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Photo Album Software

I've been looking for software that will generate a website based on all the files that I've been making with my new digital camera. At first I looked at CityDesk, but there are too many manual steps.

So far the best thing I've found is JAlbum.  You can drop a directory structure of jpgs on it, and it will make thumbnails of all the images and generate a site automatically.  It allows you to control the content, look and navigation through templates and BeanScript (user-submitted samples are provided). The author presents the unederlying functionality as a bean, and wraps it in a simple java GUI, although he invites people to use the bean in a webserver based implementation.

Thinking about it some more, in my extended family everyone emails pictures around all the time, but they just clog up inboxes and there is no overall organization.  I can imagine a server-based system that allows an adminsitrator to set up logins so that everyone could upload their pictures and comments into a navigable site. Every Christmas or whaterver, someone could make some  DVDs and send them around. Does such a system already exist? If not, does anyone think it would be worthwhile?       

Family Man
Saturday, July 12, 2003

I think there are a whole bunch of web-based services that will let you do that.  I think Kodak has one, but I've never used it.  I'm sure the good ones cost money though, but setting up your own web site costs money too.

What you describe seems like you will be the gatekeeper of photos.  The files will have to be on your hard drive and you will have to tell the software to update the website based on those files.  It seems like it would be more desirable if any of your friends or family could update the site with photos on their own computer, and I think those web-based services will let you do that.  The good thing is that there is nothing to install for anybody, they just go to a website.  But if they're doing massive uploads, it could be a huge pain.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

My friend always sends me stuff from, they may be worth checking out. As far as I can tell it's pretty much free. They make their money by selling hard copies. I think.
Saturday, July 12, 2003

Thanks for the comments.  My wife posted pictures to an MSN site regularly, and the whole family learned to go there. One day it stopped working, and that was that.  I know there are many such photo sites, free or otherwise. But I fear that they will go south, along with the family pictures.

I'm not looking to set up a business myself.  I just want to organize a gazillion family pictures so that everyone can get to them. I'd like to have some control over the layout/navigation, and total control over the content. I can't have the family history maintained on some companies webserver.

Take a look at JAlbum:  I'm pretty impressed, but what else is out there?

Family Man
Saturday, July 12, 2003

ThumbsPlus - I've been using it for years.


Saturday, July 12, 2003

I really like 'Web Album Generator' which is at:

It makes really nice pages and since it uses a cascading style sheet, it isn't too hard to change the layout if you don't like the ones that come with it.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

I seem to be beating the IrfanView ( ) drum tonight.

It does thumbnails & contact sheets although I'm not sure if it does it as well as the proposals already given - I use it primarily as a batch converter/resizer.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

I used to wonder why every cell phone  and pda manufacturer puts camera in thier devices. Everywhere you see it's about digital camera nowadays. If you look at the ads, it's like everybody's life revolved around taking pictures. I didn't know who took so many pictures all the time. Now I know, it you guys :)
I don't even own a camera. If I have to take pictures, if the ocassion is that important, I just go and buy a disposable camera.
Not that there is anyting wrong with taking pictures or anyting, this is just my observation. :)

Sunday, July 13, 2003

I've been using Adobe PhotoAlbum to organize my pictures, it's pretty decent compared to just storing photos in folders. It has a publish-to-web option that works pretty decently.

Joel Spolsky
Sunday, July 13, 2003

I rolled my own.

I use batch jobs in photoshop to resize my original pictures from 1600x1200 to 640x480 and 100x75.  Each set of pictures is stored in a directory like '/Pictures/2003-07-13 <eventname>', with subdirectories source, 640, 100.

I have a small Access database that relates picture -> event, person -> event, person -> picture.  I update the database with a couple of html pages that use client-side vbscript.

There is an asp interface to generate dynamic content, like "show me all pictures containing friend A and friend B", or "show me all pictures from event X".  I also wrote a small script to generate a static html page for a given event. 

The output looks like:

Steve H
Sunday, July 13, 2003

Mine runs on Zope  using the PhotoAlbum package

Simon Lucy
Sunday, July 13, 2003

I like Exhibit Engine.  It uses PHP and mysql.  A little more work to set up, but works great.

Brian Wood
Monday, July 14, 2003

You don't really make clear if you want static or dynamic software (i.e. something you run which generates webpages which you then upload, or something which produces them on the fly).

Monday, July 14, 2003

I like the gallery. It's OS and Free as in speech, written in php. located at It's multi user and each user can have their own albums. You add photos through the web interface, which kinda limits it if you want to upload hundreds of pictures, but twenty or thirty at a time takes only a few minutes. It has auto thumbnail and auto sizing and can potentially read exif data to make life easier.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Mig - is great. To setup you just copy a couple php files, and then it pretty much uses the windows folder structure. You ftp the files in the folders you want, with the names you want. You can generate the thumbnails automatically, show advanced stuff like EXIF data, and customise the look of the pages completely. There's a search, and best of all, it's free.

I used to use Slooze - - but i got fed up with having to ftp the files then add them to the site through the admin interface.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

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