Choices make life interesting. And difficult. At the same time. Should you buy a PowerBook or an iMac G5? Pink iPod or silver iPod?
When it comes to Mac applications that make colorful, attractive galleries of your photos, the choice is crystal clear. Choose both.
Both? Isn’t that doubly expensive? No. They’re doubly inexpensive. As in “free.” As in ‘beer.’
What makes a personal computer ‘personal’ is that we get so many choices. If you don’t like Apple’s Mail application, there’s about a dozen others from which to choose?
Don’t like the brushed aluminum look of Safari for your browser? Try OmniWeb, or Firefox, or Opera, or Camino, or Mozilla… you get the idea. It’s about choices.
I like iPhoto. It stores thousands of my digital photographs, and while there are plenty of neato graphics features I wish it had, it does what I want. The basics. iPhoto stores my photos.
Times change. I also want to share my photos. Yes, iPhoto does that. You can export to Mail and send a photo to friends or family. You can export a slides show to a QuickTime movie. You can also export photos as a web page gallery.
See? Choices. Plenty.
The only problem with that last choice is that Apple didn’t do a fantastic job of making the web page gallery export function, well, how should I put this, uh, um… it’s ugly. Yes, it’s a gallery but it’s not a pretty gallery. It’s not a ‘worthy’ gallery.
Mac application developers to the rescue. What you really want is to export photos into a web page gallery that’s actually nice looking, easy to navigate, and has room for comments for each photo?
What? You don’t care about publishing your gallery to the web? That’s OK because with the two best photo gallery applications for the Mac you can also burn your gallery on a CD for friends and family and they can view the gallery in the browser of their choice, Mac or Windows (Linux, even).
Did I mention that these applications are free? They are. The problem, of course, is ‘which one is best?’ That’s where ‘choice’ is good because they’re both great.
The first is JAlbum, from JAlbum, the Web Photo Album Generator. It’s free. It’s better than good. It’s excellent.
The process for creating an attractive photo album is about as simple as it could be. Assume you’re using iPhoto to store you photos. Select the photos you want in the album. Start with a dozen or so. Select ‘Share’ in the iPhoto menu, then select ‘Export.’
You’ll be given a choice of where to send, how to send, etc. For now, select File Export, Full Size Images, and save them to the folder of your choice.
Open JAlbum. Select the ‘Image Directory’ where you just exported your photos. Select an ‘Output Directory’ (another folder where you want the photo gallery to be saved). As you can see, JAlbum has plenty of choices (options) for you.
“While Galerie is similar to JAlbum because it creates photo galleries or albums, it’s also different. Not better. Different. That’s why the choice is difficult and your mileage may vary.”In the Appearance box, select a Skin and a Style. You may also select different sizes for the Thumbnails and Images. There’s plenty of options so start with what makes sense.
Then, click the “Make Album” button. A few seconds later your photo gallery will be done. Click the ‘View Album’ button.
Pretty slick, huh? Yes, there are more choices and options in JAlbum than Bambi has cookies in the cupboard. Try some. Your original images will never be harmed.
OK, what about the second choice? It’s called Galerie, and it makes excellent photo gallery and photo albums, too. For free.
While Galerie is similar to JAlbum because it creates photo galleries or albums, it’s also different. Not better. Different. That’s why the choice is difficult and your mileage may vary.
Galerie also take photos from your exported iPhoto folder and converts them to an attractive album. Galerie also lets you incorporate QuickTime files (Movies, music, etc.) that can be mixed with the photos. Drag and drop.
To get started, download Galerie and download the Galerie ‘templates. Open Galerie and drag and drop your exported photo folder onto the photo icon at the top. Select the Template you wish to use, and click the ‘Generate Gallery’ button.
The Galerie dialog box will ask where you want to save the photo gallery. A few seconds later Galerie will be done and you’ll have another attractive photo gallery. Free.
Yes, Galerie is also loaded with options. More choices. Get started. Play around. Change things.
Your photo album/photo gallery can be uploaded to your .Mac web site, another web site, or, simply copy the folder to a blank CD, burn the CD and share the photo gallery with your friends.
Me? I love both and use both. The biggest difference between the two are the Templates. There’s enough to make you happy and make your friends and family members happy.