F-Spot: The Interface
Apple’s iPhoto has fast become a standard template for photo management programs. Linux has three main photo management contenders - Shotwell, Picasa, and F-Spot. This review will take a look at F-Spot.
One of F-Spot's greatest assets is its simple and clean interface. All you are presented with is a side bar on the left of the window that shows different collections, and of course the photos. There’s also a timeline widget at the top, which allows you to quickly get to photos from any point in time. The graph shows you the number of photos taken in that time period, and it’s pretty useful for quickly jumping to all the photos from a certain event if you know roughly what time of which year it happened in.
When browsing, photos can be sorted by date added to the library or by tags. Tags are simply a way of organising photos by any category the user wishes. For instance, if a number of photos were of a pet, the tag "pets" could be added. Then, if at a later date more pictures were taken of a pet, the same tag could be applied, and all photos would be centrally searchable and coordinated. Many tags can be applied to a single photo, allowing the user to organise their photo collection any way they choose.
Another great feature about F-Spot its ability to import. While many programs are able to import photos directly from a folder on the hard drive, as well as from an attached digital camera. F-Spot is able to import photos from an unlikely source: such as a mobile phone or an iPod. F-Spot supports the most popular file formats, including .jpeg, .png and .svg, as well as uncompressed formats such as .tiff and .raw. This allows F-Spot to be a library of all your photos, and not just photos that come from certain sources.