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Remember when your high school counselor asked you about your life goals? Remember when you told her that you just wanted to finish high school? Remember when she sighed and told you to set your goals a little higher? The folks at Trevoli should do the same thing with Photo Finale.
Photo Finale should compete with the digital-imaging set—you know, Firegraphic and Photoshop Album—but it seems to only aspire to smoking weed, hanging with the fellas behind the 7-Eleven, and grooving to the new AC/DC album. Maybe, just maybe, it will one day be accepted alongside photo-management apps that are given away for free.
Photo Finale just feels uninspired to us—almost listless. Sure, Trevoli pushes it as an “easy” way to get photos from your camera, organize them, and even make CD or DVD slide shows from your pics. But most digicams come bundled with software that handles those simple tasks. And Photo Finale’s image-tweaking features are along the lines of cropping and red-eye removal—nothing more complex than that. The slide show titling tool is so frustrating to use that we want to expunge the software from our system permanently, and the limited clip art selection seems like it was lifted from a CD-ROM circa 1995.
To be fair to Photo Finale, plenty of other programs are technically in this slacker category, including Google’s Picasa. But Picasa is free. And Picasa is at least able to process RAW photo files, something you can’t do with Photo Finale.
Not everything about the app is negative. We actually like Photo Finale’s ability to sort photos by the camera’s exposure setting—if nothing you’ve shot looks sharp, it probably means your technique is weak.
But this does little to chip away at Photo Finale’s flaws—the biggest of which is its lackluster performance. On a dual-core Athlon 64 FX-60 with 2GB of RAM and a 400GB hard drive, the app just chugs. The program takes roughly two seconds to move from image to image. XP does the same thing in half a second. Indeed, there are just too many negatives in Photo Finale’s column to recommend it.
Month Reviewed: November 2006