iPhoto Really Delivers – First Photo Books Arrive

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Date: Monday, January 14th, 2002, 12:03
Category: Archive

I was really excited when my iPhoto hard-bound album arrived today. I couldn’t wait to get one so I had it express shipped. I submitted it Tuesday night, and it shipped on Friday via FedEx. So, I opened it up and started examining my 17 page, storybook layout, iPhoto album. I chose pictures of my friend’s band L.U.V. and made a little story about their progression through the last year or so. Here are my thoughts about my experience using iPhoto to create my first photo album.


I was really excited when my iPhoto hard-bound album arrived today. I couldn’t wait to get one so I had it express shipped. I submitted it Tuesday night, and it shipped on Friday via FedEx. So, I opened it up and started examining my 17 page, storybook layout, iPhoto album. I chose pictures of my friend’s band L.U.V. and made a little story about their progression through the last year or so. Here are my thoughts about my experience using iPhoto to create my first photo album.

  1. My photos were already hi-resolution JPEG’s that I had scanned in or transferred from my 3.1 megapixel Sony DSC-S70. I had told iPhoto to automatically launch when the camera was connected and they were imported flawlessly. I also imported some scans from some other places on my hard drive very easily. I didn’t need to do any cropping, but I did some rotating. (My only beef with the rotate feature is that it only goes counterclockwise which meant that I had to click 3 times to get some of the pictures right side up. Maybe an option-click to go clockwise in 2.0?)
  2. I chose the storybook layout because it seemed to be the best one for my project. It was very easy, just generating random pages. While I know it is geared to be easy to-use, I got frustrated sometimes. It does take away a little too much control. For example, I selected on one page that I wanted 3 pictures and it automatically picked the vertical layout with the three pictures vertical from top to bottom and writing space on the right hand side. I however, really wanted these pictures to be the 3-to-a-page horizontal layout with the pictures arranged left-to-right across the top half of the page, and the text on the bottom half. So, I would love all the layouts to be represented in the drop-down menu. (Ex: Cover, Introduction, 1, 2V, 2H, 3V, 3H).
  3. I noticed that after I selected a certain number per page, it would move a picture out of order to fit the layout occasionally.
  4. The upload was pretty fast since I have a kickin’ cable connection.
  5. There was no way to change the size of the text, although it was possible to change the font.
  6. The album is really nice. The text is really sharp! The pictures look great! There was a little bit of screening in the prints (probably because of the printing process, but I don’t know too much about that). All in all, I love my book!
  7. The inside of the back cover has a white apple logo and on the bottom it says “Created on a Macintosh”. A nice plug for when you give a beautiful photo album to a Windows geek.

I also tried to check out the upload to Web feature. I like all the frame options and the batch upload to your iTools home page, but what I’d really like to see in the next revision is an advanced mode that would let you upload it somewhere else (like my real Web server not hosted by Apple). I like the idea of a bunch of thumbnails with frames and this would be a total timesaver if I could just upload them to my own site.

To clarify, you can use “Export” to publish photos to your drive for posting on a non-mac.com site, but not with all the pretty frames and borders. Also, the color in my photos looked really good in my album and it was pretty good in the pictures. An album is only as good as the pictures you put in it, so crop, remove red-eye, and compose your original shots well. And choose your pictures carefully! One last feature (pay attention Apple) would be the ability to create my own layouts and send them to be printed, maybe as a PDF file or something. Again, maybe in an advanced mode. I think if this feature were added, it wouldn’t be a killer app, it would be absolutely nuclear.

Now, I know it sounds like a lot of little issues, but, remember this is also coming from someone who started on an Apple IIc in 1987.

Lower the price of printing just a tad, and I’ll be ordering albums for every friend’s birthday, anniversary, and special occasion. I think Apple is really onto something including these services in iPhoto. On TechTV’s The Screen Savers, host Leo Laporte said after the keynote, “It’s not about how fast your computer is anymore, because pretty much everyone’s is fast. It’s about what you can do with it.” I couldn’t have said it better!

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