Remember back in the day, before the digital age, when you had a mountain of photos you had to sort through to separate the good photos from the bad ones? Then you had to buy the photo albums to put the good photos in. And finally, for you highly organized types, you had to label each and every photo. How long did this process take? Half a day? A week? It was a complicated, manual affair to organize photos this way, and one that could drag on for days, or weeks, or even years!
Now, with the ever-rising popularity of digital cameras and their near-limitless capacity for image-capturing, people are snapping more photos than ever. Photos on film that used to cost a few dollars to purchase and another $5 to $8 to get developed would cost a fortune given the way we snap away on our digital cameras.
The good news is that with digital images, you can print only the photos you like, and, of course, memory cards are becoming much more affordable. But, as you'll see in a minute, less expensive memory cards may, strangely enough, also be bad news: larger photo image sizes in the newer digital cameras mean more space taken up on the hard drive, thus the need to buy more of the now-cheaper memory cards. You know where I'm headed with all this: more digital photos than ever to deal with. We face an even larger and more time-consuming problem today than we ever did when we manually organized our photo prints.
Luckily, ACD Systems, has come out with ACDSee 9 Photo Manager. I used an older version of ACDSee back in 2000 and version 9 is excellent. It lets you easily organize all your photos in a variety of ways such as by keyword, caption, rating, and category. The program also has a powerful search function that lets you quickly find the photos you're looking for by way of the keywords, captions, categories, or file names associated with your images. And the powerful engine supports more than 100 different image file types.
Viewing all of your photos is fast and easy with ACDSee 9, and the software has incorporated many cool features that make it easy to share your images--features such as creating a slideshow file, exporting your images to a website, exporting the images to a DVD or CD, and creating a contact sheet.
ACDSee 9 lets you do basic photo manipulation such as rotating pictures and includes basic photo editing tools such as a shadow/highlight tool, which fixes poorly lit exposures without affecting the rest of the image. There's also a red-eye removal tool that easily and automatically fixes any red-eye problems on a photo after you click near the affected area. Release 9 of ACDSee Photo Manager also incorporates new security features, and lets you create private folders so that only you can view the images in that folder.
Finally, I must mention a new feature in this release called the Calendar Events View, which automatically rearranges your photos based on the date you took the pictures. I think this calendar view is actually pretty cool, as you can view photos by events, monthly or yearly, or by day. When you're in the month view, you'll see the calendar with every day of the month, and ACDSee 9 will bold the days where you have photos. This method of viewing gives you yet another way to organize and view all your photos!
My only minor complaint is that the user interface can get cluttered with different toolboxes and tabs. But overall, this product shines.