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Forget iPhoto - Use Pixa To Organize Photos On Your Mac

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A promising new photo organizer to rival Apple’s iPhoto

Apple’s iPhoto does a good job of automatically organizing your images for you, but it doesn’t give you very much freedom to do things your own way. You can create your own Albums, but other options such as its tagging and search features are basic.

Pixa uses tabs to open multiple projects simultaneously

Pixa uses tabs to open multiple projects simultaneously

If you want a little more freedom in the way you organize your photo collection then you could take a look at Pixa. Its interface is similar to iPhoto’s and allows you to import photos simply by dragging and dropping them into the program’s main workspace window. You can also create your own Projects – which are Pixa’s equivalent of iPhoto Albums.

As well as detecting standard metadata – such as the date and time a photo was taken – Pixa will analyze your imported photos and tag them with details such as the size and the dominant colors. There’s also an extensive set of other tags – such as Holiday or Sport – that you can add to photos.

You can then use Pixa’s built-in search tool to locate photos of a particular size and linked to a particular subject, perhaps also using a color such as blue to home in on photos of the sea or sky. There are no editing features in Pixa at all, but it does have an Open In command for opening photos in the editor you choose.

One nice touch is that Pixa allows you to open multiple views of your photo library by using tabs that sit at the top of the workspace window

One nice touch is that Pixa allows you to open multiple views of your photo library by using tabs that sit at the top of the workspace window

One nice touch is that Pixa allows you to open multiple views of your photo library by using tabs that sit at the top of the workspace window. You could keep one tab always open to provide a view of your entire photo collection and then open additional tabs that allow you to quickly dip into specific projects.

For many users, Pixa’s key feature will be its Live Folders option. Unlike iPhoto, which stores your photos in its own Library file within your main Pictures folder, Pixa lets you store your images in any number of folders anywhere on your hard disk. You can tell it to treat any folder as a Live Folder and it will then monitor the contents of that folder, automatically updating your library as any new images are added to that folder. This is handy if you want to keep photos stored in specific folders or locations rather than letting iPhoto automatically file them away for you.

Pixa 1.0.4 review - a real rival to Apple's iPhoto

Pixa 1.0.4 review - a real rival to Apple's iPhoto

Our only complaint is that Pixa is a brand new program and is still a little buggy – it crashed a couple of times during our tests. However, there’s a trial version available, so you can check it out before buying the full version.

Buying Advice

Many people will be perfectly happy to let iPhoto organize their photos for them, but features such as Live Folders and the tabs that allow you to quickly view multiple projects will definitely appeal to many people. While a recent update did fix a number of bugs, there are still a few more that need to be ironed out before we can give it an unqualified recommendation.

Specifications

·         Price: $26

·         Ratings: 3/5

·         Pros: Tabs for viewing multiple projects

·         Cons: Buggy; lacks advanced features

·         Company: Shiny Frog, www.pixa-app.com

 

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