Is Shoebox the best video and photo storage app? How does it compare with other similar programs? Get the answers you need in this blog post.
RELATED: How Does Dropbox Work?
In this post:
- What Makes Shoebox Different from the Other Storage Apps
- The Benefits of Shoebox
- The Limitations of the Apps
- Update Regarding Shoebox’s Shutdown
Shoebox for Photo and Video Storage | Why Do You Need It?
What Makes Shoebox Different from the Other Storage Apps
Question: What do you think about Shoebox for photo and video storage? – Pat S. from Birmingham, Alabama
Answer: When it comes to the best photo storage, the list is getting longer. There are a lot of services and programs you can use to back up your photos or videos on their smartphone. Most of these services use Cloud storage, which can automatically back up files.
- iPhone users can use iCloud photo backup.
- Those with an Android device can get well-rated storage apps in the Google Play Store.
- Google users can choose Google Drive.
These apps may be some of the best online photo storage options, but they have a common limitation. They offer only a limited amount of free storage. If you want more, you have to pay for it. Shoebox is different since it can provide free unlimited storage for your photos. You can also use the app for online video storage.
You may say, “Well, Amazon has it as well.” It’s true, but it can also cost a lot of money at $59 per year. It can’t save videos either.
The Benefits of Shoebox
Shoebox is a popular video and storage option. Here are some reasons why users love it:
1. It Supports a Wide Variety of Platforms
Some media storage programs work on Android phones or iOS devices only. There are web apps that can’t do syncing with mobile devices. Shoebox can support different platforms. These include:
If you’re using Windows, the program is compatible with even the older versions such as XP and Vista. It becomes valuable when you already have old photos or videos you’ve taken pre-smartphone era. Note, though, Windows no longer provides support for the legacy versions. It means you can no longer receive security patches or fixes for bugs.
Overall, as long as the device has a newer mobile app version, there’s a high chance it can work with Shoebox. It also doesn’t just back up on these devices but also allows syncing. This way, you can access the same file in your tablet, laptop, desktop, and browser.
On a final note, if you only take a handful of photos and videos with your phone, stick with iCloud (iPhone only), Google Drive, or Dropbox. If you have hundreds of these media files, pick Shoebox. If you want to maintain the quality of your photo and video, consider upgrading to Pro, which costs only $5 monthly.
2. It Can Store an Unlimited Number of Photos
What sets the Shoebox app different from all the others is the number of photos it can save: unlimited. You get this same benefit whether you are using the Free or the Pro version. I bet there’s no better combination than “unlimited” and “free.”
3. It Has a High Level of Security
Photos and videos can still be sources of vital personal information. To increase online security, the program uses a sophisticated encryption system used by the government and banks. It also creates multiple copies of the same images and stores them in various locations. This way, you always have the chance to retrieve the Shoebox photos and videos at any time. It is especially helpful during disaster recovery.
4. It Can Automatically Back Up the Media Files
If you worry you may forget backing up certain photos or videos, you can let Shoebox solve that for you. It can automatically store the media files in the cloud as long as the app is running. If you don’t want to do that, you can change the settings and select the device locations you wish to back up.
5. You Can Store Videos in HD
Shoebox reviews call the app one of the best online video storage choices because it can keep high-quality videos. To be specific, you can save your copies in HD with hardly any loss in quality.
The Limitations of the Apps
The list of benefits above may make Shoebox the holy grail of online photo and video storage, but it’s not. It also has limitations such as the following:
1. The Quality of Videos and Photos May Be Different
Shoebox may not upload your photos using their original quality. As of writing, the app limits the photo quality to 10.6 megapixels. If your camera is capable of taking a 14-megapixel photo, it will be slightly downgraded to 10.6 megapixels once it moves to the program.
Fortunately, if you’re using an iPhone, this is a non-issue. Even the newest iPhone XS only has a 12-megapixel camera. Unless you’re taking professional photos, this program may do just fine. The 10.6-megapixel capability is way more than enough to print any kind of standard photos. That is if you even care about printing them.
2. Video Storage Is Not Unlimited
The free Shoebox plan offers unlimited storage for photos only. For video, you only get 15 minutes of video backup. For each video, it allocates up to 3 minutes. It may also “re-encode” the video, which means the quality may still change. Even the Pro plan doesn’t give you a lot of video storage. At most, you can have 10 hours’ worth of backup.
3. It May Not Back Up When You Are Low in Battery
The app has the tendency to pause syncing when it senses you’re already losing your battery life. It may also require an Internet connection to back up and sync across devices, which may drain its power further.
Update Regarding Shoebox’s Shutdown
On April 23, 2019, Shoebox announced that they would be shutting down its services. The company didn’t mention the reasons behind the shutdown.
Can I view the photos and videos I saved on Shoebox?
The shutdown process ended on June 2, 2019. This means you can no longer browse your photos and videos in Shoebox’s various applications.
How to Export Your Shoebox Storage
The good news is that Shoebox provided a limited time window where you can export your Shoebox photos and move them to another place. It’s recommended to do this as soon as possible.
Here’s what you need to know about retrieving your files if you’re an existing Shoebox user.
From Shoebox to iOS:
- Open the Shoebox app on your iOS device.
- Tap “Profile,” then select “Settings.”
- Tap on the “Export Collection” option.
- Select the option to export all of your photos and videos from Shoebox to your iOS device.
From Shoebox to Android:
- Open the Shoebox app on your Android device.
- Tap “Profile,” then select “Settings.”
- Tap on the “Export Collection” option.
- Select the option to export all of your photos and videos from Shoebox to your Android device.
- Open this link on your computer’s browser.
- Sign in to your Shoebox account.
- Select “Export to This Computer”.
- Follow the instructions to download all your Shoebox photos and videos to your computer.
Important Note: Your photos will be exported to the highest resolution you can download with according to your plan.
Will I Get a Refund If I Subscribed to Shoebox Pro?
All Shoebox Pro subscribers automatically receive a partial refund for the unused subscription period. You don’t need to do anything to receive the refund.
It may take up to 30 days for the refunded amount to be reflected in your credit card.
- If you subscribed to a monthly subscription — You’ll receive a refund for your latest monthly payment.
- If you subscribed to an annual subscription — You’ll receive a refund for the time remaining on your subscription.
How Much of a Refund Will Do I Get for Additional Video Storage?
If you purchased additional storage within 90 days since the shutdown was announced, you’ll get an automatic refund. No need to do anything but wait.
Otherwise, if it’s been more than 90 days, you would have to request a refund yourself.
- iOS: Follow the instructions on this link for Apple App Store payments.
- Android: For Google Play Store purchases, send an email through this link with the email you used to purchase the extra storage written on the email body.
What are Some Shoebox Photo Storage Alternatives?
- Google Photos: Google Photos can back up an unlimited amount of photos (as long as they’re 16MP and below for photos, and 1080p below for videos). You can access your photos anywhere through its mobile apps and website.
- Dropbox: Dropbox is another cross-platform solution that allows for automatic backups. You can also use the apps to have your photos and videos uploaded as soon as you save them
- iCloud: For iOS users, iCloud Photos is a good option that seamlessly integrates with your iOS devices.
Digital files are certainly the way to go if you want to save yourself from the extra work that comes with storing physical photos. If you still have traditional photos and want to store them digitally, you can try converting them into digital files by scanning them using a scanner (or if you have it, a mobile photo scanner).
It’s certainly the way to go if want to have the security of knowing your wedding photos, family photos, and other precious memories are preserved and safely stored somewhere.
What do you think of Shoebox? Share your opinions below. Do you have a question for Mr. Noobie? Submit your question here.
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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on March 14, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.