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StudioLine Photo Classic 3 Plus Review

StudioLine Photo Classic 3 Plus Review - Matt Grayson takes a look at tagging and editing software program Photo Classic 3 Plus by StudioLine. Because he's worth it.

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StudioLine Photo Classic 3 Plus in Other Software

As part of the H&M Software company who have been supplying large companies with software for 30 years, StudioLine was created for the Internet so Joe Public could benefit from their wisdom.

StudioLine Photo Classic 3 Plus System requirements

  • Windows Vista/Xp/2000/Me
  • Pentium III, IV or compatible processor, minimum 800Mhz
  • 256Mb RAM recommended
  • 150Mb Disk space for programs
  • 24 bit graphics adapter
  • Monitor resolution of 1024 x 786 pixels
  • CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW writer to burn data

Supported browsers

  • Internet Explorer 4 or higher
  • Netscape Navigator 4 or higher
  • Opera 5 or higher
  • Firefox 1 or higher
  • Other W3C DOM level 2 compatible browsers

With download sites and Computer shops becoming more and more saturated with tagging and filing programs, are we in need of yet another one?

What's new?
Upgrades and new features include a new interface with different panes for different tasks that can be resized, moved or hidden to make your work easier to navigate.

A Back-up reminder assistant that can be assigned to launch at regular intervals of certain days passed or if a certain number of images have been downloaded.

The Search facility has been expanded to include a time span feature. This will then search for images in a certain designated time period making it easier to search for certain events.

A clever new feature is the Search and Replace function. It finds out spelling errors before correcting them and also searches out similar keywords and standardises them.

Basic editing is available with the use of filters for exporting and emailing images. They can be cropped, sharpened and have text put on them for one-time use.

A wizard has been added to aid with web gallery designing. The thumbnail size, borders, backgrounds and tags can be designed. Detail view pages with navigation links are designed in the same way.

Audio files that were recorded with still images can be played back with the associated image. The program also supports video files.

The Slideshow feature has been updated to include new transition effects. They can be customised to your preference or randomly selected by the program.

Prints and gifts can also be ordered online using Photo Classic 3.

Getting started
Installing the software is straightforward and after the quick download, the program will launch. It will ask if you are a beginner to the program and offers help in this circumstance which is a nice touch.

Registering is also easy, but after I had installed and registered, I got message saying that an update was available and to update the program, the system would close down. Updating took about 3 to 4 minutes and after that I could restart the system with an auto prompt. Not really the kind of thing I want to do when I'm so eager to start a new program, but I understand the need for keeping the program on top form.

StudioLine Photo Classic 3 Plus Using the program
Once launched, the program window will open and is full of every tool you might ever need. Luckily, these tools can be hidden if you don't need them. A hint page will open upon initial start up and this gives you seven action options and two help features which are access to the Manual and Online help.

The main options are to Browse and load which can be done from the hard drive or any external drives like cameras, card readers, additional storage devices, CD drives etc. there is the opportunity to Edit the images, create a Slideshow or web gallery, email images, Print projects such as cards and calenders or just print images.

This box can be turned off, but if this is your first time, you may want to keep it on for a while, so that you get used to it.

Using the window to perform actions will give step by step instructions in the form of small notes appearing on the program.

The images are loaded into the viewing pane by dragging and dropping from the Load window. The images can then be reorganised by shuffling them around manually.

Your pictures can be edited by choosing the Edit button in the initial window or at any time using the icons along the top of the primary pane. A list as long as your arm will unfurl on the left of the pane. There are not as many features as a dedicated editing program, but for quick fixing, a plethora of features is available from simple editing such as sharpen and blurring, to Invert masking and exposure correction.

StudioLine Photo Classic 3 Plus An interesting feature is the editing screen. This small window will open in the top left and can be moved around. As adjustments are made, three tabs at the bottom either illustrate the unedited image, split down the image showing half unedited, half edited or a full edited image.

Images can be tagged (descriptor) for quick retrieval and this is done by clicking on the file information below each image. The name can be changed and doesn't have to have a sequential number. The description is for the tags and on the Personalised input form at the bottom of the page, the tags can be copied ready for pasting into all subsequent similar images. This saves having to write the same tags for hundreds of images from the same shoot but still takes an awesome amount of time. A mass tag feature would be nice.

Backing up your images is done to CD or DVD and is accessed by clicking on the Image archive area, right clicking Image archive and selecting Back up. Not an easy task if it's your first time and if you use the Help key to guide you, it's just as vague.

Once you happen to back up the images, any XML information will be transferred to open up at a future date.

StudioLine Photo Classic 3 Plus The Web Galleries feature is new and designed for sharing images over the internet by creating a web page. If you have web space from your ISP, you can publish your images to the space and even have links.

An index page has thumbnail images to browse the gallery and clicking on the thumbnail will open a larger version of the image.

Creating the Web gallery is quite simple. The layout can be selected by using a predetermined style or by designing your own.

Once you've chosen the page to use, the Name and some simple details like a URL and email address can be added. The preview page will pop up next for your confirmation. The Index page shows the thumbnails and how the front page will appear, whilst the Detail page will show the individual images. If you're happy, you can continue or go back to rechoose.

The Search and Replace feature sounds promising, but closer inspection reveals that it's not as intelligent as it originally sounds. It assumes that you know the words are spelled incorrectly as the system doesn't find them for you automatically. It's used if you see a spelling mistake on a mass tag word such as "Holiday". You type in the mispelled word, then the corrected one and the system will search for what you put in and replace with the new word.

What this means is that whilst it's a useful feature if you do find a misspelled word, you have to know it's misspelled in the first place.

There are some interesting features available on this program and to go through them all would take ages, which means that there is plenty to do for your money.

The editing feature is really only good for users who want to edit quickly and, as with all the other tagging programs, the tag feature is tiresome until all images are done, then it's a question of simply updating.

Using some of the programs could be difficult for the first time user. Those of you who already use a previous version of this will be accustomed to it. The Help button assumes you know where to go and tells you what to do once you're there.

If you desperately need a tagging program that will allow you to edit briefly with Back up and Slideshow features, then this is a program to look at along with the sackful of other tagging and editing programs out there.

Plus points
Plenty of features
Easy installation
Split screen editing feature

Minus points
Not easy to use in places





StudioLine Photo Classic 3 Plus starts at £42 and is available directly from the Studioline website here.



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