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Picture pipeline

Import and sort digital pics from your camera to your PC with this fast app.

Getting pictures from a digital camera to a PC should be a snap, but too often it isn't. Smart Photo Import is an easy-to-use tool that greatly simplifies the process of importing and sorting digital images from a camera or other device to a computer. It automatically organizes image files into folders for easy archiving, neatly avoiding one of the biggest problems with digital photography: immense catch-all folders packed with thousands of images, and usually all jumbled up, too.

This neat little tool has a Windows-style installer and opens with a clean, basic interface that resembles a bare-bones media player. There are File, Edit, and Help menus; navigation boxes; a slider to control thumbnail size; some sorting and display options; and Import, Preview, and Options buttons, the latter giving access to the program's configurations. There's a handy space to enter photo subjects for easy sorting, an interesting feature that we especially like. Smart Photo Importer couldn't be easier to use: browse to the source folder, select a destination folder, and click Import. The imported images start appearing immediately in the main display. A click rotates the image either way or calls up a dialog with detailed image information.

Smart Photo Import's is free to try for 60 days and works in Windows versions 95 to XP, though we tested it in Vista and Windows 7, and it performed well in both. It's a handy tool that can help you bring order to your digital photo chaos.

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