Play safe with jAlbum

In jAlbum 9 we took two steps towards improving Jalbum as a backup and restore service for your images. As you face the upload confirmation dialog, there is a checkbox that lets you include high resolution images with your album.

Note, Include hi-res images is only available for jAlbum versions up to 14.1.

include-hi-res.png

These images are uploaded just after your album has been uploaded, so including high resolution images doesn't affect the time it takes to upload and share the album itself. It naturally affects disk space, but we've tried to strike a good balance between space consumption, "printability" and upload time. These images are scaled to 2048x2048 pixel, which makes for good prints up to 14x14" (35cm), still a typical file size is at around 500KB, which is far smaller than most original images coming from today's digital cameras. If you don't like this option, just untick the checkbox. The same goes if you wish to remove high resolution images from an uploaded album: Just upload it again, this time with the checkbox unticked. The high resolution images are scaled to RAM memory and then uploaded, so they don't take up local disk space.

The lifeboat file

jAlbum not only backs up hi-res versions of your images, but also backs up all album project settings, including image captions, titles and applied filters. These settings are packed into a small file called "lifeboat.zip" and uploaded along with the album files when you upload an album. (This option can be switched off under Preferences->Publishing). If you wish to use another tool than jAlbum to upload the album, use "Tools->External tools->Create project backup" first to have the lifeboat.zip file written to the local album folder.

New image linking option

You may not only wish to have hi-res images uploaded for your own backup and print needs but to let your visitors easily download them. jAlbum includes a image linking option for this under the Settings->Pages tab called "Link to hi-res via scaled images". In this mode, jAlbum will produce hi-res images as you make the album and ensure that the final album links to these images.

Restore an album

downloadAlbum.png

Let's say disaster has struck and your local hard disk has crashed. If you have included high resolution images (or the originals) and the lifeboat.zip file when you uploaded your album, then you have a good backup to retrieve from the server you uploaded to. Connect to the relevant server using "Tools->Upload/Manage", you will now see the folders (albums) of the remote server listed in a window.

Just right click on the album folder to restore and select "Download". jAlbum will ask you where you wish to store the album on your local disk and then download the album. If you inspect the album, you should find any original images straight inside the album folder and any hi-res images under "hi-res" subfolders of the downloaded album.

Even though this operation helps you to retrieve your images after a disaster, you will still have to perform some steps to recreate the album project that was the base for this album (so you can update it in the future):

  1. Unzip the "lifeboat.zip" file found in the downloaded album folder
  2. Name the unzipped folder after your album and put it under the "My Albums" folder (recommended)
  3. Now move the hi-res or original images found in the downloaded folder to the unzipped folder.
  4. Finally, double click the "jalbum-settings.jap" file found inside the unzipped folder to open the album project in jAlbum. Your album project should now be restored along with image captions etc.