capsule review

ACDSee 1.5.1

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While most image organizers create catalogs of your image files, ACDSee simply makes it easier to weed through your hard drive -- it's a file browser that shows you large previews of your images and videos, and it even plays your music files.

The browser window is broken up into four parts: the top left section shows the folders on your hard drive; to the right is a list of files a selected folder contains; the lower left is a file-preview pane; and in the center is a narrow strip that shows aliases of files that you designate as Favorites.

You can navigate through your hard disk by clicking on the folders that appear in the Finder-like window, or you can click on the Previous Folder and Next Folder buttons in the tool bar. You can drag and drop files to new locations within ACDSee, and you can drag files into and out of the program. ACDSee also lets you search for particular file names, comments, or creation dates, but it's very slow -- it takes much longer than Sherlock does to search your entire hard disk.

The list of folders and files can be displayed in thumbnails, as an icon list, or with detailed information included with the icon list. You can add comments to any file, just as you would in the Get Info box (command-I).

When you click on an image file in List view, a high resolution preview appears, and it works with just about any file format, including JPG, GIF, TIFF, and Photoshop files. Also, ACDSee doesn't need the assistance of any additional applications in order for you to view the file. You can see the image in the file-preview pane even if you don't have an image viewer loaded on your computer. What's more, images are not the only files ACDSee can work with -- you can also listen to MP3s and watch movie clips in the same fashion.

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