JALBUM 15

Web­site Port­fo­lio Soft­ware Adds Fea­tures, Looks, and Speed

Shutterbug - - Contents - by Dan Hav­lik

IF YOU WANT TO BUILD an on­line photo al­bum or dig­i­tal port­fo­lio of your im­ages to share on the web, there are many ways to do it. But one of our fa­vorite op­tions has been the jalbum photo gallery soft­ware, which we have re­viewed sev­eral times over the years.

Cur­rently on Ver­sion 15.2 at the time of this writ­ing, jalbum keeps get­ting bet­ter as it adds fea­tures, up­dates its look, and in­creases the speed, let­ting you eas­ily grab the im­ages you want from your com­puter or ex­ter­nal hard drive and post them on the web so peo­ple can see them.

As men­tioned, we’ve re­viewed older ver­sions of jalbum through the years—the soft­ware launched way back in 2002—and the cur­rent it­er­a­tion is not dras­ti­cally dif­fer­ent from what came re­cently be­fore. So rather than re-re­view the en­tire soft­ware pack­age, in this story I’ll look at some of the key fea­tures that are new to jalbum 15 and give you my over­all im­pres­sions. If you’d like to see a more in-depth look at the soft­ware, just type jalbum into the search box of Shut­ter­bug.com for our pre­vi­ous cov­er­age.

WHAT’S NEW

The last time we re­viewed jalbum in the Septem­ber 2016 is­sue of Shut­ter­bug, the soft­ware was on Ver­sion 13 and most of the new fea­tures back then in­cluded or­ga­ni­za­tional tools, which made it eas­ier to im­port, fil­ter, and group your im­ages so you could dis­play them quickly and log­i­cally on the web. For in­stance, if you wanted to post an en­tire al­bum of travel pho­tog­ra­phy you shot in Rome, Italy, on the web, jalbum would lo­cate the GPS tags in your shots and group the lo­ca­tions you want to­gether.

In jalbum 15 all those tools are still there but the soft­ware runs more quickly and your web al­bums take up less space thanks to the in­tro­duc­tion of “hard links.” With the hard links op­tion turned on un­der Pref­er­ences, jalbum will no longer make copies of the orig­i­nal im­ages. In­stead, the soft­ware will gen­er­ate a hard link to the im­ages, so that while they’ll dis­play the same way, they take up less space, which can, the­o­ret­i­cally, save you money in on­line stor­age while mak­ing your web­site run faster.

Also, jalbum 15 now sup­ports 360-de­gree im­ages without frames, al­low­ing you to post these com­plete panora­mas via the soft­ware on your site so view­ers can ex­pe­ri­ence the im­mer­sive visual ef­fect. While this fea­ture may not be for every­one, with 360-de­gree cam­eras such as the Ri­coh Theta, Nikon Keymis­sion 360, and Yi 360 VR Cam­era com­ing down in price, it’s nice to have this op­tion with jalbum 15’s web al­bums.

Most im­por­tantly, for me, are some of the visual changes in jalbum 15. While the be­hind-the-scenes or­ga­ni­za­tional and pro­cess­ing stuff is all well and good, it’s how your web port­fo­lios are dis­played that’s most im­por­tant. There are now quite a few ad­di­tional “skins,” aka tem­plates, avail­able with jalbum 15, let­ting you ar­range your shots in a va­ri­ety of aes­thetic dis­plays. Bet­ter yet, be­cause jalbum has a fairly ro­bust com­mu­nity of users who cre­ate their own skins (some of which are free but some you have to li­cense for a fee, it should be noted), there’s a myr­iad of looks you can give your port­fo­lio. The soft­ware has also added more at­trac­tive theme op­tions, which are the wide im­ages that ap­pear at the top of your gal­leries.

Image pro­cess­ing has also im­proved with jalbum 15. The soft­ware has added new code for image load­ing and scal­ing, which makes it han­dle oddly for­mat­ted JPEG im­ages bet­ter. Com­bine that with the faster Raw image pro­cess­ing that came with ear­lier ver­sions of the soft­ware—and is fur­ther re­fined in Ver­sion 15— and jalbum can han­dle pretty much any image file you throw at it. This is a big re­lief if you’ve dealt with other, more finicky web al­bum soft­ware out there.

WHY WE LIKE IT

Whether you have your own photo web­site or want to use jalbum’s web host­ing ser­vice, jalbum 15 pro­vides an easy-to-use soft­ware so­lu­tion for lo­cat­ing your fa­vorite im­ages, or­ga­niz­ing them in a log­i­cal way, and de­sign­ing them into at­trac­tive on­line photo al­bums that you can share with the world. While jalbum 15 isn’t a ma­jor up­date from pre­vi­ous ver­sions of the soft­ware, it’s got enough im­prove­ments and re­fine­ments to war­rant se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion from even users who have older li­censes of the soft­ware (they can up­grade at a dis­count). For any­one with a cur­rent sup­port and up­date plan or an ac­tive Pre­mium or Power sub­scrip­tion, it’s a free up­date, mak­ing up­grad­ing a no-brainer. If you just want to try it out, there are now 30-day tri­als of jalbum 15, which should give you an idea if it fits your work­flow. For de­tails on all the var­i­ous pric­ing plans, some of which in­clude host­ing if you don’t al­ready have your own web­site, visit jalbum.net.

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