One great feature in AlbumExposure has always been the ability for you to customize the URL in order to make everything on the client side look like it’s coming from your website.  This way, when your clients log in to view their album presentations, it will be all about your brand in every detail.  It has always been our goal to help you keep your brand in front of your clients as much as possible.

Today, we are introducing a new method that is easier to setup than the previous one,  more accessible to all of our users, and offers higher functionality.  Some of you didn’t have access to your server files, which was previously required, so the new DNS customization method will make it easier to setup via your registrar or host.  In addition, you will have the ability to link directly to an album when using your custom domain and can send clients on a more direct path to their albums.  Also, this feature upgrade will fix a few Safari specific browser issues that some of you may have recently noticed.

If you’ve set up masking previously or if this is your first time, please follow these quick steps for setting up the newest method of URL customizing for your account.  You can view a quick video on our tutorials page or walk through the steps and screenshots below.  Please let us know if you have any questions during the setup, we’re more than happy to help get you dialed in with your custom domain!

#1 – Determine your preferred custom domain

The most common subdomain that we see used is ‘albums’ (e.g. http://albums.YourStudio.com).  You could also use ‘proofing’, ‘albumproofing’, or any other subdomain you prefer to fit your website structure.  One important item to note is that you’ll need to use an entire domain or subdomain with no directories (For example, http://YourStudio.com/albums will not work).  Before getting into the next few steps, you’ll want to make sure you know what domain or subdomain you would like to use. In this example, we’re going to set up a subdomain where clients will access our albums at  albums.garysikes.com.

#2 – Create a DNS record at your registrar or host

The first step to setting up your custom URL will not be in AlbumExposure, but rather at your registrar or host – wherever your domain’s DNS is managed.  This will be the same place as your name servers. For example, if your domain is registered with Dynadot, but hosted at DreamHost, and you’re using DreamHost’s nameservers (like ns1.dreamhost.com), your DNS is managed at DreamHost.

Locate your domain (YourStudioDomain.com) in your domain list and click to edit the DNS.  You want to add a new DNS record with a type of CNAME. The name of the record should be your subdomain (such as ‘albums’) and the value ‘albumexposure.com’, which is where you want the record to point.  Then save this new record and you’re done with the second step!  (Note: the new record will often take a minimum of an hour and sometimes longer to become active depending on your registrar or host.)

A few visuals for step #2 from our GoDaddy (registrar) account:

Locating the DNS for my domain and clicking to ‘edit’ the DNS record -

GoDaddy_DomainDetails

 

Adding a record -

GoDaddy_CName

 

#3 – Enter your custom URL in AlbumExposure

The next step will be to tell AE what your custom domain is.  Inside AlbumExposure, visit Settings > Presentations and in the ‘Masked URL’ field, type the full domain you chose in step 1. Make sure you include http:// in front too.

In this example, our full domain is ‘http://albums.garysikes.com’.

AE_EnterMaskedURL

 

#4 – Use your custom domain in your Send Link email template

Your last step will be to edit your send link email template to use your custom domain. Inside AlbumExposure, visit Settings > Communications and inside your template, replace the merge tag ‘{url}’ with ‘{masked_url}’.

AE_EditMergeTag

 

Now on every new album you create moving forward, when you click on Send Link within an album, you’ll see the url populate automatically for you with your custom domain to provide to your client.

AE_ProperLinks

 

Let’s take a look at the results!

Now your clients will only see your custom URL, like it is coming from your website every time.

Your client’s presentation view -

AE_ClientPresentation

 

Please let us know if you need any help getting setup or switching from the old method.  Quick note regarding the old masking method:  If you have any active album links out to clients, you’ll want to leave it as is.  It will not effect the new method or new album links moving forward and album links you have out to clients for the old method will still work properly.  Once all old albums are archived, you can always delete the old masking folder from your server, but leaving it alone will not hurt anything going forward.

If you have any questions or need help setting up your custom domain, feel free to reach out to us at support@albumexposure.com!  We hope this feature update makes it even easier for you to create a great experience for your clients while they enjoy their beautiful album designs.

Best,

The AlbumExposure Team

Updated User Interface!

January 14th, 2014

Hello friends and Happy New Year!

As you may have seen, we’ve kicked off the year by releasing a new update to our User Interface today!

Overall, the design is cleaner and the interactions are more efficient.

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 9.45.25 AM

 

The navigations have also been reorganized.  So, you’ll now find “preferences” under “settings”, where the different types are more clearly separated.  We’re confident this will make it easier for you to manage email and communications now that it’s more readily accessible. As for “billing”, this has been renamed to “subscription” and appropriately moved under “account”, where you can better manage all account items in one location.  Additionally, under “account”, you might notice the ability to have multiple payment methods and addresses. This is a structural change that may benefit you in the near future, but won’t have any immediate impact or require any of your attention currently.

Songs is still a primary navigation, but we’ve updated the page for easier management of your music and better listening tools for previewing songs as you decide what to pair with a particular album design.

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 9.48.02 AM

 

It was time to update the affiliate resources as well, so you’ll see new banner designs and a cleaner interaction.

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.36.44 PM

 

So, the primary purpose of the UI update today is to improve the look, feel, and efficiency of interactions. Underneath it all, this release will also include several structural updates that will set us up to release more features and improvements over the next several months. We hope you enjoy it and look forward to the roll out of more features as well as fun things in the weeks and months to follow.

