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Author Topic: Pre-review Discussion for Graphics Viewers Review  (Read 33098 times)
Scott
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« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2005, 01:12:57 PM »

It was Brennig's.  But I see that the project has been sucked up by Ashampoo.  I'm sure they'll turn it to shit in no time, if not already.
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« Next Edit: Tomorrow at 12:13:47 AM by Scott »
Jibz
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« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2005, 02:26:53 PM »

Here are a couple, dunno if they all fall completely into this category:

Adobe Photoshop Album

EyeBrowse

Photo Filtre

IMGV
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"A problem, properly stated, is a problem on it's way to being solved" -Buckminster Fuller
"Multithreading is just one damn thing after, before, or simultaneous with another" -Andrei Alexandrescu
imtrobin
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« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2005, 11:26:07 PM »

www.xnview.com
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Jibz
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« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2005, 02:39:24 AM »

I guess there are two types of image viewers .. those that build a thumbnail database and those that don't. Both have their uses thumbs up.
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"A problem, properly stated, is a problem on it's way to being solved" -Buckminster Fuller
"Multithreading is just one damn thing after, before, or simultaneous with another" -Andrei Alexandrescu
nudone
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« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2005, 03:11:04 AM »

that appears to be the definitions, Jibz. i will look at the two categories separately - maybe we need a few more suggestions of the simple 'viewer' type?
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Scott
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« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2005, 06:06:38 AM »

Thumbnail storage seems like an arbitrary distinction to me, especially since it can be switched off in any decent application that supports it.
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mouser
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« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2005, 07:07:35 AM »

i agree with scott.
i think what you really mean is,
does the program focus on being able to work with large catalogs of pictures (which necesitates a database),
or is it really just an image viewer with possibly some minor functions for browsing directories of images.
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Scott
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« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2005, 08:15:06 AM »

I think there should be one category.  What good is a graphics viewer that can't handle multiple files well?  If it chokes when showing thumbnails, it sucks as far as I'm concerned, but it's still an image viewer.  (Sorry for stepping on the toes of a freeware fave, but I am addicted to truth.)  Breaking off a category just for the ones that can't thumbnail well is grading on a curve.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2005, 08:18:21 AM by Scott » Logged

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mouser
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« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2005, 08:47:32 AM »

well..
i have a lot of pictures, but i spend 99% of my time using a quick image viewer (freeware irfanview), rather than inside one of the image browsing apps like acdsee.

now i know that acdsee has an image viewer, but im more interested in having a really super fast and convenient image viewer that shows images when i double click them from windows explorer.  so i am not so much interested in all those nice datatbase thumbnail browsing features (at least not for my main choice of image viewer), and i'm more interested in a clean fast tiny viewer with some crop, enhance, and save as functionality.

not that im not interested in having a good image browser/cataloguer, im just saying that for me i view these as two very different kinds of tasks.  ultimately it will all be up to nudone whether these should be different reviews, different categories, or all the same thing.  i'm just saying i definitely see two distinct kinds of uses.

now maybe the best cataloguer/browser also includes the best small image viewer, but that wasn't my impression last time i checked.

i love the speed and convenience and featureset of irfan view when just quickly viewing pictures.
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nudone
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« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2005, 09:37:10 AM »

i can see the distinction and i can see the need to look at both types. i admit, i would only have looked at the 'proper' database image file managers for the review if the other 'quick' single image viewers hadn't been mentioned so much during this post.

maybe the review should be split between the types?

i was under the impression most people would be using things like ACDSee but now i don't know.

which you use it perhaps down to habit. i use ACDSee for all image viewing - multiple files and single clicks on a jpeg. this definitely isn't the quickest way to view things on my machine but it's the way i work out of habit - that's why i'm prepared to do this review. i'm genuinely curious as to what i'll find and may well conclude that i've been doing things wrong for all these years.

anyway, the intention is to look at both viewer types for the moment. i can sort things out with mouser at a later date as to what should be included. if there are more opinions similar to Scott's then i'll reconsider as i don't want to use time looking at programs that definitely won't be in the review.
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Jibz
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« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2005, 09:52:13 AM »

It does come down to what use you have.

The database driven programs are generally bigger and slower to start, but provide far more features for categorizing, labeling and managing a collection of images.

The quick image viewers on the other hand are great for double-clicking on an image, when all you want is to see that image and not load a database with 10,000 images.

Personally, I have been using IrfanView so far, but my digital image collection is getting so big that I will need to switch to something with more categorization support soon. I would still prefer to keep a quick image viewer registered as shell extension though thumbs up.

