Meet the new rating widget and play with photo data!

During the development of the Filtering and Sort feature for Tiger (and Photoblogger) my mental model was a web shop where you can sophistically filter the products. However, a few users has suggested another use: filtering images by their “meta data” – the data added by the camera. This is something I always wanted to play with too. You can do such in Lightroom with your source images, but now visitors can do this in your web albums. Isn’t this awesome? Beyond the fun factor this new addition can be extremely useful when you sell images or just learn/teach photography.

Another important addition in the latest release is rating. (Find in Settings / Tiger / Site / Extra / Display rating.) By rating visitors can easily gather the best shots before they put them in the cart, or give feedback on them. The rating widget shows up in both the thumbnail view and in the lightbox.

One more thing. The search box was perhaps too subtle – hiding in the top bar – for a webshop use. Now you can choose to place it right in the middle of the “Hero” area, so no one has a chance to miss it. Settings / Tiger / Header / Top bar / Move search box within the Hero area

Check out all these enhancements in this Tiger sample album:

What’s more Photoblogger skin has received the same enhancements (besides the search box) the same day. Check out here:

By the way, this is a good example of how an album with sidebar can perform much better on “Above the fold content” front. Just check out the two screenshots above!

When your switch between Tiger and Photoblogger you don’t lose the settings either – don’t worry –, because they belong to the same skin family. (Note, it’s always best to start experimenting with a fresh copy: use File / Clone project, available in jAlbum 19+.)

Both sample albums have an “Instructions” page, which shows the technical details. Find below all the jAlbum variables worth checking out:

Name Explanation Data type
fileCategory Possible values are audio, folder, image, other, video, webLocation and webPage Single/multiple string
rating Inherits rating from the album creator, but visitors can freely modify it. Numeric range
formatName Type of image: PNG, JPG, TIFF, etc. Single/multiple string
fileSize Size of original file Numeric range
fileDate Date of original file Date range
addedDate Date of image added to album Date range
originalDate Date of picture taken Date range
resolution Original image resolution as written by camera Numeric range
flash If flash was used Single string
focalLength Focal length of the lens Numeric range
focalLength35mm Same as focalLength but converted to 35mm (film) equivalent Numeric range
exposureTime Exposure time Numeric range
resolution Original image resolution as written by camera Numeric range
isoEquivalent ISO equivalent Numeric range
aperture Aperture (F-number) Numeric range
focusDistance Focus distance Numeric range
meteringMode Metering mode (focus/exposure metering method) Single/multiple string
cameraMake Camera make (manufacturer) Single/multiple string
cameraModel Camera model (full model name) Single/multiple string
sensorType Camera sensor type Single/multiple string
keywords Keywords added in jAlbum and IPTC keywords Single/multiple string
category IPTC category Single/multiple string
You can find all the fields here, in the "File metadata" table.

... and some of the metadata of interest found in my pictures:

Name Explanation Data type
Brightness Value
Brigthness Numeric range
Color Space Color space of the recorded image Single/multiple string
Contrast Contrast Single/multiple string
Exposure Bias Value
Exposure bias value Numeric range
Exposure Mode Exposure mode Single/multiple string
Exposure Program Exposure Program Single/multiple string
Lens Model Name and spec. of the lens Single/multiple string
Lens Specification Lens specification Single/multiple string
Scene Capture Type
Scene capture type Single/multiple string
Scene Type Scene type Single/multiple string
Sensitivity Type Sensitivity type Single/multiple string
Sharpness In camera sharpening Single/multiple string
Software Software used to process the image Single/multiple string
White Balance White balance value Single/multiple string
White Balance Mode White balance mode Single/multiple string
You can find the metadata recorded by your camera by Right-click → List metadata

But this is not all. jAlbum provides the possibility of adding custom variables to pictures. In Edit mode look for the "Variables" panel on the right. Here you can add a variable (and it’s value next to it) which you can refer to in the Filtering and Sort data. These variables also work for the Search and Tag cloud features.

Still, if you happen to stumble upon some tricky metadata – e.g. you would like to read out lens parameters from a complex string – you can use the Create custom slide variable tool to mine out data from any available field. Download the tool and read the instructions here.

I hope you’ll find as fun in this as I did. Moreover this is something you can try with a Standard license or (Premium account) too. If you don’t want to bother with filling in the Filtering box, simply import my settings by using the File / Import / Import settings from a published album menu, and provide the link to the sample album above.

Comments are welcome,

Laza

Online jAlbum is now 100% Flash free!

In the shadow of our big desktop client is our less known (and used) online jAlbum, which is a web based and simplified version of jAlbum that our Premium and Power storage customers can use. It's great when you want to create an album and don't have access to your main computer.

It has been using the now deprecated Adobe Flash player for both creating and for some skins when viewing the albums. That has now changed so the online jAlbum is now 100% Flash free! Instead of the Flash uploader there is a modern, easy to use, drag and drop JavaScript uploader. If you upload very large photos the uploader will shrink the photos before uploading them, so the upload process is always quick. And the Flash based skins have been replaced with our most popular skin "Tiger" and our newest skin "Lucid".

If you have created albums with skins that require Flash (EyeSocket, Lumen, Mr.Burns, PhotoStack or PostcardViewer) we recommend that you rebuild those albums with one of the current skins in online jAlbum, to make them work with all web browsers.

