Perhaps the title is misleading, but no, we’re still not in the poaching business. Our skins’ purpose is much more noble, I bet you already know. :)
I made a few sample albums now just to test how the skin works from the user’s perspective. This little excercise was also beneficial to face everyday problems – you might stumble upon as a user – and fix numerous bugs in the process. Finally I put up four different albums with different looks to show off how flexibly Tiger albums can be customized.
I’m not sure if this is widely known, but jAlbum saves the settings along with the uploaded albums (unless you opt out), which makes it possible for other people to copy the look of the album. Naturally, only the public details – like colors or layout – not the sensitive data, like Facebook App ID, or your email address. Use the
File → Import → Settings from Published album and copy/paste the album’s URL.
1. Travel album
Perhaps showcasing travel photos is the most frequent use of jAlbum. When I travel, I prefer showing off my photos in a low-key, elegant way, with emphasis on the photos themselves. Besides using folders based on years / locations, I use keywords to label places. This makes it easier later collecting images made at the same place or made along the same concept (e.g. panoramic photos). I used Tiger’s default style (Linen) and modified just a few things.
This album has more than 1 600 photos, which took some 15 minutes to make on the first run, but subsequent makes took only ~25 seconds. Pretty quick, isn’t it? We have streamlined both jAlbum and the skin to process large albums as fast as possible. Initially, jAlbum has to go through all files to gather camera dates, but this information is now cached, speeding up future album builds considerably. Previously this process could take 10 times longer.
2. Multimedia album
Adding video files in a Tiger album hasn’t been a problem since the beginning, but lately the so-called “External content” feature has been added too. Through this you can add just ANY content you want (instead of the original picture): custom HTML code, an external website, or embed a YouTube/Vimeo video. You name it. This content then shows up in the lightbox ebedded through a window. You can even use jAlbum variables in the code. If you’re curious, you can read how this album was made. The album also demonstrates an unusal way of using face tags.
3. Shopping cart
This PayPal-based shopping cart component of Tiger has appeared first in our Photoblogger skin. This collects the chosen items locally and allows the customers to edit (change options, quantities, etc.) before they send it to PayPal. Previously, Turtle skin had two different types of shopping carts: one that sent items to PayPal right off upon clicking the button in the lightbox, the other made it possible to select more items but only on the index page, and all had to have the same price (and same other options). This was probably hard to follow for the visitors. Check out how the new shopping cart works! Did you know your visitors don’t have to sign up with PayPal? Besides using their PayPal balance, they can pay the usual way with their credit card too.
If you want to have a custom content above the page – like here – simply use the
Settings → Tiger → Header → Custom content feature. This way you can easily add your site’s logo and/or your site navigation instead of the ugly, user experience killer “IFRAME” method. Similarly, look for the
Settings → Tiger → Footer → Custom content box for adding your custom page footer content.
4. Album with map locations
Thanks to jAlbum 14’s new Location setting feature you can easily add GPS coordinates to your photos if they are missing. Previously I went through all these Venice photos and copied the coordinates from Google Maps to Turtle’s proprietary “Location” text field, which was a bit of a hassle, I have to admit. Now Tiger skin not just reads those Turtle-specific fields but also converts them to “standard” xmp.GPS values right away. (You have to run “Make album” at least once though, because the skin code runs only during album making.)
Tell us what you think, your comments are welcome.