I don't know if splitting the review would make sense .. you could also consider giving out an award in each category if there are suitable winners.
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"A problem, properly stated, is a problem on it's way to being solved" -Buckminster Fuller
"Multithreading is just one damn thing after, before, or simultaneous with another" -Andrei Alexandrescu
Scott
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« Reply #36 on: June 22, 2005, 10:01:55 AM »

i have a lot of pictures, but i spend 99% of my time using a quick image viewer (freeware irfanview), rather than inside one of the image browsing apps like acdsee.

now i know that acdsee has an image viewer, but im more interested in having a really super fast and convenient image viewer that shows images when i double click them from windows explorer.

I understand and agree, but ACDSee 7.0 is very quick when opening individual images.  That was one of my requirements before settling on it.  And it's read-ahead and cache-behind makes browsing images one-by-one very fast, too.

I almost feel like I need to step back and say something like "I'm not a salesman for ACDSee."  In fact, I don't like the company much.  They recently told me that one of the bugs I reported was confirmed, but wouldn't get fixed until the next major release--which means I'll have to pay for a bug fix.  Typical nonsense.  (Off topic maybe, but typical.)

But anyway, I still don't think there is a distinction to be made.  If an image viewer sucks for handling multiple files, it has a lousy feature set.  If another application can handle multiple files well, but is slow, then it's a pig.  Both should be rated down.  ACDSee 5.0 was slower than 7.0, so it sucked.  I didn't use version 6.0, but I have read many times that it sucked, too.  But 7.0 is the best of both worlds from what I see here...  And it's not alone.  XnView was pretty good, too.

I'll shutup after this, really...  I just don't think it's too much to ask for an image viewer to be both fast and multi-file capable.  To me, that's a bare minimum, and everything else is just a nicety.  For example, I wouldn't put image-editing or screen-capture features in with those two criteria.  I don't consider those things to be essentials for an image viewer.

It has got to be fast, and it has to be able to handle lots of files.  If not, it's shitware.  (I'm such a binary bastard!)
« Last Edit: June 22, 2005, 10:23:25 AM by Scott » Logged

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nudone
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« Reply #37 on: June 22, 2005, 04:19:36 PM »

a while back i was asking if anyone knew of an image file manager that allowed you to append notes and other useful information to files you were working on.

after a bit of discussion i accepted that ACDSee did enough for the tasks i was thinking of - but it really doesn't do enough in this area for what i was hoping for.

a few minutes ago a came across 'AlienBrain Studio' http://www.alienbrain.com/products/. it's way too serious an application - we are talking stupid money to buy it - but the features it has are more along the lines of what i was after originally.

you can see a good example of this with this screencast they have made. http://www.alienbrain.com/products/tour/intro/

i really like its ability to 'draw' or 'write' over the top of the thumbnails so you can instantly see what needs doing to specific images (or 3D files). the other features for note making look very handy too and the way it keeps a record of previous images and how they have changed.

i know the program isn't really for home use and is aimed at teams collaborating on projects where they need to allow checking in and out of work files...

i'm wondering has anyone seen anything like it that is geared to wards single users - with these advanced note making abilities, especially the new layer added to the thumbnails with your scribble on top.

anyone?
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mouser
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« Reply #38 on: June 22, 2005, 07:39:34 PM »

those are some nice features..

btw this isnt really going to help you but, screenshot captor lets you add as many text comments to a file as you want, and can embed the comment text in most formats of files (jpg,tiff,png,gif). since its autosaves and is easy to quickly move through a directory of files it might come in handy for bulk comment adding.
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« Reply #39 on: June 22, 2005, 08:00:51 PM »

straying slightly...
With acdsee 7.0 I've tried excluding the root of each hard drive (and subfolders) from being thumbnailed but that doesn't work. You have to exclude the folders below the root or they disappear upon restart . In fact, being unable to switch the thumbnail/database thing off really is annoying. Despite that, I ponied up for the powerpack because I couldn't find anything better and I can force v7.0 to act almost (but not completely) like the classic version did. I have absolutely no use for the fotoslate app but the quick & dirty editor is good enough for my limited requirements, (cut, crop, clean).
Even with vast amounts of images I still prefer to [pgdn] through them all rather than view thumbnails. It's a preference that carries across all my windows usage. File managing is done with detailed view only and nary an (icon/picture) to be seen in any list/app.
So I give acdsee a bad mark for not giving you complete freedom with your browsing style.
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Scott
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« Reply #40 on: June 22, 2005, 08:42:03 PM »

With acdsee 7.0 I've tried excluding the root of each hard drive (and subfolders) from being thumbnailed but that doesn't work. You have to exclude the folders below the root or they disappear upon restart . In fact, being unable to switch the thumbnail/database thing off really is annoying.

That's not the behavior I have here; I have all my drives excluded except one, and it works fine.  All I have under Excluded Folders are root directories.  Are you running build 102?  They did have some issues with the database, and the exclusion feature, in earlier builds.

