recently so it must by something going on :-)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="San Jose City Hall"]San Jose City Hall[/caption]

The current City Hall of San José California was opened to the public on October 15, 2005, and is located at 200 East Santa Clara Street, San José, California. It was designed by Richard Meier.


May 2011 earnings breakdown

My total earning from all agencies went up 30% in comparison to April which I did not report here because of my trip to my homeland. It was quite a surprise to find out that it was also best month overall this year. It was mostly because unexpected extended licenses from Veer. It also shows how week are my sales at other agencies. It is so easy to grab second spot if there are extended licenses sold. SS was first as usual but it is quite interesting how others are trending. 123RF keeps going up every month and this one was actually best in current year. FT peaked in April and May was slightly worse but still way better than at the beginning of this year. DT also had best month this year. SXP is just so unpredictable. I am not even sure if they are able to count sales properly since every month when it is time to report they post and change result couple times. On other fronts I see almost no movements, I can sell a few photos a month or none.


May 2011MayMay/AprRPD
CS0.22% 0.25


[caption id="attachment_862" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Microstock 2011-05"]Microstock 2011-05[/caption]


Friday, May 27, 2011

First extended lincense sold on Veer

After long time of no activity I finally I got 3 sales on one image. Two of them where extended license. Apparently somebody bought image first for normal price then purchased additional licenses: Unlimited reproduction and Multi-user.

It was one of my travel shots I took in Balboa Park in San Diego.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Balboa Park"]Balboa Park[/caption]


Friday, April 8, 2011

Another extended license on Carlsbad Caverns photo

I sold EL for this photo in March and now I got another one.  Surprising development because usually nature photos are not big sellers.
Carlsbad Caverns
Carlsbad Caverns

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a United States National Park located in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico.The primary attraction of the park for most visitors is the show cave, Carlsbad Caverns. Visitors to the cave can hike in on their own via the natural entrance, or take the elevator (the exit for everyone) directly to the Underground Lunchroom some 750 feet (230 m) below.


Friday, April 1, 2011

March 2011 earnings breakdown

Total earning went down 13% comparing to record breaking last month so I would say it is not bad at all. Usual leader SS also got less than in February but it is much better than at the beginning of this year. Most surprising are results from DT and FT. FT got 62% better results and DT 16% better. If I look back, last month, DT was 109% better than in previous month and FT was 50% better. It looks like both are growing. 123RF on the other hand is slowly declining. For a first time in many months it is not on a second place. When I look at further positions there is very little going on. IS is declining because of lower number of subscriptions sold on ThinkStock.  I still do not have many hopes about SXP and CSP with few sales per entire month. Conclusion is similar to the one I got month ago, stick to top agencies.

March 2011MarchMar/FebRPD


[caption id="attachment_840" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="2011 March Microstock"]2011 March Microstock[/caption]


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

First extended license in March

A little surprise at the end of month was selling one of my oldest photos on Shutterstock.  In 2005 I spent a week in New Mexico and one of the places I visited was Carlsbad Caverns.  It is a biggest cave I have ever seen.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Carlsbad Caverns"]Carlsbad Caverns[/caption]

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a United States National Park located in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico.The primary attraction of the park for most visitors is the show cave, Carlsbad Caverns. Visitors to the cave can hike in on their own via the natural entrance, or take the elevator (the exit for everyone) directly to the Underground Lunchroom some 750 feet (230 m) below.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

February 2011 earnings breakdown

My total earning from all agencies went up 53%, that great when you do not compare how each agency performed. Also comparing to January which was pretty bad start of the year means that it is only coming back to normal levels. SS as usual was number one with second best month ever. DT and FT rebound from very low results I have been observing for last couple months. 123RF is still slightly below average which is enough to score second place. IS is again showing its aspirations to claim fifth spot which was grabbed by SXP combined results from last 3 months showing as earned in February. Mentioned partner program on IS and SXP seems to be a total disaster. Not only they are always behind the schedule but also numbers are not looking too good. Accounting error again? Maybe they simple cannot provide volume of subscriptions comparable to SS. I opted out on IS and I will watch it only on SXP (no other option is possible). RPD is slightly up but again not as good as in couple last months of last year. What about others? I got nothing to say here. Everything below top 6 is just statistical error. I am uploading only to agencies that produce some result every month.

February 2011FebruaryFeb/JanRPD


[caption id="attachment_830" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Microstock 2011 FEB"]Microstock 2011 FEB[/caption]



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Third extended license this month.

