jAlbum – professional organization, presentation and selling of images and albums online
No matter whether it’s a family, an organization, or a photographer, they all want to organize their images comfortably and present them appealingly in powerful web galleries. This is where jAlbum comes in handy: it is easy to handle, equipped with all necessary features and even includes selling options for images. All images are automatically converted into web as well as miniature format and albums are uploaded to the provider’s server or your own website without restrictions.
Several features of jAlbum:
• Create complete websites
• Easily create stylish photo galleries
• Sell images through meta data and integrated shopping cart
• Protect pictures with watermarks
• Include videos of any format
• Slide show with Ken Burns effect
• Create maps and tell your own stories
• Tag and filter images
• Integrate social media
• Ideal user experience
The producer describes jAlbum as the most efficient tool on the market to create web albums – and it did win numerous awards. A particularly nice feature is the possibility to either upload the albums and images to any website of your own or to make use of the storage service of jAlbum. In this way you keep your freedom and full control of your contents.
After downloading the 119MB Windows software, the installation is very straightforward. You click your way through and start the program. Afterwards, a neat dark grey interface appears.
At first the program is not licensed and can be used for a trial period of 30 days. Below the upper navigation bar, you’ll find three sections. By clicking the right button, you can open and close a notification window.
Clicking on ‘prices’ leads you to the website of the provider. Here you can find an overview of the different license models. A standard license can be purchased for a one-time payment of only 39 Euro, if you’re using jAlbum for your own website. If you want to use the storage service (10 GB), the license model you need is called Premium license and costs 23 Euro per year. The Pro license for 89 Euro allows the commercial use of the software and has a shopping cart included. The latter can also be purchased with additional storage service (100 GB), which costs 59 Euro per year. Customers who already have a license additionally profit from a reduced upgrade fee.
By purchasing a license, you automatically open an account on the provider’s website. Afterwards, you can easily log in to the software by clicking on the login button, which activates your license. In this case, the link for the prices disappears. If you log off and start jAlbum again later, the login for the usage of widgets must be repeated. It can make sense to stay logged in.
Now you could immediately start your new project and simply drag images or folders into the program window. The selection of images can also be done with the ‘add’ button. To get to know the program and its various applications better, you can open the pre-installed sample portfolio in the column on the left with one click, which can be very helpful.
This sample project already contains some folders, images and custom websites. It gives you a good first impression as to which elements can be used and how. All contents can be organized by name, title, image text, or keywords. You can also open an entry line for filtering at the bottom. The search filters according to evaluations, labels, and your own specifications. If you don’t want to start from scratch, you could just use the sample portfolio, adjust it according to your own needs and add your own images.
The explorer mode is activated by default, which is indicated by the highlighted upper toolbar. The settings for all folders, images, web documents, and other contents, can be chosen in the context menu that opens when you click right on your mouse, or by using the context menu at the top of the screen. Mostly, there also is an arrow icon or a hamburger button giving the same options in a drop-down menu.
Using the buttons above the editing window, you can add more images or folders, create folders, include more pages, in- or exclude objects, turn pictures, and revers or repeat actions. The column on the right can be used to enter titles and descriptions. Via Drag & Drop you can define miniature images for your folders and crop those in the window below.
The sample portfolio can be renamed with one click on the text. To rename folders, images and websites, you need to double-click on the text box. The formatting of an image description can be done with HTML.
With a double click on a miniature element, jAlbum switches from explorer mode into editing mode, which you can also activate with the corresponding button in the upper tool bar.
Here you can find several other buttons to edit your contents: crop, align, mirror, auto correction, brightness, contrast and saturation, gamma value for every color channel, and effects like red eye correction, greyscale, sepia, sharpening, soft-focus, inversion, gross pixel, text and Arty. As soon as you move your cursor into the editing window, buttons to leaf through contents, zoom in and out of images, and to return to explorer mode appear. Beneath the image you can add a comment.
The right column has a lot to offer as well. At the very top you can find the histogram, which is important for the evaluation and which enables you to display luminance values as well as RGB colors separately or superimposed. The main page contains name, title, date, time, evaluation, and label. Here, and at various other locations in the program, you can also assign variables, which is a massive feature of the program. How to do this exactly is explained in the extensive manual that comes with the program. In the following section you can include selling options and discount offers. Then there is a mask for entering external links and HTML code for a box variable in size. The section ‘position’ contains a Google map with search bar, ‘camera’ contains all relevant image data. Finally, at the bottom, you can enter information about the creator and the copyright as well as a copyright link and a price.
Every feature of the applied skin can be opened with the i-symbol and you can choose further options like resetting skin changes, opening skin settings or loading new skins. The widget below directly leads to the skin settings within the settings window, which can also be opened in the larger settings section. In this way you can individually customize the skin.
The diverse options for the whole album page, headers, footers, the integration of your own code etc. are fairly intuitive and leave nothing to be desired. For instance, with the tab called ‘sections’, you can add a PayPal shopping cart with various purchase options, promo codes etc.
The other tabs and icons reveal many other settings to release a professional and potentially unique album. You can define folder structures, the way the miniatures are chosen and the way the miniature layout should look. Text, logos, watermarks, videos, and much more – you’ll miss nothing, and everything can be adjusted according to your preferences. On top of that, ready-made widgets are available for immediate use.
After preparing the content and adjusting the settings, you can now create an album. To do so you can use the corresponding button in the skins and styles section in the left column. Choosing the preview mode will also create a new album in the upper tool bar, if it hasn’t been created before. If you use the ‘create’ button, the album will quickly be generated, and the program will automatically switch into preview mode. Of course, this mode is meant for a final review before you upload the album to the jAlbum server or your own.
The preview gives you an impression of how the album would appear on the website. The album is also fully functional, so that you can test every link, menu, and function such as the slide show etc. before uploading it.
Afterwards, you can upload the album at jAlbum.net, via e-mail or share it through social media, like Twitter, Facebook etc. Additionally, there is a ready-made code block available to include the album on websites or blogs as an iFrame.
Finally, in the upper tool bar, you can switch to revision mode, which occupies the whole desktop window.
You can either leaf through the images manually or use the slide show. You can also choose an image as display image on the folder, add colored labels and award stars. Undesired images can be excluded, and formerly excluded ones can be added again. And, of course, you can also delete images.
jAlbum is a very extensive program for the organization and presentation of images and albums online, which is nonetheless easy to handle. The large amount of professional skins allows the user to quickly create terrific web galleries, which can be individualized at any time using the detailed applications or your own code. Even selling platforms for images can be created with jAlbum. Its fair license models make it an interesting program for both home users and professionals.
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