As always, please feel free to reach out to us at support@albumexposure.com if you have any questions or need help dialing in your workflow!

Cheers, The AlbumExposure Team (Gary, Jared, Jeff, Chris & Ayca)

Hey Friends,

Wanted to let you know about some exciting happenings over here at the AlbumExposure headquarters! Today we are launching a new version of AlbumExposure that has been specifically crafted for design studios. With this new edition has come several improvements to the current photographer edition, so we wanted you to know that you’ll notice a few little changes and updates when you log in the next time. For those of you working with a design studio, post production company, or album company to complete your album designs, you’re going to love the new interactions and if your design studio isn’t using our new edition, you’ll want to tell them about it ASAP.

If you have any questions at all, shoot us a quick email at support@albumexposure.com. We look forward to connecting with you and look forward to hearing your thoughts on the new updates.

This is just the first of some really cool new things we have for you this year, as you discover your perfect album process, so stay tuned and we’ll see some of you at WPPI next week!

We’ll be posting again in the next few days with more details on the new Design Studio Edition, so look for that as well.

Cheers!
The AlbumExposure Team

The Times They Are a-Changin…

October 30th, 2012

Hey there!

In the last couple years we’ve been moving away from Flash technology so we can continue to provide a solution that works flawlessly across all your devices. In an effort to continually embrace cutting-edge technology and increase device support, we’ve just performed a major upgrade to AlbumExposure’s engine.

As a part of this upgrade, we’ve moved away from using Flash technology in our image uploading tool, which means that the image uploading doesn’t work like it used to in older versions of Internet Explorer, but there’s a good reason we’ve gone this route:

Usually technology improves in minor increments, but every now-and-then, a big leap is made. Oftentimes, to take advantage of these, some older technology (like Internet Explorer) has to go the way of the buffalo. Right now, we’re leaving behind Flash technology in our image uploading system so we can make your overall experience better across more devices—especially mobile devices. In other words, to make a yummier omelette, we have to break a few eggs.

In our move away from Flash, we realized more than ever how slow Internet Explorer is to adapt to changing browser technologies. We were aware that earlier versions of IE wouldn’t be compatible with these changes, but we found that IE 9 also does not support the advanced capabilities that we know our users need. Internet Explorer 10 will work, but only if you use Windows 8 as an operating system. Therefore, the easiest solution is to download Firefox or Chrome. We understand this will be a change for some of you, but we promise these browsers have much more to offer and you won’t be disappointed with your decision to move forward.

We’re excited that this update allows for faster uploads, uploads from iOS devices, and the capability to use all features of AlbumExposure on your iPad!

If you have any questions about this change or anything else, please feel free to contact us at  support@albumexposure.com

Thanks!

The AlbumExposure Team

 

P.S. Bob Dylan has approved this message.

 

A short while ago we changed numbering in client presentations to indicate pages rather than spreads because so many of you asked for it.  Once we did, enough of you requested that we change it back that we decided to add the option to do either, with the default to spreads.

This change will take effect on Monday, August 8 at 10 AM PST.  If you have any albums out to clients that you would like to stay presented as pages, make sure you login and indicate that before then.

You’ll find the new option under preferences in your account:

 

Here’s how the presentation looks with the each option:

 

We hope that the change lets you communicate to your clients consistently in your presentations, no matter if you prefer to work with spreads or pages.

Cheers!

We well be down for about one hour (no longer!) From 11PM to 12 PM PDT on Friday May 7.  We’re upgrading our servers in our ongoing effort to give you the best possible experience while using AlbumExposure. Thanks!

Maintenance

September 21st, 2009

AlbumExposure will be unavailable very briefly (15 min or so) today at 18:00 (6 PM) PDT for some scheduled maintenance. We’re doing some upgrades to prepare for a big announcement tomorrow!

Stay tuned!

Flash Player 10 Issue

November 3rd, 2008

If you’ve upgraded to Flash Player version 10, the browse button when uploading images to your albums stops functioning. We’re hoping to have a solution to this today or tomorrow, and will post here as soon as we do.

Thanks for your patience!

11/4/08 :: UPDATE :: We’ve just released an update that resolves this issue. You will however need at least flash player 9 to use the new uploader. If you need to upgrade, you can do that here: “http://adobe.com/go/getflashplayer”:http://adobe.com/go/getflashplayer

Scheduled Maintenance

February 12th, 2008

To improve the performance and reliability of AlbumExposure we will have scheduled downtime starting at 11:00 PM PST Friday, Feb 15. Service will resume as soon as the update is complete, hopefully no more than a few hours.

Leopard Breaks Flash Uploaders

November 13th, 2007

If you have a mac and have recently upgraded to OS X 10.5 Leopard, you’re going to run into problems when trying to upload files to AlbumExposure. This is because Leopard breaks the ability to upload files via flash, which AlbumExposure utilizes.

There are two fixes:

1) Update Leopard to “10.5.1″:http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=306907

2) If for some reason you don’t want to update Leopard, you can correct this issue by installing the latest beta flash player from adobe labs “here”:http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer9.html. Make sure you select “Download Plugin for Mac OS X 10.2 and above”