This time it is a picture of my daughter playing on the beach. I wonder who/where it going to be used.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Playing on the beach"]Playing on the beach[/caption]


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Second extended license this month

This time usual stuff, landscape shot taken at Bodega Head. Three days of February and two extended licenses already. I wish I got got one every second day :-)

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Bodega Head"]Bodega Head[/caption]


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January 2011 earnings breakdown

It looks like this year’s start was quite slow. All top 5 agencies results, besides 123RF, were below expectations. My total earning went down 25% from December. Unfortunately IS partner program result are always late so I might be missing half of earnings there. It’s interesting that IS got usually one of the highest RPD when only earning reported are from main site when I add lots of 25 cents subscriptions from ThinkStock RPD drops to one of the lowest. SXP failed to post results from November, I guess I have report them in February. We got huge mess here. I can only hope Veer would generate more to cover losses I got at SXP. I do not have many expectations for any other sites. Results are at most random to see any potential.

[caption id="attachment_822" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="2011 JAN Microstock"]2011 JAN Microstock[/caption]

January 2011JanuaryJan/DecRPD


Strawberry tiramisu - extended license sold

Never in almost 3 years of doing microstock I got extended license sold on first day of the month. Also I am happy that for a first time it a photo of cake I made, strawberry tiramisu.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Strawberry Tiramisu"]Strawberry Tiramisu[/caption]

I think I am going to post translation of this recipe I got from

Ingredients: 400 ml of sweetened condensed milk (I added about 200 ml), 500 g of mascarpone, 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 large package of lady fingers biscuits, 3 / 4 kg of strawberries, juice of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons sugar, fruit vodka or plum brandy.

Strawberry Tiramisu

Wash strawberries, cut into quarters, add sugar and lemon juice, let stand for half an hour (at the time should come off strawberry juice). Mascarpone (taken out straight from the fridge) put into a bowl, add vanilla extract, whipped and fluffy. Gradually add condensed milk. Biscuits placed in a spring form pan, soak them in plenty of vodka. Put half the strawberries (with sauce), so half of the curd. Repeat these steps. Garnish with strawberries, or leave the cheese smooth. Put into the fridge for 8-10 hours.

I used apricot brandy instead of fruit vodka.


Friday, January 21, 2011

2000 images at Fotolia

Today Fotolia accepted my 2000th image. Fotolia had more than 800,000 members who had uploaded more than 4.2 million images so I am still small fry in a big sea :-)

Overall rank     8900
7 days rank     10250

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Maya's Christmas"]Maya's Christmas[/caption]


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

iPhone 4 on Verizon

I am not sure if I should be happy or start crying. On good side I am probably eligible to upgrade but on the other hand the worst carrier in San Francisco Bay area will get more traffic when many people who were waiting for this get iPhone or switch from other carriers. I cannot make or receive phone calls at my workplace in Palo Alto using this "most reliable" network. It does not work at home in Mountain View without extender either. Friends on any other networks here do not have this problems. Now I am stack for one more year and I am sorry that I switched.

[caption id="attachment_812" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="IPhone 4 on Verizon"]IPhone 4 on Verizon[/caption]


Monday, January 10, 2011

Slow-carb diet - Day 1

Today I started my slow-carb diet, which is based on eating foods with a low-glycemic index. Foods with a low GI break down glucose in your body slowly, keeping your blood sugar levels constant throughout the day. I have to avoid all bread, rice (including brown), cereal, potatoes, pasta, tortillas, and fried food with breading. I can eat as much as I want of the following foods: proteins (lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and cottage cheese); vegetables (except white potatoes); legumes (peas, lentils, beans, and nuts); and healthy fats (fish oil, saturated fat, olive oil and flax seed). Unfortunately also fruits and juices are also out unless you're doing so within 30 minutes after a workout.

My initial parameters:

Body Fat30.5%
Total Inches150.5

Hopefully weather will improve. My morning rides are not very pleasant. It was not coldest day of this year but for it was in low 40s.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Top 15 images

I have been submitting to microstock agencies for 32 months and still I am feeling like very serious hobbyist. Starting with my collection of landscape and travel shots I learned that it's not most profitable niche in microstock. Your images got buried in a pile million images from all over the world. Still my two best earners are representing this category:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="NYC"]NYC[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Mission San Francisco de Asis"]Mission San Francisco de Asis[/caption]

Later I realized that microstock best images are actually model released photographs. I was not ready to throw money and hiring models so I decided to shoot me and my family.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Father having fun with his daughter on the beach. "]Father having fun with his daughter on the beach. [/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Mother is feeding little girl"]Mother is feeding little girl[/caption]

