Get your pictures sorted. Properly.
Review by urban75 for Internet Magazine, Oct 2003
Digital cameras are chuffing top things, and the cheap price of memory cards are encouraging us to click faster than a woodpecker on steroids.
But taking the photos is the easy bit - finding the pesky things later amongst the thousands scattered all over your hard disk can soon become a time-consuming nightmare.
And here's where dedicated image management programs like iMatch come into play.
Offering an astonishingly powerful and flexible set of tools, this puppy will keep a rotweiller like grip on the whereabouts of all your images, whether they be on your local hard drive, network or CD Rom/DVD.
Not only can you browse by thumbnail and search by keyword, file name, date or time but iMatch's unique image matching tools let you locate similar images based on colour, texture and shape.
You can even draw a sketch of the image you're looking for, and iMatch will scuttle off and find matching images!
Before you can start ferreting through your image collection, you've got to compile a photo database, a job thankfully made a breeze by iMatch's clever wizard.
Simply point it to your photos folder, select your thumbnail preferences (size/image compression), and then sit back while it indexes all your images in double quick time.
Then it's a case of creating your own custom categories and sub categories and using the thumbnail viewer to drag your images into any applicable categories (e.g 'holiday', 'Spain' 'friends', 'beer' etc).
Voila! Your searchable database is ready to go!
As well as its hardcore searching gizmos, iMatch serves up a suite of useful image editing tools including red eye removal, lossless JPEG image, noise removal, levels, gamma adjustments, EXIF, IPTC and RAW data support etc.
They certainly won't put Photoshop out of a job, but they're more than adequate for everyday image tweaking.
iMatch also offers batch renaming and image conversion, contact sheets, scripting support with the ability to automatically add text, borders, watermark images and copyrights to your images.
Naturally, it also comes with a fully customisable Web photo gallery creator.
Not surprisingly, with all these features, iMatch isn't the easiest of programs to get your head around. Despite the comprehensive documentation and flotilla of pop up tips, to get the best out of it you're going to have to do some learning - but it's worth it!
iMatch is not for occasional snappers, but for anyone trying to keep track of a growing collection of images, we can thoroughly recommend program as outstanding value.
» iMatch website
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