Hosting hub in the US

TL;DR You can now have your albums hosted in the US if using jAlbum storage. Try now!

If you are using our storage (Premium, Power or Super) your files have always been on servers located in Sweden. This is good for most of our users, since most of our customers are in Europe. But we have many customers outside Europe too, and especially in the US. If that's you, having your files in Europe isn't optimal. It takes about 100ms (on a good day) for the data packets to cross the Atlantic Ocean so uploads can be slow and viewing the albums can be a bit sluggish. It has however worked so well that most of you haven't been bothered by this.

Since we now are completely "in the cloud" we can change this, so we have now opened a storage hub in the US, specifically in Northern Virginia! If you and most of your viewers are located in North America you will benefit from having your files here instead of in Europe.

We have run some tests and for a user in east USA with a fast internet connection1 uploading an album with many large files, like videos or large originals, the upload speed is about 3 times faster! Even for an album with only small files the new US hub is about 40% quicker than uploading to Sweden, if you are in the US.

When viewing the album, complete page loads are about 30% quicker. It just feels snappier. If you have a slow internet connection, then that will probably be the bottleneck so the location won't matter. But your viewers might have a quick connection and would benefit.

I have uploaded the Sample Project album with some videos added to both our storage in Europe/Sweden and to the new one in US/N. Virginia. You are welcome to compare the speeds. If you are in North America, the one in the US should be faster.

If you want to switch, sign in to jalbum.net and go to your Settings tab. There you'll find a Location link. Click it and you'll get the option of moving your storage.

We can always switch you back if you encounter issues or is having second thoughts. We want feedback on this one. If it is well received, we may open up hubs in other locations.


1. Windows computer in Ohio with 1Gbps symmetric internet connection

Our newest old skin

This week we've released our once most favored, Chameleon skin's successor, Lizard.

Remember Chameleon, which was once our most popular skin, characterized by grid-style layout, and skeuomorphic buttons? (Means: mimicking real-life objects.) This new skin was created to fill the void left by Chameleon after we stopped developing it because its architecture no longer suited modern devices and browsers. We didn't call this new skin Chameleon, since it had to be rewritten from the ground up, and can't mimic its predecessor in every detail. Still, the look of it should be immediately familiar to everyone who has used Chameleon before. This skin is already built on such foundations that it can make albums for any device, whether it has a small or large screen, controlled by a mouse or a finger. With this skin, you can easily rebuild your old albums or create completely new, retro-style albums. Welcome retro! After all, nothing is wrong with drop shadows, shiny buttons, and rounded corners.

Unlike Chameleon, Lizard leverages CSS styles for graphic effects (drop shadows, shiny buttons) creating a smoother, more flexible experience. It offers such an extensive control over the design none of the skins offered before, and guesses the missing pieces intelligently.

Lizard boasts a robust feature set, building upon what you know from other jAlbum skins: Tiger, Photoblogger, or Story. This includes search, tag cloud, shopping cart, feedback, maps, social sharing tools, and custom pages. Version 1.0 launches with 20 styles, including 14 that echo Chameleon's most popular designs.

The remaining 6 styles showcase new layouts, simpler designs:

Additionally, Lizard introduces innovative interactions, like the modal box that aligns with the triggering element, but it's easier to show than explain:

The 2010s were dominated by social media giants, the 2020s will hopefully offer a chance to embrace the value of private photo albums. jAlbum, with its focus on user control and privacy, empowers you to curate and share your digital legacy on your own terms. Not owned by corporations, not used to train AI – jAlbum offers peace of mind.

Explore Lizard skin styles: Lizard styles.

Install the skin: Lizard skin.

Share your thoughts and report bugs: Lizard skin forum.

 

/Laza

jAlbum 34 is here

jAlbum 34 is here. With improved ordering, navigation and Multi Maker, this release focuses on the needs of power users who maintain large galleries and many projects. Here's all you need to know:

Many of our users maintain many or large galleries with thousands of images and hundreds of folders. jAlbum is appreciated by both collectors, nature photographers and for making product presentations. For these purposes a gallery can easily exceed 10.000 images in size. jAlbum 34 will be a welcome update for everyone, but especially to those of you who needs to manage large image volumes or many projects. The improvements boils down to improved ordering, navigation and an improved Multi Maker. As always, you can read about all the improvements in our release notes:

Improved ordering

Initially, a jAlbum gallery would maintain one image ordering, for instance "camera date" or "name" ordering (see Settings → Pages → Image ordering). Later on we added the ability to keep each folder ordered according to your desires (See View menu → "Order by" and View menu → "Order folders by"). We now allow selected objects within a folder to be ordered as you please. See right-click context menu → "Order selected by". Unlike the earlier ordering options, this new ordering isn't managed automatically if you add new objects to the folder (this is a kind of "Custom" ordering). To get them ordered correctly, select the relevant objects (or all) and then issue "Order selected by" again. The earlier folder specific ordering options now reside under sub menus "Ordering" and "Folder ordering" to reflect that they maintain the set ordering. You can order both continuous and non-continuous groups of objects. If you're not happy with the ordering you just issued, just hit undo.