When you have infant at home your travel options are limited but still I was able to get some sales from the stuff I did before.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Lake Tahoe"]Lake Tahoe[/caption]

Then your child start walking which again opens possibilities for exploring outdoors together.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Assisted walking"]Assisted walking[/caption]

You cannot go very far so your are happy that old stuff still sells.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Hang gliding"]Hang gliding[/caption]

You start visiting places like museums and aquariums.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Chrysaora fuscescens"]Chrysaora fuscescens[/caption]

It seems like my other subjects never got much traction. Still I am mostly selling my old collection of nature and travel shots.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Lake Shasta Caverns "]Lake Shasta Caverns [/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="301" caption="Racetrack Playa"]Racetrack Playa[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Bodie, California"]Bodie, California[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Bixby Bridge"]Bixby Bridge[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Wrangell-St. Elias National Park"]Wrangell-St. Elias National Park[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Big Sur "]Big Sur[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="301" caption="Inca Trail"]Inca trail[/caption]


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010 in microstock

Portfolio size.

It is getting harder to get images accepted in every agency nowadays. All my top 5 agencies rejected much more images than before. Only Fotolia seems to have higher than average acceptance rate. I am sending exactly same images to all sites     and images are randomly accepted or rejected. Most of these agencies sit on millions of images so I expected they will keep rejecting more images to save on storage costs.



Overall, I earned 43% more than in previous year. Not every agency contributed to this result. Shutterstock continues to earn over 50% of my royalties. 123RF is balancing around 15% as it was before. I lost around 10% of income since Getty purchased StockXpert. Images transferred to ThinkStock earn only 2% in comparison to 12% before this change. Also Dreamstime went down from %14 to 8%. On a bright side Fotolia keeps generating errand 5% and IS gives additional 8%. Few smaller sites that did not give any results in 2009 start generating sales which are usually very weak but combined give around 9%. I am not feeling well about depending mostly on income from two agencies. Dreamstime high rejection rates and lower sales make me think that they might next one that is going to sink. I am hoping that somehow Fotolia, CanStockPhoto and Veer would continue to build up momentum. Another question is IStockPhoto. Obviously they start generating me some income but at the same time they drastically lowered contributors royalties so next year might be not as good as it looks now.


The only agency that provides me with some sort of volume is Shutterstock. Others from top 5 are roughly 2/3 of it combined.  Volume is one thing but more interesting factor is how much agency pays for each image sold. For me RPD is usually below $1. Ironically agencies which give better RPD do not generate enough sales. I started suspecting that RPD is inversely proportional to sales :-)


Goals for 2011.

  1. Keep trying to improve results on Shutterstock

  2. Make serious effort to increase portfolio size on IStockPhoto

  3. Continue to upload to Veer

  4. Continue to grow on Fotolia

  5. Test if it is worth uploading to Dreamstime with growing rejections and declining sales

  6. Verify if there is a sense uploading to 123RF. Right now portfolio is huge but sales are stagnant.

  7. Keep trying more with video.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

December 2010 earnings breakdown

December is one of this "shorter" months, because people are just too busy with holidays all over the world so I expected lower than usual sales. It was just 96% of November results so I consider it pretty successful. As usual SS is over 50% of my earnings and 123RF would be second if I did not score one extended sale at CSP. All my other typical top 5 agencies continue to slide down with earnings. FT continue to have a hiccup, one month they do well next one it is very bad. DT barely made average result and IS was below expectations. Anything else is just a statistical error and makes me thinking about focusing only on my top 5 agencies. SXP got an accident this month, first they reported that they sold 10x more than in in the rest of the year this month, then they shut down the site and wiped out results to prevent people from cashing their money. Until now no results from November has been not posted.
[caption id="attachment_794" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="2010 December Microstock"]2010 December Microstock[/caption]

Reviewers were very busy with cleaning their backlogs which must be explanation of much higher then usual rejection rates across the board. RPD was up everywhere so it makes me think that it is inversely proportional to number of downloads :-)

[caption id="attachment_795" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="2010 December Microstock Trend"]2010 December Microstock Trend[/caption]

Dec Dec/Nov RPD
SS 52.00% 92.94% 0.58
CSP 17.29% 14066.67% 3.52
123RF 10.08% 111.51% 0.72
DT 9.14% 94.69% 0.77
IS 5.21% 41.31% 0.91
FT 3.90% 53.04% 0.58
YM 1.02% 2.50
Veer 0.43% 13.04% 1.05
BS 0.82% 57.14% 2.00
CS 0.10% 50.00% 0.25
Total 96.57%