Unintuitive albums

Don't bother with this hard-to-navigate photo book program.

The exploding popularity of digital photography has given rise to a variety of different means for displaying digital photos. We've seen many programs that seek to reproduce the experience of flipping through a physical photo album by creating a digital version that can be paged through, just like the real thing. Normally, creating digital albums is a fairly simple process, but Seaside Book Manager makes it entirely too difficult. We like the idea of digital photo albums, but this is not the way to do it.

The problem with Seaside Book Manager is simply that its interface is a disaster. The layout makes no sense, and basic tasks like adding and arranging images are way more difficult than they need to be. It's not that we couldn't figure out how to create a photo book eventually--there are ways to add photos, edit the cover, adjust the size of the book, and even add music--but there was no rhyme or reason to any of it. To its credit, the program's online Help file is fairly detailed, but we've seen plenty of other photo book programs that have intuitive, step-by-step interfaces, and we can't imagine why anyone would choose Seaside Book Manager over one of those other programs. Sure, this program works, but there are many other ways to achieve the same--or better--results that are much less of a hassle.

Seaside Book Manager is free. It installs a desktop icon without asking but uninstalls cleanly. We do not recommend this program.

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