We've also added a new "file type" ordering. (The earlier "Type" ordering was actually a "Category" ordering, and has now been correctly labeled so). Objects can now be ordered according to folders first, name, last modified date, camera date, date added, rating, title, comment, category, type and shuffled.

Hint: If you need to order selected objects repeatedly, use CTRL+L as keyboard shortcut. This calls the last used tool again.

 

Select-as-you-type navigation

jAlbum's Explore view got its name from Windows Explorer. (Not the internet Explorer, but the file Explorer). The ambition has always been that jAlbum should mimic the behavior of your computer's file manager so you don't have to re-learn how to, for instance select, move, copy and rename files or create folders.

Windows Explorer and OS X Finder have a clever select-as-you-type mechanism that we've now added to jAlbum as well. Select-as-you-type allows you to quickly locate and select a project, file or folder by name. Just type the first few letters of a file- or folder name and jAlbum will take you to it. You can also hit one key repeatedly to rotate between all objects where the initial character matches.

Sounds complicated? Well, it isn't. Just try it out :-). Select-as-you-type has been added to jAlbum's Explorer, to the Multi Maker, Project Gallery and Backup & Restore tools.

Note: To avoid key-collision with rating and flagging objects. You now use SHIFT+keys 0-9 to rate and flag.

History navigation

The file manager of your operating system also keeps track of visited folders and allows you to navigate back and forward in a browser-like fashion. This has now been added to jAlbum as well. Just use the context menus' "Backward" and "Forward" items or use ALT-Left and ALT-Right. If you're mouse supports a "back" button, it now also serves as a shortcut to navigate backwards.

Improved Multi Maker

Would you like to change skin, style or settings for multiple projects easily? This can now be done with the Multi Maker of jAlbum 34. Just select the target projects, then right-click and select "Apply current settings". The current jAlbum settings will now be applied (and saved) to all selected projects in one go.

The Multi Maker can now also manage multiple projects stored under various locations. Just drop the folder containing jAlbum projects onto the Multi Maker or select the desired projects folder from the "Location" selector.

There's more. Read about all the improvements in our release notes.

Great reasons to upgrade to v33

If you’re an old-time jAlbum user who hasn’t upgraded jAlbum for quite some time, then this is for you. Here we summarize major improvements we’ve made in the last two years (since v25).

jAlbum is as relevant today as it was back then as values like integrity and control never go out of style, but you shouldn’t be sitting with a version that’s a decade old. Here is why.

Usability

Today’s jAlbum is easier to use, more flexible and robust than ever:

  • Phone integration: Feed images straight into jAlbum from your mobile phone and preview galleries on your phone with easy use of QR codes.
  • Background processing: Let jAlbum make and upload galleries in the background while you continue using it.
  • Easier to use settings. We’ve analyzed where you get stuck and reorganized jAlbum’s settings to be more intuitive
  • Sharper UI thumbnails. The thumbnail rendering of jAlbum’s user interface has been improved significantly, without sacrificing speed
  • New tools to backup and restore projects. jAlbum new project backup & restore tool also simplifies moving to another computer.
  • Monitored projects. jAlbum can ensure that selected projects are automatically made and uploaded (in the background) as soon as changes are detected to the project.
  • Over 60 bug fixes. Perhaps most important is a product that works, don’t you agree?

Speed

It’s common to see software grow big and slow over the years. Not so with jAlbum. You’ll see faster image processing and album making. Typically 2-7x faster (Networked drive, Tiger skin):

  • jAlbum now runs natively on M1 Macs ("Apple Silicon") too. 3x speed improvement!
  • 100% faster image processing. (Measured on a full rebuild of a 80 image gallery consisting of 16MPixel images).
  • Faster startup and project opening: 35s on v25. 3s on v33 (Networked drive)
  • Faster metadata parsing. The time to read .properties files (for instance long folder comments) has been reduced by several magnitudes.
  • Faster builds: Now uses fewer IO calls during album builds. (The "Sample Portfolio" project was built in 20% less time on a networked drive using a 4 core computer)
  • Faster consecutive background builds. (Better caching of script related data between album builds)
  • Lower memory usage for image processing.
  • Lower resource usage (threads)
  • Faster JPEG processing: 1,25x
  • Faster HEIC image reading: 1,69x (iPhone 12 HEIC images)
  • Faster TIFF image reading: 5,6x
  • Now uses up to 8 CPU cores for image processing instead of 4 for faster album builds
  • Faster page processing due to better parallelism when updating pages (most noticeable on networked disks where up to 6x write speeds have been achieved)
  • Faster metadata reading during album builds due to better parallelism. Now uses 24 threads instead of # of CPU cores. (most noticeable on networked disks where up to 3x read speeds have been achieved)
  • Faster counting of # of total files during album builds due to better parallelism.
    27% faster reading of WebP images
  • Faster uploads: Faster local vs remote file comparison before upload begins. Total gain for 26 GB networked gallery: 1 min 30 sec vs 15 min. The deletion of old stale files from earlier uploads is now performed over multiple connections.

