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  Java Picture Organizer: An image archivist you can use anywhere
   
Category Image archiver
Version 1.1.5
License Open Source
System Platform-independent
Language English
Download file size Source code 4.1 MB
URL http://j-po.sourceforge.net
Features
  Organizes and manages image collections
  Converts albums into online galleries
  Outputs the EXIF and IPTC data of the images
 
 
 

The things this freeware can do are nothing out of the ordinary: it sorts photos into virtual albums, compiles them on HTML pages for an online gallery, and displays them in detail with EXIF and IPTC data. But that's not a bad performance for freeware and, better still, you can use it with any operating system. That's because the software was written in the Java programming language, which means its field of application is essentially unlimited.


Adapt the environment in Java

The software needs what is known as the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), which you can download for free from the Sun web site. A double-click is all it takes to install it, and it is also the prerequisite for starting numerous other Java applications. As a rule, the "Java Web Start" entry should then appear on the desktop and in the Start menu. Should this not be the case, you can download the application separately. For subsequent installation, you can use its "File - Settings - Link Options" function to specify that a link is to be created on the desktop when you request new software for the first time. This makes it easier to start Picture Organizer.

A click of the mouse on the specified download link calls up the Java Web Start utility, which downloads Picture Organizer and carries out all the necessary actions. You can then use the application without further ado. The user is initially confronted with a fairly bare interface, but it soon fills up.
 
  
 
 Java Web Start automatically creates a link on the desktop during installation.
 
 

The otherwise rather complicated procedure for starting Java applications thus becomes simplicity itself.

Thumbnails link the originals to the albums

Before filling the folders, you can first make a number of settings that will prove to be useful. Use "Edit - Settings" to define the general settings. If you've already created a few albums, you define the one to be displayed when the program is started. More important than personal specifications are those that enhance the speed of the program. On the "Thumbnails" tab, you can try to minimize the loading time of the images. Reducing the size and quality of the thumbnails makes a considerable difference. Since this setting has no effect on the quality of the originals, you can quite happily make a few compromises here.

After that, you'll want to create a fresh album using "File - New Collection" and then fill it via the "File - Add Pictures" menu item. The left-hand side of the window shows you the directory tree, while the photos are displayed on the right. You also have the option of having your photos managed in a rather plain table.

 
 Right-click to organize



The context-sensitive menu for the entire folder ...



... and for a single image.

Once you've created the new folder, you can carry out a number of actions by clicking on either the folder or one of its images with the right mouse button. However, you get different menus for the two. The context-sensitive menu for the folder offers a slide show, various organizational tools, and export functions:


  • The three mouse buttons control the image size during the slide show, and the speed and other details can, of course, also be defined.
  • A simple search function and other menu items shows in the screenshot on the left above are helpful for organization.
  • "Export to Flat File" produces a text file listing the files contained, together with their paths.
  • "Export to Collection" combines two collections.
  • "Export to HTML
  • " creates web pages on which the photos are compiled in the required size and layout.

 
  
 
 Picture Organizer creates a simple, but functional online gallery from an album.
 
  
 
 The slide show is controlled simply by clicking the mouse and gives the user a convenient review of the photo collection.
 
 The context-sensitive menu for a single image contains a choice of eight options. Needless to say, the photographer can again expect to be able to move, delete or rename images here.

  • The EXIF information and the detailed image description based on the IPTC standard will doubtless be of interest to thorough archivists. With the help of this function, the user can add keywords to the photos, or display details, such as the shutter speed and ISO value. If you fill out the "Picture Description" item, your entry will subsequently be displayed instead of the fairly meaningless file name.
  • "Show Picture" gives you a full-size display of the photo.
  • "Remove Node" removes the photo from the album, but without deleting it from the hard disk.
  • "Rotate" rotates the images in 90� steps in Version 0.8.2 and higher.
 
  
 
 Conclusion

Basically, one fact has to be mentioned first: if you want to organize gigantic photo collections, you'll hardly be able to avoid using commercial software. It usually takes a professional tool to optically enhance photos, display innumerable formats and sort them into a complex database, and all that has its price. The range of tools offered by the free Picture Organizer for organizing images is limited, but nonetheless effective. If you want to have your photos in an online gallery in HTML, you can - it's just that the layouting options are somewhat restricted. The same also applies in other respects. The slide show is easy to use, minor organizational tasks are handled perfectly well, and the information from the EXIF and IPTC data documents the details worth knowing. On top of which, the program works with any operating system.
 
 AGFAnet Power Tip

The number of image formats accepted by the program varies, depending on the Java installation used. The JPEG and GIF formats suitable for the Internet are always available as standard - and if you archive your photos the way they come out of the camera, that will generally suffice. However, if you want to enhance them in an image editing program, it's essential to convert them into a lossless format, such as TIFF or Photoshop's proprietary PSD format. Otherwise, the image quality deteriorates rapidly as soon as you make even the slightest change, since the data are recomputed each time. The only exception is the "lossless JPEG" format - otherwise even saving with 100% quality will do you no good. Therefore, it's generally preferable to work only with copies of your archive material.

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