Corel PaintShop Photo Pro
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Full user review
"It installs but just refuses to stay running."
30 day money back guarantee.
The specs sound nice.
It plain does not work... at all..... for anything.... at all. Well I guess you can use it to look at pics as long as you don't ever intend to DO anything with them.
I've spent the better part of 2 days trying to get this program to work on 2 machines. One with Vista, the other with Windows 7. Both will install the software but when you try to do anything at all, and I really mean anything at all, the program crashes. You can open the image and look at it but don't expect the program to do anything with the image. I've tried uninstalling it and reinstalling it multiple times, turned off UAC, turned off my antispyware, turned off my antivirus, ran it in compatibility mode, installed and ran it as administrator, etc....I even re-downloaded the program from Corel's site and from C-net itself and tried both downloads. The program comes up with a very very repeatable error of "Faulting application Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo.exe, version 188.8.131.52, time stamp 0x4b3b2b3d, faulting module CoreCmd.dll, version 184.108.40.206, time stamp 0x4b3b26e7, exception code 0xc0000005, fault offset 0x0008fea6, process id 0xd78, application start time 0x01caa6e4522e1ea9."If I could change the star rating I would. I'd give it 3 stars. OK, so after banging my head against the wall for a week I have the "problem" figured out, or at least circumvented. When X3 starts it initiates a background program "MediaCataloger". Go into task manager and kill that program and X3 works fine. I went ahead and renamed the program adding a 0 to the beginning of the name so it doesn't start now.
CoreCmd.dll is within the same folder that PSP is in, yet it either can't access it or the dll is faulty. Well, EVERYTHING else on my computers work just fine, so it would seem to me that something's wrong with the program itself. My Win7 machine is just a few months old with a minimum of programs running on it. i.e. it's a fresh machine. And I'd be more than happy to tell "customer service" at Corel the error code but I guess they just aren't interested and won't even acknowledge that I sent them a question.
Where is Corel's customer service on this issue? I couldn't tell you. If you ever find out would you let me know?
For anyone who bought the software Corel has a 30 day money back guarantee. But they sort of hide it on their website and they don't answer email apparently. That's the frustrating part about it.
A comment on the "rating system" here on C-Net. The "Average User Rating" of three and a half stars (at the time of this writing) is not for just PSP X3, it's all of the Paint Shop Pros put together, 391 votes going back a few years. From what I'm seeing in stars above the written reviews of X3 itself is three 1's, two 2's, two 4's and a 5 star rating. Which makes it more like two and a half stars. C-net shouldn't include past versions into the rating system, that's cheating.
Bottom line: if Corel ever fixes this problem it'll probably be a great program. But with no response at all from "customer service" it makes you wonder if they just tried putting a hat on the doll and calling her Malibu Bambi to increase sales.
Updated on Feb 10, 2010
All of the tools that were 8 bit before are still 8 bit, Corel just added a few things over X2 (which I passed on) and in fact much of it works just like PSP X.
Most of the new stuff is pretty gimmicky and being able to upload straight to Facebook is about as exciting as watching paint dry. If this is the sort of thing that made the C-net reviewer happy it just shows why I don't come here for their opinion. It's like saying that a car is great because it comes with cloth seats, oh boy.
I still have to test it more, but so far I've taxed it pretty good and it just kept working.
Updated on Feb 10, 2010And just so that you know the 3 stars I'd give this product is because they didn't really improve any of the tools that already existed. That and it was such a tough time figuring out how to get it to run (for gosh sakes you shouldn't have to kill processes in Task Manager to run anything), AND Corel has still yet to reply to my request for help. Only an automated reply was sent to me and nothing more for more than 5 days. Sorry Corel, for the customer support department you get an F.
Updated on Feb 23, 2010This is to add that the Photo Project Creator is about worthless. The slideshow creator is less than intuitive and doesn't allow you to adjust nearly anything on the audio, and if you have more than one song on the slideshow it won't play the second song. It has limited fades and you can't mix them up. It doesn't really tell you in real time how long a part of something is. In all, Windows Movie Maker is a much better alternative.
As for the other parts like making cards and calendars, most printing services want you to use their templates so that's absolutely worthless. And being able to upload content to Flickr, Facebook and Youtube? You've got to be joking if you think this is a big plus (notice that the C-net reviewer thought well of this stupid crap).
Corel Painter Photo Essentials 4 is alright. I can see this as a plus, however if you have larger files like things from a 6+mp camera it's going to take a while to complete the painting.