iView Media Pro now provides an optional large preview of every photo in your collection.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983

T e c h n o f i l e
Photo software gets a boost for Windows and OS X Macs

Aug. 27, 2006

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2006, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2006, The Post-Standard

   Digital photography just got easier for both Windows and Mac OS X users. The top photo-management programs for both systems are now available in vastly improved versions.
   I use both of them, and I've seldom been so excited about consumer software as I am about these new versions -- iView Media Pro 3.1, available for Windows and Mac OS X, and iPhoto 6, available for OS X only. Both programs show that the companies behind them listened to customer suggestions and complaints.
   iView Media Pro can be tried for free by downloading it from www.iview-multimedia.com. There are trial versions for Windows and Mac OS X. The software costs $199.
   (You might be surprised to see that the iView Web site has Microsoft's corporate Web logo on it. iView's parent company was purchased by Microsoft earlier this year, and Microsoft apparently is turning iView Media Pro into a standard Microsoft product. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft changed the product's name soon.)
   iPhoto 6 is the latest version of Apple's superb image manager for OS X. iPhoto comes free with all new Macs, but must be purchased as part of Apple's iLife software otherwise. For more on iLife, go to www.apple.com/ilife. The suite -- with iPhoto for digital photos, iMovie for videos editing, iDVD to make your own DVDs, iWeb for Web-page creation, GarageBand for creating and recording music and iTunes to manage audio and video collections -- costs $79.
   The biggest improvement in iView Media Pro might not seem like much at first. But it surely will become essential if you're an iView Media Pro user.
   iView Media Pro now provides an optional large preview of every photo in your collection. The preview takes the place of the image when you switch from the thumbnail view to the image view. iView Media Pro makes its previews using the JPEG format, which is very quick to view, regardless of the format of the original image.
   This means anyone with thousands of very large images such as TIF files gets a huge boost in speed when viewing pictures. Instead of having to wait for the TIF to load, you can quickly scroll through each photo, viewing each one full screen (or very close to full-screen size) by looking at the high-quality preview.
   Note that any time you edit a photo, iView Media Pro switches to the original picture.
   iPhoto has many improvements. Three worth mentioning here -- I'll have more in my blog, at www.syracuse.com/technology/weblog -- include the most significant changes in iPhoto ever. iPhoto now lets you store your photos in normal folders (leave all boxes unchecked under "Importing" in iPhoto's Preferences) so that you won't have duplicates of all your pictures. iPhoto also lets you view all photos full-screen by clicking the full-screen button at the bottom left.
   But a hidden feature added to iPhoto makes it much easier to use. You can delete a photo from the entire iPhoto library no matter where you are viewing it (from an album, for example) by holding down Option and Cmd and pressing the Delete key.