Saturday, November 8, 2008

Photology - The unique photo cataloguing software goes free

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Photology is a photo cataloguing and searching application for windows which is unlike any photo managing software you have seen before. It allows you to view, tag, manage, search and edit your photo collection, just like any other myriad of such tools available for Windows. This software however, has a different way of doing it.

Photology's unique user interface is the first thing that will strike you the moment you launch the application. Forget about folders. Photology uses a different approach for cataloguing your images. It features a number of different filters to sort your images - time and date, color, content (beaches, faces, water etc), inside or outside, orientation, black & white, focused or blurred and a number of other filters. The best part is, Photology's intelligent algorithm automatically identifies the images and sorts them according to the filter applied. So you don't have to sit through hours manually tagging you photo collection, and if your collection is large, you can understand how time saving can this be. Of course, you can manually tag your photos too.

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Photology is not exactly an image viewer, but an image searching tool. Hence, browsing by folders is done away with and instead filters are brought into place. For instance, if you want to find the photo of your friend in a brown shirt but don't remember where you saved it, you can use the color filter to search photos having the color brown.

The "content" filter allows you to search photos by plants, flowers, faces, beach, water, snow, sky and sunset. Photology doesn't always get it right, so you have to careful while using filters that rely on the artificial intelligence of the software.

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There is another filter called location with two options - inside and outside. The inside and the outside filter differentiates photos that were taken inside and outside respectively. Photos that are well lit are generally assumed to be taken outside. This is another place where the software tends to make errors. So you have to be judicious when you use certain filters.

Photology also comes with some basic photo editing tools like cropping, rotating, red eye removing etc.

Photology has another feature called groups. Groups are like folders, but better, because a photo can be a part of more than one group without having multiple copies of the same photo.

The software is a bit heavy on resources, particularly when it's indexing your images. Overall, it's an impressive application and makes searching for photos definitively a lot easier. When Photology was released about a year ago, it had a commercial license with a price of $39 per license. Now, they have decide to go free. I think that's one good reason why you should try it.

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