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Digital Photo Compression

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

Anyone who’s used a digital camera quickly learns that their desktop can become a wasteland for old photos. From birthday parties to weddings to your last vacation, they quickly add up. And while the memories are sweet, there’s got to be a better way to safely save pictures and organize all of your digital photos.

Sad to say, my desktop looks like what i’ve just described. In my excitement to utilize my new digital camera, I’ve been snap-happy and my organizations skills have fallen to the wayside. And my poor PC is suffering from it. Weighted down with large photos, its been struggling to keep up on even the most menial tasks.

And to tell you the truth, having to save photos on my PC has always made me a little nervous. What if it were to crash and I were to lose everything?

That being said, I knew it was time to do something, so this week I’ve been researching the best ways to save pictures. Here’s what I’ve found:

Digital Photo Compression

Digital Compression (technically called zipping) is a technology that has been around for a while but until recently has been reserved mostly for business users. But with the invention of digital photos, it’s the perfect application to save photos and is great for the average user like me.

Here’s how it works:
First, I open a zip program and drag and drop all of the photos I’d like to make smaller. Then I press the Zip button and the programs squishes my photos so they’re up to 5 times smaller than the originals. All of my photos can be stored in one zip file, which means I can organize all of my vacation photos in a single vacation zip file. (This is similar to how we think of folders). Once I save pictures, then I can get rid of the originals and drastically free up some space on my PC.

I’ve tested lots of zipping programs this week and my favorite of the bunch is SnapZip. This easy to use program had several features that not only set it above the competition, but also made it easy to save photos.

1. Advanced Photo Compression
SnapZip was the only product I tested that had advanced photo compression. (Most other programs cannot compress digital photos). When I compressed my photos, SnapZip asked me if I’d like to reduce them to screen quality and compress them even further. Since I mostly email my pictures to friends and family, this was a great option for me. It allowed me to squish them even more.

2. Easy to Use Interface
Let’s face it, we’re all busy people and who has time to devote hours to learning a new technology? No matter how great it is- if I can’t learn it in 5 minutes, I’m most likely to get frustrated and give up. But SnapZip is different. When I opened the program, I had the option of operating in Wizard mode or manual mode. Being pressed for time, I chose the Wizard. It conveniently guided me through the whole process (an entire three clicks!) and in no time I had compressed my photos. And the interface itself has buttons that are clearly marked and options I can actually understand. With SnapZip it was literally a snap to save pictures.

Now that I’ve found the solution, I’m off to start archiving all of my pictures. Zipping my photos will not only free up space on my PC, it will also save photos. Compressing my photos will make them smaller and as a result, I can easily store them on a disk or CD.

Learn more about Snap Zip:

 Snap Zip: Photo Compression Software

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