Share on Ovi system migration woes

A while back, I blogged about how I prefer to use Share on Ovi to share photos, videos and other files online. My excitement dropped a little when a system migration of the site took place recently. The first email I received about the migration says:

As part of improving your experience with Share on Ovi we will be merging our sign in system with Ovi.com in the coming weeks. To ensure your account migrates correctly you will need to follow these instructions immediately.

The above is the first paragraph of a long email. The rest of the message provided instructions on logging into Share on Ovi and Ovi by Nokia to make sure both accounts contain the same verified email address. If you are not familiar with the history of the site, this should sound super confusing. Let’s step back in time for just a moment.

Before July 2007, there was a media sharing site called Twango which was bought out by Nokia and rebranded into Share on Ovi. Meanwhile, Ovi was launched in August 2008 by Nokia as a bundle of internet services that work independently with computers and also with Nokia cellphones. It’s sort of like iTunes offering music and games but it adds the abilities to share media and provide mapping service. Based on this history, I am guessing Share and Ovi existed as two separate systems and Nokia decided to bring them together.

After reading the first email, I logged into Share as instructed and I didn’t see anything I need to do to verify my email address. I don’t have a Nokia cellphone so I didn’t think I have an account at Ovi that I needed to check. I thought this was easy.

Two weeks later, I received another email (below is the first 2 paragraphs, the rest of the message is not crucial info for me):

We are pleased to announce that as part of improving your experience with Share on Ovi we have merged our sign in system with Ovi.com. Now you can sign in to Ovi.com and Share on Ovi with your Ovi.com user name and password.

Please note that as part of the migration we have updated your Share settings with your Ovi.com user name, <username>-share. Your URLs and upload email addresses will change accordingly. You can find these updates by going to your Channels and Channel settings on Share on Ovi.

After reading the second email, I went to Share on Ovi to log in. Things went downhill from there. First, the login page now asks me to sign in to my “Nokia account.” My existing username and password worked fine but all my media files were no longer there. I checked the Share’s blog and learned that the migration created another account for me with “-share” added to my existing username. Then, I tried to log in to my evil twin account but got nowhere. I sent an email to the so-called “hotline” to ask about where my media files have gone.

The timing of this fiasco is bad. It took effect a few days before Christmas. I am sure this is prime time for people to take photos and videos. On top of that, a snow storm hit many parts of the country. My hubby and I took a lot of photos during the storm.

After 1 business day of no response to my cry for help, I read the blog post (which received quite a few complaints in the comments until commenting was closed) again to see if I missed anything. Sure enough, it explains where I could find my evil twin at http://share.ovi.com/users/<oldusername>-share and this URL was showing all my public media. But login to the evil twin account was still no-go. The next step, based on the special help topic about the account transition was to email a request to get my files moved over to the “new” account.

The request is not a simple one. It must contain the “secret word” (this is used by Share on Ovi for uploading media by email) of both accounts to prove your account ownership. At this point, I could only login to the “new” account and located its secret word. I couldn’t login to the evil twin account to do the same. Luckily, I used the upload email address through my cellphone to upload photos taken by the phone. The email address is still on my phone and that’s where I found the secret word of the evil twin. Having located all the crucial information, I sent another email and crossed my fingers.

Another day was passed and I received two emails. One message replied to my first email with the generic opening of “We apologize for any inconvenience… blah blah blah” and something about password reset. The other message didn’t look exactly like a response to my request for moving my files. It basically said the evil twin is gone. So, I login using the only username and password I know and wah-la, all my files are there.

I was happy to see things to be back to normal but I got excited too soon. I tried to upload photos of the snow storm using the Java-based multi drag and drop upload through the web browser and it didn’t work. I tried it three times with no luck. Then I tried the basic upload sending one file at a time and it worked. The basic upload page allows sending up to 5 files at a time. It’s much more time consuming than the drag and drop when I needed to upload 80+ photos but I did it the hard way.

The story does not end here. The next problem I found is that the editing of photo information (names, tags, date, time, etc) in a group would cause the disappearance of original file names, date and time – info that comes with the photos’ metadata. This is a new problem. I edited photos in groups many times in the past tagging them with the same words (such as “snow”) and nothing got lost. The solution is again the hard way, tagging photos one at a time.

I uploaded more photos a few days later and the drag and drop seemed to be working, at least for a smaller number of photos (less than 20). I still tag photos one at a time because I don’t want to lose date and time info.

I think this whole thing is quite a disaster based on the complaints I read on the Share blog and on another site. But I have faith in Nokia to fix the problems. All I can say is don’t try anything like this again during the holiday season.

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