SnapAct: stylish image viewer with free online synchronization

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Snapact is a free, stylish image viewing and management software that offers a good range of image manipulation and management functions, including tag and metadata editing, a drop basket, and the creation of virtual albums which can be uploaded and shared using the free online Snapact photo sharing service.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while then you know that I am always on the lookout for “stylish” image viewing software (e.g. Twins Visions, Pictomio).

What’s different about Snapact is that while these programs previously sited tend on average to be resource hungry or have high 3D requirements, Snapact does not (uses around 23 megs in memory when running).

On the other hand what Snapact manages to do is to retain a pleasing “coolness factor” while offering a lot of nice features both for image manipulation and image management (but especially the latter).

What also needs to be said about Snapact is that it is very much a desktop front-end to the free Snapact image sharing service; which is to say that it is designed for seamless integration with your online Snapact account. Having said that, I also have to note that you can use this program as a local viewer and image management program without signing up or using the online component. I had been using this program as a local image viewer for a week, in fact, before I decided to review it and only then did I sign up for a Snapact online account for the purposes of writing about it. More notes on this program as follows:

  • Carousel-style browsing: similar to the famous iTunes carousel, this is not only fashionable these days but rather cool, and the implementation here is a very good one (fast, efficient). When viewing an image all of the other images in the same folder are displayed as thumbnails in the bottom part of the screen and will enlarge in turn as you mouse over them. Or you can simply use the left/right arrow keys to browse back and forth, as you would with any image viewer.
  • Image editing functions: rotate, crop, blur, sharpen, brighten/contrast, redeye, adjust tint/color, and negative and black and white image filters.
  • snapact screenshot - image managementImage managent functions: edit or add tags to your images, edit other metadata (including rating, title, description, etc), view metadata (simply hover over any image thumbnail), add to album (an album is a kind of virtual folder or category), synchronize album(s) to your Snapact online account (this is optional), add to mini-basket (a handy work area where you can drag images or other files you would like to work with).
  • Smart browsing: the “predefined” album in your list of albums offers browsing by smartlist (recently modified, image size, etc).
  • The search box: a fast way to find what you’re looking for. Will look at file and folder names as well as metadata (tags, description, EXIF data, etc).
  • Snapact online: once you create a free Snapact account you or any of your friends can log into your page which will have a URL that looks like (www.snapact.com/u/your-username). As far as image sharing sites go Snapact online actually offers a very pleasant user experience. You can surf “recent images”, “recent album”, by tag, etc. and the site offers thumbnail-style views and a page for each uploaded image offering photo and EXIF information. Images uploaded are reduced in terms of their file size and I am unsure as to whether or not there is a storage limit per account (please advise if you have more information).
  • Snapact online privacy settings: you can change your privacy settings such that your images are accessible to just you, to just your official Snapact “friends”, or publicly to everyone.
  • Panoramic images: I used Snapact to view a folder of panoramic images with some good results (click on the “Full Size” button first, then use the mouse to scroll across your panorama).

Wish list (or how this program can be even better):

  • Mouse-wheel control: for browsing images. Currently the mousewheel is not utilized, which I find a tad surprising.
  • Notification when unpublishing an album: stating that this will result in x number of uploaded images being removed from the online account on next sync. Is a good idea.
  • Slideshow function: this is conspicuously absent, and while I never cared much for my images being automatically displayed in succession I do think that many users will want and miss this.

The verdict: I will confess that at first I did not intend to review this software, but the main draw for me was the good user experience that it provides. If you are looking for a stylish image viewer with good features that does not hog your system you should check out Snapact; also, if you want a quick and very functional online image synching/sharing service certainly give Snapact online a try (if not, don’t sweat it, you can use Snapact 100% locally without using the online image sharing function).

Ironically, one of this software disadvantages is precisely that since this program is designed as a desktop client for Snapact online it doesn’t support the leading image sharing services such as Flickr or Picasa Web Albums, so if that integration is important for you to have in an image viewer you may want to look elsewhere.

Version Tested: 1.0

Compatibility: Windows XP or Vista.

The program page no longer exists, but you can download ver.1.4 of the program here.