Microsoft released yesterday the latest edition of its photo management software, Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006. The Washington Times’ Mark Kellner is quite impressed with the software, saying that “in some ways [it] surpasses, Apple Computer’s IPhoto software”. PC Magazine says that it is finally a contender with programs like Photoshop Elements, even if it doesn’t beat them just yet. You can get the $99 suite for just $60 right now, thanks to a $30 rebate and $10 back when purchased with a digital camera.
Some of the features (most of them new) include the ability to create movies from your images, with music, narration and title pages (think a Ken Burns documentary), which can be burned to a DVD or Video CD; flagging photos for later edits; one click auto fixes; color and exposer toolsets; stitching together multiple shots to create a larger view; detailed level and curve adjustments; a tool for reducing noise; stacked keywords and labels for rich metadata and searching; intuitive cropping which suggests where to cut; a Smart Erase feature which cuts out unwanted people or objects and replaces them with what “should” be there; and a cell phone photo fixer. RAW images from Nikon and Canon cameras are supported.
The product sounds interesting enough that I’ve sent out for a review copy to compare it with Google’s Picasa 2. Oddly enough, Microsoft’s website doesn’t seem aware that the product exists, even though a large number of websites have recently reviewed the product and began selling it.
While I was searching for info, I found a very cool tip for Windows. Did you know you can instantly rename a batch of digital camera photos? If you have bunch of photos with names like DSC00251.jpg, just select all of them, right-click on the first one and click rename, then type “Graduation Photos” and hit enter. The whole batch will be renamed “Gradaution Photos”, “Graduation Photos (1)”, “Graduations Photos (2)”. Now, granted this is not a feature but a tricky use of how Windows deals with multiple files with the same name, but it will be useful for some people.