Sony Digital Network Applications has released today a supplemental application to their Picture Manager app, called Picture Rater. This is designed to help users rate the photos in their libraries. Two photos are displayed, and users tap the photo they prefer, which rates one photo higher and lowers the ranking on one photo. A photo can be rapidly tapped on to increase its rating to 5 stars instantaneously. The photo ratings then sync up with Picture Manager‘s ratings filters, so clicking the 4-star rating in Picture Manager will show pictures rated that score from the Picture Rater process.
Picture Rater does require Picture Manager to run, which is disappointing because this is an interesting way to see pictures on one’s Android phone; I discovered a bunch of photos I didn’t even realize that I still had. Also, I was reminded how annoying apps that install data to the SD card can be when their media shows up in other apps. Picture Rater is available for free on the Android Market.
One of the great things about smartphones is that it makes it easy to take quick snapshots of memories while you’re out and about. The problem, of course, comes with sharing them. You can show the photos to someone else, but they might not necessarily convey the emotion or the reason of why you took the photos – if you could put them into motion in some way, then you could more effectively share them. Photo Music Creator attempts to improve the sharing of your photos, by allowing you to set a video slideshow of them to music.
Photo Music Creator makes it very easy to make a video – you can easily choose photos based on file location, or even based on their location from EXIF data. You can then rearrange and add captions to the photos in your video, add a theme, with choices from built-in music and music from your library along with the slideshow. It’s all very quick and easy to use – I spent less than 5 minutes making this video of my last couple trips up to the Chicago area.
There are two core problems with Photo Movie Creator. First, the videos you create are only visible in the app itself. You will eventually be able to share them via Facebook, but right now the only method you have of sharing the video is to show it to someone from your phone. This ties into the other problem – you can’t export your videos directly to a file. This means that your videos are trapped to the app. While I understand that this is how the app likely works, to generate and play it all back via the app itself, but it’d still be nice to have some way to save these videos directly to a video file. Also, as a minor annoyance, when photos are added to the video, they don’t respect anything but default orientation, although they’ll default properly.
Photo Movie Creator’s simplicity is both its strength and its drawback. It allows you to easily make these photos into something more, but may lack the kind of features that advanced users will want. Still, for those who take a lot of photos and want to find creative ways to share them, this might be worth checking out.