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Reviews (1)

jAlbum

a fairly easy to use web album creator that is a bit buggy and needs much better documentation.

jAlbum is a good replacement for iWeb, and while easy to use, has some quirks that you need to be aware of to save yourself reworking a newly created website.
The Good:
- drag and drop adding of photos, music and videos makes setting up the album easy.
- you can have jAlbum automatically resize your photos.
- photos can have a name (file name), Title, and/or Caption.
- multiple skins (templates that define the look of the rendered web page) allow you to choose a style that suits your photos.
- you can easily organize your album using folders.
- there seem to be a lot of options for an album.
The Not so Good:
- documentation - a good piece of software should be intuitive by nature. If you stick the the basics the documentation supplied is sufficient. If you want to do something more complex (user variables?, imbedded HTML?) you will spend hours trying to figure it out. The documentation for advanced users really needs to be improved. Adding a search feature to the documentation site would help also.
- you must be sure to explicitly save your work before performing a Make Album. A few times, I had jAlbum change the Skin after the Make Album completed - messing up my layout.
- on the topic of documentation - name vs Title vs Caption. It took me almost 2 hours of playing with the software to figure out the right combination of settings that would display the text I wanted in the location I wanted.
- I'm don't use the jAlbum site (I have my own domain), so I never sign in via the jAlbum software. This means that widgets won't work for my albums.
- If you don't select "Copy Originals" on the Album Settings / Pages tab and you have jAlbum resize your photos - you better have a backup somewhere else (thank you Time Machine!).
- one skin I downloaded "NospOfTombl" says it requires jAlbum 8.0 or higher - hum, last time I checked 11 was greater than 8....
- Upload should only be used with the jAlbum site. I used upload to send files to my MacHighway site only to find out that it included some internal Mac files that start with a period (.). These files prevented me from removing directories since my FTP client would not see them. I ended up having MacHighway support delete the entire directory structure and I started over using Transit to upload the files.

Would I recommend jAlbum - for basic album creation tasks - absolutely. For anything beyond basic drag and drop - no.

13 July 2013

Reply from jAlbum

Thanks Arthur for your exhaustive and fair review! We are aware of the limitation in documentation and hope to address this soon.

To comment on some of your points:
* Just sign into the jAlbum software before uploading an album in order to have widgets working - even if you upload to your own site.
* jAlbum doesn't touch your original images, so I don't see the point in warning about making backups, but making backups is naturally always a good idea.
* The NospOfTombl skin is made by a 3:rd party developer that's probably using a less clever way to compare version numbers, hence the warning. We have contacted the developer about this error.
* The upload routine in jAlbum uploads all files under the album folder just like any ordinary ftp tool would do, but thanks for explaining about the dot problem. Perhaps we can make it ignore files that starts with a period.

Arthur Blumberg´s profile

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Arthur Blumberg
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United States

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