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Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0 for Windows

Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0 for Windows

Adobe Photoshop Album is a fast, easy way for digital photo collectors to organize, fix, share, & archive pictures without a lot of involvement. It’s easy to learn and fulfills most essential needs of amateur photo collectors. Version 2.0 overcomes most of the limitations from 1.0 and adds useful features, but also introduces some new drawbacks and annoying interface changes.

More and more people are turning to digital photography for reasons of convienience and affordability. These users want the instant gratification that comes with digital photography and they want it to be as uncomplicated as possible. They simply want to take photos (usually lots of them), be able to find them quickly when needed, and share them in a variety of ways. In a market flooded with photo editing software, Adobe Photoshop Album does a remarkable job of addressing the most essential needs of typical digital photo collectors, while still keeping things simple.

One of the biggest problems faced by digital camera users is the sheer number of images that can be accumulated. The task of organizing and cataloging these files can be overwhelming, but it’s essential if you want to be able to quickly put your hands on a specific photo. Traditionally, even the laziest person could scribble a note on the back of a printed photo or on an envelope of pictures. But the digital medium is non-tangible, and you can only go so far with folders and file names.

Photoshop Album eliminates the dependence on folders and file names, and in fact, shields the user from it almost entirely.

Digital cameras have made a huge impact in the world of photography. Digital cameras allow users to take dozens, if not hundreds, of pictures at a time. 

The problem is keeping the darn things organized once they’re on the computer. 

Adobe Systems offers help with that monstrous task with Photoshop Album 2.0, the newest version of its consumer software made especially for digital image organization and distribution. 

Photoshop Album 2.0 retains it basic image organization skills and adds quite a few new features. Photos can be tagged, grouped, printed, saved and distributed all from one program.     Digital photos can be imported from cameras, compact discs and other media or pulled from the hard drive. The photos are displayed in the Photo Well, the main portion of Album’s window. The Tags pane allows you to organize the photos into general categories or specific groups. 

Borrowing from its namesake, Album offers a few editing tools to let you spiff up your photos. The new one-click fix does a pretty good job of taking care of photos, or you can do fixes individually. The software lets you adjust color, lighting or sharpness. There’s a red-eye fix, a cropping tool, and new filters that let you change your photo to black and white or a sepia tone. 

There are a lot of features in Album, but the Timeline and Calendar are probably my favorites. They’re excellent at helping organize photos, and they make it a lot easier to find photos taken or uploaded at particular times. 

The Timeline stretches across the top of the Photo Well, where the images are displayed. It looks like a cross between a ruler and a bar graph. Actually, the little bars in the Timeline represent the number of photos taken or put on the computer at a specific date. The dates are listed across the bottom, and the bars above the dates can be clicked to bring up the photos taken or uploaded during that time. 

I was looking for a photo I put on my computer in the summer of 2001. I simply clicked on the bars shown over the summer months, and the photo I wanted popped up when I hit the bar representing photos taken in August. So not only did I find my photo, but I also discovered when I took it. 

The calendar view is another cool feature. Let’s say you took 10 photos on Sept. 7, 2002.

If you want to find those photos quickly, you simply go to that date in the calendar. You’ll see a thumbnail of the first of your 10 photos in the Sept. 7 square on the calendar. Clicking on the thumbnail brings up those photos in the photo well. 

Album isn’t just good at organization. It’s also good at distribution. Your photos can be used to create greeting cards, printable calendars, video compact discs, eCards (e-mail greeting cards), Web pages and even a photo book that can be ordered online. 

These projects are fairly easy to do, thanks to the Creation Wizard, which talks you through each project. My only complaint on this was in the greeting cards — I couldn’t get it to make halffold cards for me. It only made quarter-fold cards. No biggie, but it would be a nice option to add in the next version. 

I would recommend playing with the new Atmosphere creation feature in Album. It uses the new three-dimensional animation software to create a little “art gallery” where your photos are displayed on the walls.

You can then walk — virtually, of course — through the gallery and observe your photographic masterpieces. 

Album also adds new mobility features. It now allows you to transmit photos to mobile phones, provided they’re on compatible networks (they’re listed in the software). 

It also lets you send the photos to a Palm-compatible handheld device. That, too, depends on certain factors. Your handheld must be using Palm OS 4.0 or later, your PC must have Palm Desktop 4.0 or later, and you need Adobe Acrobat for Palm loaded on the handheld.

The latter can be found on Adobe’s Web site. The Palm software is available at Palm’s Web site ( 

There’s a few little things that I’d like to see added to Album.

I like all the printing options, but I do wish the template choices weren’t so limited, especially on the calendars. Also, while I like the Sharpen tool in the Fix commands, I wish there was a Blur tool as well. As a Photoshop user, I’m used to seeing one with the other, so to me it was a big absence. 

Overall, Photoshop Album is a good program with a lot of options. The new features definitely plug holes found in the previous version, though a few holes remain. 

But for those with hundreds of photos, Album provides excellent tools to organize and distribute digital images. 

Such software is a great way to relieve the organizational worries of digital shutterbugs.