When I send a link to a panorama to someone via emial, (or embedded on website), does the person who clicks that link to open the panorama need a Windows Live account (and thus login first) in order to be able to view my (or whichever) panorama??
Friends who tried to open my link, were redirected to the Photosynth login page.
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EMPLOYEE1You don't need to login to view a synth.
You probably copied the URL from the "edit" page which is the first one you are shown when you upload a synth. What you want to do is share a "view" page... Just exit the editor and you'll be taken to your view page. Just send them the URL from that page. No login required!
View pages have URLs like this: http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=a...
Hope that helps.
A couple of other quick notes about links:
If you're already on a view page or a Photosynth forum discussion when you sign into the site, the URL of the page you get redirected back to after signing in may have &wa=wsignin1.0 attached to the end of the URL. If you leave that on the end, it will force anyone who clicks that link to first sign in with their Windows Live ID before viewing the discussion or the panorama or the photosynth (whichever it is).
The easiest way to get a clean URL to your panorama or your photosynth is just to go to your profile page and either right click the link to your pano or synth there or to click on the title and then copy what's in your address bar.
A word about 'Share' links:
I see many people who want to simply give a link to their panorama or photosynth to their friends use the 'Share' link generated below Photosynth's viewer. The purpose of these 'Share' links is to generate a link to a particular view within a photosynth or a panorama (i.e. zoomed in to a particular detail of a particular photo inside of a photosynth or a particular region of a panorama). This is great for showing someone else exactly what you are looking at.
However, if you are only meaning to link someone to the beginning of your panorama or photosynth, you want as clean and short a URL as possible. The 'Share' links will add quite a bit of camera coordinate data on the end of your panorama's or photosynth's default view link. This coordinate data is necessary to load a particular view, but unnecessary if you just want the link to the beginning of the panorama or photosynth.
If you are posting on some sites (such as Facebook or messageboards), they may actually have a maximum number of characters which they allow for URLs and the 'Share' links are longer than Facebook's limit. What that means is that Facebook will chop off some of the camera coordinates. The result of that is that the virtual camera may end up looking off into blank and empty space when it first loads, leaving the person who clicked your link to figure out how to pan around to the photography on their own (not an ideal result for the recipient, yourself, nor Photosynth).
If you really do desire to share a particular part of a panorama or photosynth and use a 'Share' link, then I would advise you to use a third party URL shortener like bit.ly before posting it to another website such as Facebook or Twitter.