More Related Stories
|Page (1) of 2 - 03/18/05||email article||print page|
Digital cameras are more popular than ever, with people using them more often than their film counterparts. The one advantage that film cameras have over digital cameras is the media itself. When you shoot film, you develop the pictures and you have a hard copy of those pictures as well as the negatives. With digital cameras, not every image is printed, and soon, your digital shoebox becomes full.
And in times of crisis, what are some of the first things that people go after in their homes? Important documents and valuables, photos and photo albums. We've had a lot of bad weather here in California, and we've seen citizens lose their homes, and the local news channels have interviewed quite a few of them, and in virtually every interview, if they were able to return to get some of their belongings, some of the first things they retrieve are the photographs and photo albums that virtually every American household has. Being a journalist in the computer graphics and digital imaging business for more than 12 years, I know how important it is to backup not only my images but my data as well. My current backup plan is once a month for digital photographs, and more frequently for any critical data deemed important. I've been doing this for years; first with floppy disks, then Zip disks, then CDs, and now CDs and DVDs. I also have a 160GB local server that I back up to as well. My backup plan for images though is very crude. Just a CD burning application and some disks and drag and drop. That is the extent of it.
There are a lot of applications on the market that are designed to help you archive files, but not many designed specifically to archive digital images. Most involve organizing them into folders and then using a disc burning application to save them to CD or DVD, along with all your other files. But for many folks, especially those new to digital cameras and digital imaging, this can be a convoluted task.
One company attempts to address this confusing, yet necessary (if you wish to save those digital memories) endeavor, with a tool that enables you to burn your images in just a few steps. Acoustica's Photos Forever is a $14.95 utility that the company says will enable you to back up your digital images in three easy steps. Acoustica says that Photos Forever will back up JPG, BMP, TIF, PNG, and RAW formatted image files. In three steps? Well, let's take it for a spin and see.
Step 1: Select Photos
The first window you see after installing Photos Forever is the welcome screen, asking you what you would like to backup. Your choices here are New Photos, All Photos, and Selected Photos. After going through each of the three menu choices, I found that the software didn't make a difference between what was new or not. It selected the same number of images all three times.
From the Select Photos Window, you are greeted with a screen showing thumbnails of all the images that the utility wants to archive. You also can sort by date, name, folder name, and file size. If you double click the image in the Select photos library, a full resolution version of that image will appear in a new window. Close the window and you are back to Photos Forever. If there is a check mark next to the image, Photos Forever will archive that image. If you uncheck the check box, the utility will ignore that image and will not archive it. Clicking on a thumbnail will bring up a slightly larger version of the image, (as seen in the screenshot below) as well as the file type, the name of the image, and its location. Double click the image and the full resolution version of the image appears in a separate window.
|Selecting an image in the archive will bring up its details. Double click the image and the full resolution image appears in a new window.|
Photos Forever enables you to choose from where you wish to grab the images that you want archived, including the My Pictures Folder, any connected cameras or removable drives, custom folders that you've already created, CD or DVD drives, and any networked drives.
Once you've selected all the locations that you want Photos Forever to search, and you've manually removed any images that you don't want archived, you are ready to proceed to Step 2: Ready to Archive. This screen details the recording options, what CD/DVD burner you wish to use as an archive drive. here you can choose to test before you archive, reorder and rename photos, include the Photos Forever installer, and set the speed, dependent on your device, in which you wish to archive your photos. The software will tell you how many CDs or DVDs are required based on the size of the archive.
|Ready to Archive screen.|
Related Newsletter: DMN Newsletter , CMN Newsletter , Pixels Newsletter , CEN - Gadgets Newsletter , Review Seeker