jAlbum 12 released
Posted Apr 3, 2014
by David Ekholm
We’re excited to tell you about the improvements that have been added to the long-awaited v12 release of our desktop software. It’s been a year since the last major release, where we added support for 164 video formats. This version focuses on improving the user experience:
Opening an album over a network drive
Resuming an interrupted build
jAlbum 12 is significantly faster in dealing with images loaded over network drives. A typical project that took 15 seconds to open over a network drive now opens in 3 seconds (SAMBA mounted network drive on Windows). The painting of thumbnail images has also been improved so you can browse through not-yet-loaded images with less lag.
It’s however when making albums you will notice the most significant improvement. Previously, if an album build was resumed after an interrupted build (user aborting the build or an error), then jAlbum sometimes had to re-process each image and video again. This is now a thing of the past. Each image and video keep track of their build settings so unnecessary rebuilds are avoided.
New user interface
jAlbum’s user interface has undergone the biggest change since jAlbum 7. It now has an embedded web browser that lets you quickly preview changes as you play along with settings. This is the main reason for the somewhat larger window. Let’s go through the changes to the main window from top to bottom:
- New notification center: Helpful information coming from us or the skin developer can now be accessed from this icon even if a notification has been dismissed.
- Clearly indicated view mode tabs
- View mode specific toolbars. Each view mode has a unique toolbar with the tools relevant for it
- Clearly indicated label types: Easily see and control whether you’re editing file names, titles, captions or keywords
- New skin information window giving you an overview of the currently selected skin and offers easy management for it
- Large settings button next to make album button
- Preview local album button next to make album button
- New view final album button next to upload button.
Edit view mode
- Image tools moved to custom toolbar
- Image properties now occupy the whole right-hand-side offering more simultaneous information
Preview view mode
- Toolbar offering the classical browser functions + work-flow related functionality like uploading and sharing
- See and control whether you’re viewing the local or published version of an album
- Web browser for previewing a local album and viewing the final published album. Updates the local album in the background and reloads the display as you play with skin- and style changes. (Skin changes and general changes need a click on the “Apply” button to trigger an update)
Note: The browser we’re using is Chromium. It is a modern open source component but it currently has two flaws:
- Currently No support for mp4 video format (aka H.264) that jAlbum is using. Use an external browser to view video powered albums instead. Hint: Alt-click the preview buttons to open the album in an external album or inactivate the embedded browser under jAlbum preferences.
- Missing Flash support for Mac. Flash support in general can be added by downloading Flash directly from Adobe
Share view mode
- Buttons to easily share your album using different social networks. All sharing options, including sharing with jalbum.net is now opt-in meaning no sharing will be done unless you explicitly choose to share
New Effects panel
New “Effects” settings tab allowing easy and detailed control of album-wide image effects like watermarks/texts, logos, grayscale, auto-correct and artistic filters via an easy to use interface. (Effects applies to all images unlike their “Image tools” counterparts). (Advanced users: The chosen effects are synched with the user variables panel)
jAlbum 12 requires a new software license. For those who have purchased a v11 license, we currently offer a 50% upgrade discount. This means you only pay €14.50 ($19.50) for a Standard License upgrade and €34.50 ($44.50) for a Pro License upgrade. Make sure you sign in first though. Those who have purchased a license after February 17th already have a version 12 license. If you instead have a Premium or Power account, you also got a license valid for v12, so you don’t have to buy a new license. To know what license you have today, just select “About jAlbum” from within the software.
- Rewritten change detection. No more spurious “Do you wish to save changes” warnings
- Safely deletes unused slide and original image files from album folder
- Warns and guides users who haven’t set up their ftp settings right
- Thumbnail specific information is now only displayed when hovering the mouse over the small “info-i” status icon
- Speed-up to deleting directories over SAMBA mounted network drives
- Implemented performance of files linked to SAMBA mounted network drives too
- Added multiple logging levels to ease debugging
- New icons and images
- Bundled with updated skins (HTML5 instead of Flash)
- Splash screen now displays license type
- Fix for broken “Repair all links”
- Various bug fixes