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SRG Sites > NewTechReview > Reviews > FlipAlbum CD Maker

FlipAlbum CD Maker

Manufacturer: E-Book Systems
Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided NewTechReview with a unit of this product for review.
Reviewed by Scott R. Garrigus
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Digital cameras have become extremely popular in the past few years, probably due to the fact that prices have come way down, even on some of the more advanced models. Digital photography is wonderful, not only because of the advanced technology, but because thereís no film involved. You simply download your pictures to your PC, and youíre ready to take more. No film means an unlimited number of pictures that can be taken. But what do you do with them all? FlipAlbum CD Maker from E-Book Systems may be able to help.

FlipAlbum CD Maker lets you organize your pictures into an electronic photo album, which can then be burned to CD and shared with all your family and friends (as long as they have a PC). After you capture and save your photos to disk, you can import them into FlipAlbum with a simple drag and drop. The program then automatically creates a thumbnail overview of all your imported pictures, along with a table of contents and index page. You can also apply a theme to your album (complete with a book cover) if you want to create something for a special occasion, such as a collection of your wedding pictures.

Once the basics of your album are complete, you can apply some finishing touches. Each page in the album will contain one photo. You can add an annotation to each photo/page along with a link to a file or Internet site, if youíd like. You can also add bookmarks to separate your album into different sections for easier viewing. And for something really cool, FlipAlbum will let you add background music! You can import and arrange your own MP3 files (you will need to create these yourself using some other software) using FlipAlbumís playlist management features. This means you can have more than one music file in your album, and you can control when/where in the album your music will play.

When completed, you can save your album to disk as a Windows computer program that can be burned to CD. When you view your album it actually looks like a virtual book with animated page flips and all. Anyone viewing your album can copy your photos to their own hard drives, or they can also print them out. What if you donít want them to do this though? Well, FlipAlbum takes care of that as well with its encryption options. Using these options, you can prevent anyone from copying your photos or printing them out. This can come in handy if you plan on selling your electronic photo albums to the public. Sell them? Sure, why not? If you take good pictures, people may want to buy them. You never know.

There are some limitations to FlipAlbum CD Maker though. For one, you can only include up to 200 photos per album, and (like I mentioned earlier) the program allows only one photo per page. If you plan to sell your albums, you are limited to distributing up to 1,000 albums per year. If you have a big market for your photo albums, you may be in a pinch here. These limitations can all be remedied if you purchase E-Book Systemís more advanced FlipAlbum Professional product, but of course, itíll cost you more. Thatís how the software industry works, my friends.

Lastly, you may be surprised that with a name like FlipAlbum CD Maker, this software does not provide any CD burning capabilities. Youíll need your own separate application for that. E-Book Systems even includes a blank CD disc in the package to get you started, but you canít burn it with their software. I found this a bit strange, but then the software would probably cost more if they added CD burning.

Even with its limitations, FlipAlbum CD Maker is a very useful application. You can store and organize your photos in virtual photo albums and (with separate software) you can burn your albums to CD to share with friends and family, or even sell them for a profit. I had fun playing with this product, and Iím sure all you digital photography buffs will too.
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