Create, edit, and organize...with gentle reminders
A picture-eating computer virus could be gobbling your JPEGs as you read these words. Do you have backups? Regularly backing up your files is about as necessary, and about as fun, as going to the dentist. But losing your images is much worse than a root canal. Jasc Software, the company that brought us that gem Paint Shop Pro, now presents its latest, Paint Shop Photo Album 5 ($45 download; $49 street; www.jasc.com; 800-622-2793).
A fairly typical and easy-to-use organizer with limited editing abilities, the new PhotoSafe archiving system is one of Album's best features. It reminds you when it's time to back up images, and warns you how many images have built up since the last backup. Even if you've deleted the originals from the hard drive, Album remembers the thumbnails and keywords. If you search for a backed-up image, the program will tell you which of your backup CDs to insert.
It's easy to import images from your camera, and rename them as you do it. Then you can add keywords to groups of thumbnails or individual images as you page through full-screen versions. Jasc brags that Album contains "17 ways to share"; and whatever you're working on, whether calendar, web site, or even a self-published hardcover book, you always have access to four search options to find the pictures you want: by date, folder, keyword, or deep search. When you've found them, the searched-for images show up on their own palette, ready to be dragged into your project.
The automatic adjustments are quick, easy, and pretty darn good, but this program is not meant for complicated editing. If you're already a Paint Shop Pro user, Photo Album is seamlessly integrated for serious fixes.
Archiving made easy. Simple to create, update, add keywords. Fun and well-designed photo projects.
Can't flag favorites. Limited Photo Editing tools. No Mac version.