Skins

Ensure that your excellent images and videos get an excellent presentation through the use of modern-looking, mobile-friendly skins:

  • Enjoy our new Plain skin. It’s super easy to use and produces great-looking, mobile-friendly to your liking
  • Our Tiger and PhotoBlogger skins now provide a slideshow within the hero image (title image)
  • Justified layout in Tiger, PhotoBlogger, Story and Plain
  • Patchwork layout in Story
  • New toned-down styles: Elegant, Latte, Portfolio, Soft, etc.
  • Floating sections for Feedback and Shopping cart (Tiger)
  • Sticky sidebar in (PhotoBlogger)
  • Unique background music per folder
  • Audio clip support
  • Image variants support
  • GPX tracks on Google Map
  • Avoid screen lock on mobiles during slideshows
  • Google fonts can be included in the album
  • Sitemap includes audio and video files too
  • Custom translated keys per album
  • Custom album language (independent of the UI language)

Summary

We hope you feel it’s time for a jAlbum update. We provide 30% discount to existing users that extend their licences’ "Support & Update" plan by signing in and buying a license again.

On top of getting access to the current version, you’re also entitled to updates and support for the coming 12 months. Also remember: Our licenses never expire, and finally: We offer 30 days full money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.

 Get jAlbum now   Extend support & update plan

 

/David

This is jAlbum 33

jAlbum 33 is here, adding tools for easy backup and restore of projects and comes with more user friendly settings. Let's dive right into it.

 

New settings window

Based on support experience, we've reworked jAlbum's settings window to be more user friendly. The first thing you notice is that it has a much smaller window than before. This is because we're using a new default skin called "Plain". Plain only provides the most commonly used settings, and they are therefore easy to find. If you need more "bells-and-whistles", go for our advanced skins like Tiger, PhotoBlogger and Story.

The second thing you'll notice is that the "Structure" and "Widgets" panels seem to be gone. They're now moved under the "Advanced" tab, should you need them.

The "Pages" and "Images" panels have been reworked as well. Here's the new "Pages" panel:

 

  As you can see, the somewhat confusing "Image linking from thumbnails" section is gone. You now have the equivalent settings (highlighted here) available under the reworked "Images" tab instead:

 

You now simply tick checkboxes for the types of images you wish to include in your gallery: Scaled images, originals or both scaled images and originals. (Thumbnails are currently always included).

Here are other improvements to the Settings window worth noting:

  • Window size calculation has been improved, now making room for your OS dock as well
  • Very large skin UIs now get scroll bars instead of expanding the settings window beyond screen size
  • The "Apply" button has been removed (settings are automatically applied when you make albums or close the window)
  • Skins may now supply their own fancy icons :-)
  • The "Hi DPI" settings have been moved to Images->Advanced. We recommend using 2x Variants instead as that gives the same effect on Hi DPI screens ("retina" screens) while maintaining a fast gallery for users with ordinary screens
 

Backup and restore

jAlbum 33 has two new tools to easily backup and restore album projects. (See File menu). When opening the backup tool you'll be presented with a window listing your recent projects together with information on disk location, last made date and last backup date. Simply select the projects to backup and hit the "Backup selected" button. You may choose a custom target folder for backups - the "backup directory" by using the directory chooser button in the top-right.
 
You may also choose from what location jAlbum should list your existing projects. Choose either "Recent projects" or "My Albums" location.
 
If you're moving to a new computer, backup to a USB memory or networked drive, select the "Include linked files" checkbox in order to ensure that each backup is self-contained. Otherwise you may not be able to restore linked files on the new computer.
 
As the backup progresses, jAlbum presents a progress dialog with estimates on time left. Once a backup is done, jAlbum updates the "Last backup" date in green:
 
 To help you locate the right project to backup, hit a key representing the 1:st letter of that project's name. The first match after the currently selected project will then be selected. You can also search backwards by SHIFT-typing characters. Hit Enter to begin the backup process.
 
During the backup, you can move the backup window to the back and continue working with jAlbum.
 
Restoring projects is similar to backing up. Just use "File->Restore projects". Just ensure that the "Backup directory" correctly matches the location where your backups are stored. Now select projects to restore and hit the "Restore" button:
 
The restore tool will detect if you're restoring on top of an existing project and give you the choices to either rename the restored project, restore over the existing project or skip restoring that particular project.
 
Just like with the backup window, you can move this window to back and continue using jAlbum. You can also navigate to projects by typing keys.
 
These were just some highlights from jAlbum 33. See all improvements in our release notes.