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Reviews

Resco Photo Viewer v6.01

By MikeBenton March 2, 2007, 12:00 am

INTRODUCTION

    How many
times have you found yourself needing to edit an image on your Pocket
PC only to be dismayed by the drab Pictures and Video
offering that comes with Windows Mobile 5.0? With all the room for
improvement on image manipulation, Resco has stepped up and put their
chips on the table with Resco Photo Viewer v6.01. Is Resco Photo Viewer an app that every road
warrior should have? Read on to find out!

WHAT’S HOT

   Resco
Photo Viewer has really matured since the last time we told you about
it. With 45 improvements over version 5.0, Resco Photo Viewer 6.01
joins the fight to put
portability back into your PDA. Highlights that set Resco Photo Viewer
apart from the others are support for JPG, JPE, JPEG, BMP, 2BP, GIF,
PCD, RAQ, PGM, PPM, PNG, RAB, RLA, THM, WBMP, PCX, PSD, TIF, TIFF, CFX,
TFX, MPG,MPEG, M1V, and M files. That’s a lot of formats! They also optimized cache use for
improved speed, beefed up edit mode,
drawing mode, album mode, text and audio note attachment to images, and
sharing capabilities. There is also an optional add-in for Active sync
to allow for advanced Photo and Video synchronization between the
Pocket PC and Desktop. Sounds great on paper – now, let’s use it…


SETUP

   The install is straight forward and simple. There are four components you can
option during your install. 

  1. Resco Photo Viewer
    for Pocket PC: the bread and butter of the installation, this is where
    Resco goes for the gold. Also includes the Screen Capturer.
  2. Photo
    Synchronization Add-In: for Active sync. You can define folders to sync
    from and to. Vista users already have this in Windows Mobile Device
    Center.
  3. Desktop Album
    Generator: bare bones album generator useful for creating albums and
    transferring directly to your Pocket PC on demand. You can also use this to
    convert MS PowerPoint Presentations into Albums for display in Resco Photo
    Viewer. You need PowerPoint installed for this to work. The conversion did not
    work on Vista but works great on XP
  4. PowerPoint ->
    RAB Conversion: this add-in changes the file format during sync so you
    can drag and drop files from your desktop to Pocket PC without using the Desktop
    Album Generator

   If you choose to
install the PowerPoint -> RAB Conversion add-in, the installer will ask you if
you wish to set it as the default converter for PowerPoint files. Once installed,
Resco Photo Viewer will run on the Pocket PC and ask if you wish to set file
associations, this is followed by a checklist menu of various file formats. I
suggest you check them all, Photo Viewer is does its job quite well.




When you click done here, Resco Photo
Viewer will load the default album slide show and take you to the initial album
view.

PRODUCT FEATURES

    Noticeable right away is the
prominence of menus everywhere in the application. These come in
extremely handy and many times are redundant to the icons in the tool
bars. In addition to viewing and editing of images, PowerPoint slide
shows can be converted to Resco Albums and viewed in Photo Viewer. The
file conversion is done on the desktop PC using the Desktop Album
Generator and you must have PowerPoint installed. This seems to be one
of the main selling points of Resco Photo Viewer as once the .ppt is
converted to .rab you can edit the slide show on your Pocket PC. 

The
Album/Folder view is where most of the work is done with slide shows.
Different sized thumbnails (small, medium, large and details view) are
viewable as well.

   

   Slide
Show properties can be modified. Everything from Transition
Effects to Play Direction. Resco Photo Viewer supports voice notes
for images you can choose to play these or a different audio file
through out the slide show.

   When I first selected Browse
Card from the menu, I was surprised at how fast Resco Photo Viewer was
able to find, thumbnail and display every image on my storage card.
This can potentially be a very useful feature for anyone that works
with multiple images, in multiple files frequently. Photo Viewer also
gives the ability to define Favorites. 

