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iView Media Pro 2.6.4 review

Does the extra cost make this a worthy competitor to iPhoto?

Our Verdict

Undoubtedly very clever, but rather expensive and not very pleasant to look at or use

For

  • Multiple file formats

    Good export options

    Smart HTML galleries

Against

  • Not intuitive to use

For many people, iPhoto is ideal for cataloguing a photo collection. Even pro photographers adore its charms. But what if you need something that can handle more types of media and is more flexible?

iView Media Pro is a soupedup iPhoto that can handle PDFs, fonts and over 100 file formats including RAW images direct from a camera and sound files. It's undoubtedly very clever and extremely customisable.

Unlike its opposite number at Apple, iView Media Pro isn't particularly pretty. In fact, there's more than a touch of OS 9 about it. However, what it lacks in beauty it makes up for in brains, as it is possible to tag, label and apply keywords to media stored in its catalogue files in endless ways. You can have multiple catalogues and your media can be spread across many storage devices. It's industrial strength.

In addition to being able to order and catalogue media, iView can edit images with a basic image editor. It's not as nice to use as iPhoto's edit function but it does offer more. If you want to edit images with other applications, you can set a default program for opening different file types.

Where iView really scores over iPhoto is in the number of formats and types of media that it can handle. Movies, sound files, images and all manner of Mac file formats can be grouped together to produce an entire asset catalogue for a single project. And once you've sorted and set up your catalogue, you can use iView's export functions to create sophisticated slideshows, movies, PDFs, contact prints and smart HTML galleries. Unfortunately, there's no integration for uploading galleries to .Mac accounts.

Now the bad news... all this comes at a hefty £119. The price tag has recently bloated but it has failed to evolve into a grown up and elegant OS X application. Mark Sparrow