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Spammy screensaver

Create screensaver photo albums that are thinly-veiled ads.

The ArcSoft Photo Book Screen Saver presents an attractive album-style display on your computer, provided you can ignore the fact that it's a blatant advertisement for ArcSoft's Print Creations photo products.

The concept behind the screensaver is a simple one, and ArcSoft executes it nicely. Users select a folder of photos they'd like to use, and the screensaver displays them as though they are arranged in a photo album, with the virtual pages turning at a speed that the user can adjust. In fact, the speed of the page-turns and the location of the photos are the only two variables that users can control. This may sound like a pleasant way to display your photos, and it is, but it's hard to ignore the fact that ArcSoft really wants you to buy real, physical photo books. It's as much a commercial as it is a personalized screensaver. And if that were not annoying enough, the screensaver comes with a utility called ArcSoft Connect that runs in the taskbar and, if not turned off, pops up small ads for other ArcSoft products.

Although it installs a desktop shortcut without asking, the program is easily installed and uninstalled. This is good, as users may tire of being marketed to fairly quickly. Although some users may be able to ignore the ads and enjoy the photo book, there are other photo-based screensavers out there that aren't just commercials in disguise, and they may be better choices.

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