        

   Once
an image is selected, you are able to work with it in more depth. Easily
accessible from the image view screen are the zoom levels, rotation
settings, cropping, resizing, levels selection (using sliders),
audio/voice notes, text notes and the drawing tool bars. 

   

   Drawing
mode gives basic drawing possiblities: Pen markups, squares and circles are
the meat of it. Further customization is available through Pen Width,
Pen Color, and Fill Color. You can also add Text to the image (separate
from Text Notes). To enhance the collaboration effect, Photo Viewer
also includes the ability to Send to IrDA, Bluetooth and E-mail/MMS so
you can truly get your message across efficiently. 

   

   Audio
notes can be attached to images individually in addition to text notes.
Text note’s position, font, shadow feather and color can be
modified. Taking the text notes to higher level. 

   

   It is possible to select part of an image and
Save to Contact (for a contact photo) or Set as Background for your
today screen

   Included
with Resco Photo Viewer is a Screen Capture utility for use on the
Pocket PC. The images captured can be saved as PNG, JPG or BMP. Very
useful for Bug reporting or showing off an app to friends. 

       

   With
all the options available while using Resco Photo Viewer, the
experience would not be complete without the ability to set your folder
defaults and even assign buttons to commonly used functions. 

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HELP SUPPORT

    Although
the on line Manual (PDF) is still written for v5.0 it did help me
figure out a few options that weren’t clear to me. If you are at all
familiar with any image editing software, including Paint, Resco Photo
Viewer will not be hard for you to figure out. If you do have any
issues you can email [email protected]

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

    This
review is about the Windows Mobile Version of Resco Photo Viewer. Photo
Viewer is also available for Windows Mobile Smartphone, Palm OS,
Symbian s60 and Symbian UIQ.  The complete download including the
Desktop Album generator is 1,516 KB. For a full install 2304 KB will be
required on the device (minimum) and 2528 KB on the PC for the Desktop
Album Generator, Photo Synchronization Add-In, and Power point ->
RAB Conversion for Active sync. Resco Photo Viewer installs and runs
fine to the storage card and only took 1.5 MB of Program memory at the
most while running. 

BUGS AND WISHES

    My
main disappointment with Resco Photo Viewer was the inability to
convert PPT files on the Pocket PC. In addition the ability to convert
from RAB file to PPT file does not exist and if it did would truly
enhance its functionality. 

    Figuring out how to create a new album took
way too long, and for a moment I feared it would only be possible from
the Desktop Album Generator. 

    The folder navigation was clunky with an
error message popping up whenever a folder did not contain any
supported image files. 

    Although the default folders are configurable, the installer should prompt for this information.

    One of the more important options that was missing is the option
to undo changes; it only exists as ‘Revert to Saved’, when exiting the
edit screen to the album view you are asked if you want to save
changes. I suppose the memory requirement would increase dramatically
if multiple undo levels existed.  

    The
Desktop Album Generator, Photo Synchronization and PPT -> RAB
conversion worked great on XP with ActiveSync, but do not work on Vista with Windows Mobile Device Center. The Desktop Album Generator
was able to create albums but was unable to convert PowerPointPresentations. Potential Vista users do not be entirely dismayed, Windows Mobile
Device Center has a built in Photo and Video Synchronization Option.

PURCHASING

    You can download a 14 day Free Trial or purchase Resco Photo Viewer from Resco’s site for $24.95. 

PROS


  • Fast storage card image searching


  • Excellent slide show features

  • Image manipulation is extremely handy on the Pocket PC. 
  • Small memory footprint
  • External display support

CONS


  • PowerPoint to Resco Album conversion only possible from Desktop Album Generator


  • New album creation is confusing


  • Folder navigation is clunky

Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

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OVERALL IMPRESSION

    Overall, I really liked Resco
Photo Viewer. It has definitely earned a ‘stays installed’ on my Pocket PC, even though it had some ease of use issues. If you feel like something is missing
from Windows Mobile 5.0 in the way of image viewing and editing, Resco Photo Viewer can be a big help. 




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