First, it is “relatively” easy to make web page photo album using iPhoto. All you need is a Mac, iPhoto, and plenty of digital photos. That’s easy enough, right? Wrong. Of course there’s more to it than that.
Apple gives you the iLife suite of applications for free. They’re included with every new Mac but not in Mac OS X, right? iPhoto is one of the more popular applications in the suite (after iTunes) because there are millions of users with digital cameras and digital photos to keep organized.
iPhoto is mature and works quite well, it’s very fast (now), and has a number of nice features that integrate well with the Mac, photo development, your digital camera, iTunes, iMovie, and the feature rich (that’s an opinion) .Mac account. You can even burn web page photo albums or slideshows to CD.
.Mac will cost you another $100 a year. For about $8.00 a month you get a .Mac email account (oooooh), a bunch of utilities for Mac OS X, and a web page. Mac OS X and iPhoto make it easy to upload your photos into a web page for others to view.
Frankly, it would be difficult to make the whole process much easier (assuming you have a Mac, iPhoto, an Internet connection, and a .Mac account), right?
The problem is that the web pages all look like everyone else’s web page so the ability to create something unique needs to be there. The good news is that you can create custom pages. The bad news is that it could cost you and become prohibitively difficult and painful.
First, let’s scrap the .Mac account. There are millions and millions of iPhoto users on Mac OS X, but not millions of .Mac users.
If you’re really into making web page photo albums with iPhoto photos, and want lots of pages, and many styles of pages, here’s what I use; or, rather, here are some applications that I use.
One’s FREE and a great complimentary application to iPhoto. The others are good but may cost you money. Let’s start with the application. It’s called JAlbum. It’s a java-based application that takes digital photos from iPhoto (or any digital photos) and creates a compact, easy to navigate web page album.
Second, you’ll need someplace to put the photos. Once JAlbum is done, the photos and web pages will be placed in a folder on your Mac. That folder needs to go somewhere, otherwise, the web pages stay as pages and don’t go to the web. However, as a photo album, web pages work great. Burn ‘em to a CD.
Your .Mac account will do but isn’t a real web site in the traditional sense (it works, though).
Now, let’s put a fork in the road. Using Jalbum, you can create multiple web page photo albums, save them on your hard drive, and copy and burn them to a CD. That’s like a portable web page since you can make quick copies of the pages and share with friends and family members. Next to email, that may be the most popular way to share photos.
The road less traveled is often less traveled for a reason. Uploading your photos to a web site requires, well, a web site to upload the photos to. That’ll probably cost you about $8.00 a month but could come with email, plenty of storage space, and your personal domain name.
Compare that with the .Mac account and the $100 annual price tag.
Once you’ve determined what method you want to set up your photos for viewing, CD, DVD, .Mac account, remote web site, you’ll need to check out the photo gallery applications and how they build a web page photo gallery.
Yes, iPhoto will export an album of photos into a series of web pages, complete with navigation buttons.
They’re ugly. Grow up. Move on. Graduation is at hand.
Among those available on the Mac, these I’ve used and find handy, feature laden, easy to set up (sometimes cumbersome, though) and have a price tag (search and download on MacUpdate.com).
• myPhoto 1.3 (freeware, not updated for about a year)
• PhotoToWeb (lots of features, expensive)
• Quickie X Web Albums (works well, customizable; costs)
• KeyWebX (simple, good feature set; costs)
• WebPics (numerous features, intuitive; costs)
• BetterHTML Edit (integrates with iPhoto, easy to use, costs)
• JAlbum (many features, intuitive, Java-based, FREE)
Yes, there are others. Galerie comes to mind, but it’s not been as stable as I’d prefer, though the number of templates used to create many albums is excellent. So is the price. Free.
My favorite among all the photo album applications is JAlbum. Updates are regular, features continue to grow, yet the learning curve remains modest, it’s stable, and the price is, well, difficult to beat as an enhancement to iPhoto.
What’s it take to get JAlbum? Click Here to get additional details and begin the download.
Remarkably, JAlbum runs on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, Sun, OS2 Warp (do you know anyone still using that?) because it’s a Java application.
If you’re dissatisfied with iPhoto’s gallery and web page output, and don’t want to pay money for the others, JAlbum is what you’re looking for. As you might suspect, the developer created JAlbum because he was dissatisfied with other photo album and web page applications.
There’s even a “skin” repository so you can have different styles of albums and web pages. They’re downloadable, too. And free. Check the sample “skins” above.
So, there is life after iPhoto’s HTML pages. Of course, iPhoto can also create QuickTime movies, save albums to DVD with music, and much more. Still, a great photo gallery application that works so well with iPhoto doesn’t come along every day.
JAlbum is here. It’s good. It’s free.
Any complaints? A few. JAlbum needs more skins, more variety. That’s the nature of galleries; there’s never enough variety. I also found JAlbums “customization” (creating different “skin” styles, page styles) to have a learning curve that required some thought and organization.
Did I mention JAlbum is good and it’s free?
Of course, iPhoto is the top photo manager on Mac OS X. As part of Apple’s iLife application suite, it’s free, fast, and fun. Is it the most popular of the iLife apps? You’ll be surprised. Click Here to see where iPhoto fits.
Remember, uploading iPhoto photos requires a place to upload to. It could also require an application to move the photo gallery files to a web site. Most applications that do the moving are called FTP—File Transfer Protocol. Click Here for a look at the best transfer applications for iPhoto files.