Tiger is now also the default skin instead of Turtle, so all new albums will be made with Tiger unless you switch to another skin. And since our iOS- and Android apps are using the online jAlbum engine this also means that all albums made using those apps will be made using Tiger.

In online jAbum there were also an image editor made by Pixlr. That one also used Flash and has stopped working, so we have disabled that editor. Pixlr is working on a new non-Flash based editor and as soon as that one is ready for integration into other web sites we will of course add that one to online jAlbum.

Want to try the improved online jAlbum? Just go to jalbum.net/create!

If you need help activating a storage trial, please contact us!

jAlbum interviewed in WebsitePlanet

I was recently interviewed by web software and services review site WebsitePlanet.com. If you're curious about what keeps a founder like me going after so many years with jAlbum (started in 2002) and my views on the trends and risks in this industry, you'll find this interview interesting. I'll promise that reading it will give you at least one more reason to  use jAlbum :-). All at WebsitePlanet.com

 

 

Introducing Lucid skin

When it comes to multi-level, elaborated albums (with all the bells & whistles) jAlbum is the natural choice for many photographers. However, sometimes you just want something simple – although professional looking – for your site. For instance when you want to share an event right away or just want to show a bunch of photos related to your business. Historically, we have had a few skins for this kind of task, like Mr Burn5, Compact or Fully, but most of them got dated, and they don’t play well with mobiles. So it’s high time offering alternatives.


Lucid skin

The first of this line is the new Lucid skin. This skin starts with the first photo right away. You can easily flip through the album with mouse or finger – Lucid should play well with both. If you only have folders, the skin will display them instead of the images (see above).

While you will not find all the advanced features of Tiger or Photoblogger – e.g. feedback, site-wide search or shopping cart – the most popular features came even with version 1.0. Google maps, social sharing, custom pages, full scren mode and background music to name a few.

It comes with 7 color styles, and 3 thumbnail layout modes: “grid”, “dots” and “masonry”, see below.

The control bar was designed to be the least possible distractive. If its background color isn’t transparent the bar will occupy its own space and push down the images accordingly, but when it’s (semi-)transparent the controls are laid over the images and the bar remains fully transparent until you move the mouse over it. This way the images can fill the browser window as much as possible.

Embedding is also simpler, because this skin was designed to work in tight places. It also comes with a responsive embedding code, which adapts to the available space. However, please note, embedding a web page into another is still not a good idea, due to mobile usability problems related to scrolling and smaller buttons.

One more thing... In this skin for the first time we’ve introduced a “live design preview”. When you change colors or fonts you’ll see the effect right away - you don’t have to go rounds with Make and Preview. This makes it incredibly inspiring playing around with these settings.

Now download and try the Lucid skin! (It also comes bundled with jAlbum 19+.)

Your feedback is welcome!

 

Laza

Presenting jAlbum 19

I'm delighted to tell you about the news for our new jAlbum 19 release. The highlights consists of a significantly improved search bar and an embedded spell checker.

This is naturally a free update for you who are on a current support & update plan (sign in here or see jAlbum Help for your status). For the rest of you we offer discounted updates and another 30 days of free trial if you like to try it first (install to a parallel folder to keep your existing version).

Improved search
This summer we added an appreciated search bar to jAlbum's Settings window that lets you quickly locate settings by simply typing a matching word. Now this clever search bar has been extended to not only cover all jAlbum's user interface panels, but to also look for album projects and items within the currently opened project. This will be a welcome addition to anyone who maintains large or many album projects.
The enhanced search is located in jAlbum's top-right corner and can be quickly accessed by pressing CTRL+Space. Need to locate that "vertebrates" folder in your Zoology album? Simply type "verteb" in the new search bar and you'll be taken to that folder. Want to find all movies within the current album project? Just type ".mov". jAlbum also looks for image metadata like titles, descriptions and keywords, and it's fast too.
 
Once you've opened the search bar, you can start typing words to look up. jAlbum will present the matches found in a popup menu while it spiders your settings, projects and current project in the background to reveal matches. Here's an example of me locating items where I've mentioned "sugar" in my Pistachio ice cream gallery:
 
 
 
 
The spell checker
Embedded spell checkerThis feature has been requested for many years. I admit I never thought an embedded spell checker was that important for a gallery software, but let's face it, a great gallery should not only have great images, but great text too. Don't degrade the quality of your story telling gallery with misspelled words. With a spell checker embedded in jAlbum 19 I opened some of my galleries and found to my surprise that I had several misspelled words :-)
 
jAlbum will now highlight misspelled words as you edit titles, descriptions and keywords. Simply right click the word and select the right spelling from the popup menu (or add it to the dictionary). The spell checker uses jAlbum's language by default, but you can quickly switch dictionary language by right clicking a highlighted word. jAlbum comes bundled with dictionaries for English, German and Dutch. Additional languages are downloaded on demand (French, Russian, Spanish, Italian and Swedish. More languages can be compiled from Wiktionary articles). The spell checker can optionally be switched off under Preferences. Use shortcut F7 to open a spell checker dialog to quickly correct a larger text.
 
Credit to i-net software for enabling us to use their excellent spell checking library in jAlbum 19.
 
Warm regards
/David and the jAlbum team