Most of the jAlbum skins are intended to show photograph albums. However, I needed to show an artist's portfolio, and the requirements are a bit different. Although Mirage is intended to display art, it also works well for photo albums, as long as you don't want to show photo meta-data (e.g. aperture, focal length).
1) Why use the Mirage skin?
- If you want to create an art gallery, I think this is the best available skin.
- Mirage and its 3rd party plug-ins are completely free for personal and commercial use.
- Albums are compliant with HTML5.
- The "variants" feature allows a slide page to contain thumbnails of related images, videos and web pages. This provides a more focussed view than an index page.
- The "superimposed" feature allows you to combine a main image and a secondary image on the same slide page. This can provide extra impact.
- Albums can be viewed in Windows, Linux, Mac, BlackBerry, Android, iPad and iPhone.
- If you want to include videos in your album, your choice of skins is limited. Mirage supports the major video formats, and handles cross-browser inconsistencies.
- With any skin, it is possible to combine multiple albums into a master album, but this is complicated. Mirage simplifies this task by allowing an album to contain Windows shortcuts or Internet shortcuts; this lets you easily copy and paste your albums (or portions of albums). Each linked album can be created with any skin.
- An album can contain thumbnail links to web pages. This allows you to include external content that complements your photo collection.
- The number of index page columns can be automatically adjusted, so that the thumbnails fit the width of any browser window.
- Flash-free presentation displays images without distractions, and ensures compatibility with devices that don't support Flash.
2) Other features:
- Index pages:
>> Each folder is shown as a "folder icon" that contains an embedded thumbnail of any image.
>> A "For Sale" or "Sold" label is superimposed on the thumbnails of paintings that are for sale.
>> A "New" label is superimposed on the thumbnails of new album objects.
>> Multiple index pages are supported (by setting "number of rows" to a non-zero value). Unlike other skins that I have tested, navigation through the slides doesn't allow you to go beyond the limits of the current index page.
- An album can contain:
>> Images (JPG, GIF, PNG). Images can be zoomed.
>> Videos (MPG, AVI, MOV, MP4, WEBM, OGV, WMV, DivX, Xvid, FLV, SWF, 3GP, YouTube)
>> PDF files
>> Shortcuts to other albums or web pages
- Video and PDF files are usually embedded, so that they blend with the album's overall appearance.
- A streamed YouTube video can easily be added to an album by a click and drag.
- 44 styles are included.
- Albums display correctly in all the major web browsers.