I'll spill a little secret here; it's unrelated, but I think worth mentioning.  Please don't spread it far and wide, or they'll probably find some way around it.  Wink

Anyway, under the General section of the options dialog, there is an option to Automatically check for updates.  I think this is an important feature.  But the problem with this--and it is a problem--is that in order to benefit from this feature, you have to give up some privacy.  As a trade-off to the update checks, the idiots try forcing you to submit usage statistics to them on a regular basis.  thumb down

I don't care for that, so I found a way around it.  Just enable the aforementioned setting, then find this file:

[copy or print]
C:\Documents and Settings\USER NAME\Application Data\ACD Systems\ACDSee\70\UsageTrack.txt

And set it to read-only.  Hello update checks, goodbye usage tracking!  smiley
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« Reply #41 on: June 23, 2005, 05:51:50 PM »

well, I have v7.102 but I don't have the file you mention, it's just an empty directory. I've figured that the settings for what you exclude from the database are actually stored within the database (as opposed to the registry or an ini file). So removing all db info was actually reseting everything. Still prefer 'off' as an option (sulk).
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Scott
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« Reply #42 on: June 23, 2005, 05:57:38 PM »

 
UsageTrack.txt won't appear unless you have the aforementioned setting enabled.

Just rebuild the database and exclude what you want, then leave alone, and you should be fine.  Be happy you're using build 102; the previous build had a problem where the names of all directories and files you navigated to got shoved in the database, even if they were excluded.  I had to scream pretty loud to get that fixed.
 
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« Reply #43 on: June 24, 2005, 03:21:30 AM »

Quote from: Scott
But the problem with this--and it is a problem--is that in order to benefit from this feature, you have to give up some privacy.  As a trade-off to the update checks, the idiots try forcing you to submit usage statistics to them on a regular basis. thumb down

That really sucks Angry.
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"Multithreading is just one damn thing after, before, or simultaneous with another" -Andrei Alexandrescu
Scott
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« Reply #44 on: June 24, 2005, 10:33:31 AM »

I know.  I think it's bullshit.  I've had thoughts of typing the message "Hello, <expletives>!" in that file, then setting it read-only.
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nudone
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« Reply #45 on: June 27, 2005, 07:44:04 AM »

i'm just preparing to do the graphics viewer review (just downloading all the programs at the moment) but wondered what everyone thinks to this...

how comprehensive a list of image types a 'viewer' can successfully display is obviously important but i can appreciate that many people will not need the ability to read 'Adobe Photoshop' .psd files.

my first inclination was to discard ALL viewer programs that do not support the .psd format as they obviously aren't serious applications. but i'm not sure if this is the right strategy when many people will never come across a single Photoshop file.

the question is: to make things simple, do i exclude all software without .psd viewing capability or do i make allowances for these lesser viewers that may be very useful in other areas?

as i expect the majority of users will simply need a graphics viewing program that works with jpg, gif, png, bmp and tif it seems a shame to be harsh on those programs that can't handle psd.

like i said, my reflex is to keep things 'serious' and exclude the non .psd viewers.

opinions please...
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mouser
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« Reply #46 on: June 27, 2005, 09:39:04 AM »

i agree that most people won't care about .psd display.

but then for serious power users, it would be annoying to use a viewer that didn't support it.

this isn't a great answer to your question, but my attitude about these things is kind of like this.  iff it seems like these viewers that don't support psd were not going to win best commercial or best freeware image viewer anyway, whether you cared about psd of not, then there's no harm excluding them really.

the only time it gets tricky is if you have an app that would be best freeware/commercial viewer for people who don't need psd.  thats when you have to ask yourself whether someone who doesn't care about psd would have wanted to know about this program.

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Scott
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« Reply #47 on: June 27, 2005, 10:28:40 AM »

Seems like another arbitrary distinction to me.  Paint Shop Pro is pretty popular too, I think, so why not act on PSP file viewing capabilities, instead or also?

But my real reacion is: What user who uses Photoshop heavily will need to read this review anyway?
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nudone
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« Reply #48 on: June 27, 2005, 10:51:16 AM »

i use photoshop every day and still find it worthwhile looking at the different graphics viewer programs (there may well be a viewer built into photoshop but i still prefer to use ACDSee as in many ways it's better, but i'm not assuming it is the best). i think .psp file support is necessary also.

i didn't mention it before but i was also thinking of excluding graphics viewers that don't support RAW images which would limit the review to even less programs but i think that is going a little bit too far.

i'll see how things progress as i start going through the list of apps and then will probably make a few more comments and queries here.
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mouser
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« Reply #49 on: June 27, 2005, 01:49:58 PM »

it's a big category -
don't hesitate to restrict it if it gets overwhelming.

for example, if there are simply too many tools and its too hard to pick one or two best ones, then i think you should feel free to make it a review of Pro-level image management tools, and then rightfully reject any tool that cant handle raw, psd, psp, etc.
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