More iPhoto Impressions

I wrote a little earlier about my first impressions of iPhoto, Apple’s new photo cataloging super-program.

I’ve now had a good 5 or 6 hours of solid use of the program, and my generally positive feelings continue. Everything is still slower than it should really be (with the odd exception of rotating photos, which is instantaneous in iPhoto and takes an eternity in Canon’s own ZoomBrowser software that came with my digital camera). But the user interface us well-designed and consistent, and everything works just like it should.

To use the print ordering and hard-bound book ordering features of the product you have to sign up for “One Click Ordering,” which means registering your billing and shipping details with their servers to facilitate easier ordering. I wasn’t as bothered by this prospect as I imagined I would be.
[ident]The process of ordering prints was dead simple: drag and drop, order. That’s it. When you compare this to the process of ordering prints otherwise — even at well-designed sites like Shutterfly and Prism — which is inevitably cumbersome, it makes this one of the stand-out features of the product. I’ve ordered some 4x6 prints (10 come free — except for $3.99 shipping) and will report on their quality when they arrive.

Similarly, the “make a hardbound book of your photos” process was very well designed and easy to follow: just select an album, organize the photos in the order you want them to appear, choose a template, enter some text, and order. It’s not cheap — $49 for a 10 page book — but if the quality’s as good as they claim it is, it will be worth it from time to time.

In the end, a nice addition to my iBook, and a welcome rescue from the hell of ZoomBrowser.


Bill Kearney's picture
Bill Kearney on January 8, 2002 - 16:01 Permalink

I use zoombrowser with my S300 and it’s not that bad (the PC version). The rotate function is indeed rather slow. But it automatically senses my camera being plugged in and does a decent job of keeping track of files if they get moved around.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on January 8, 2002 - 16:04 Permalink

ZoomBrowser really started to break down for me when I started to use if for more than about 1,000 photos. Its visual setup — showing you thumbnails of all the photos on the screen at one time — inevitably slows down when there are a lot of photos there. I’ve also never liked its basic user interface — it suffers from a set of symptoms common to graphics applications from third parties, and that is a desire to reinvent the visual language of the UI in their own image, complete with their own style of buttons, select-lists, etc. ZoomBrowser does the job, you’re right, and it does do a decent job of keeping track of files, but it just doesn’t do it very elegantly.