Remember jAlbum? It was the free Mac (and Windows PC) app that let you create photo albums. Drag and drop photos. Click a few settings, and Voila! A stunning photo album to share or upload to a web site.
jAlbum’s claim to fame was that it created excellent photo albums and galleries in seconds and it was free.
Free, apparently, is a relative term.
jAlbum now has a price tag. Actually, a bunch of prices. The free version comes with advertising. I am turned off by someone else advertising in my personal online photo gallery. If you don’t want ads, you have to pay the piper.
The Standard License is ad free and comes with support. It’s also for non-commercial use. The Pro License costs more than double the ad free version and is licensed for commercial use.
What used to be an excellent product with a high value ratio (free) now has a price tag. Actually, two price tags.
To be fair, developing software takes time and money, and developers should receive something for their effort. To extend my fair appraisal, jAlbum’s pricing scheme is not crazy expensive, just a little more than a mild price shock, that borders on the low end of expensive.
If you want to upload your jAlbum created photo albums and galleries, there’s a price for that, too. It’s nominal. It’s monthly. It comes with 2-gigabytes to 20-gigabytes of online storage (but no ads).
What I truly loved about jAlbum, besides the free price, were the skins (album designs) and the ease-of-use. Drag photos, drop photos, click, upload album. Seriously. A wonderfully professional looking album or gallery could be created from hundreds of photos in less than a minute. Free.
The new jAlbum still has great skins, and even more features. For example, you can edit photos, customize the skins, and upload anywhere (not just the jAlbum commercial site).
The price of progress is a price tag.
My initial feeling is that the jAlbum prices are a little too high. Look at all the 99-cent, $1.99, $2.99 and 4.99 to $9.99 apps for iPhone and iPad (and, the Mac App Store). If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is value.