If you do anything with albums whether it's wedding albums, personal albums or even portfolios to sit around your studio, this is going to be your jam. Two amazing photographers have developed a program called SmartAlbums. It's a full application that allows you to create albums without all the hassle. And yes, it's possible.
Photographers everywhere dread albums. They outsource and do anything they can to diminish the headaches that come from building them. But I have been on this beta of SmartAlbums for a month and it's a game changer. It takes album building down to fifteen to twenty minutes. Yes that low. Do you want to know why? Because it does all the thinking for you! It takes the hassle away and the software is more responsive than you could ever imagine. It has templates for over twenty different album companies and all their products. It takes into account bleed room and post print cutting. I will have a full review for you guys upon it's launch on December 26th, but folks, this is an amazing deal. It will save your sanity, I really can't put it into good enough words to convey to you why you need this product! If you need any more convincing after the first video, here's a five minute full demo, but prepare to fall in love. Currently this product is only for Mac, but the Windows version will launch in 2014.
If you're interested in this, they currently have it for a kick ass deal. From Friday to Monday, you can purchase SmartAlbums for $199, thats ONE HUNDRED dollars off the full price. This is a brand new program so with the payment you will get an invitation to the beta. The beta software will be delivered to your email Thursday, December 5th. Don't think that just because it's a beta that it's not worth it. The team at Pixellu is the best, they've been working 24/7 for the past two weeks to make sure everyone's bugs were fixed and addressed. They've been noting requests for upgrades and adding them one by one. Then the official version will launch on December 26th and you will get the upgrade to that. This $199 pre-sale price is from Friday 12:01 EST to Monday 11:59 EST. On Monday at midnight the price will jump to the full price of $299. If you want to wait for the full launch you will get 30 days free.
Love them on facebook and twitter. I don't say love lightly, but believe me. You'll kick yourself for not jumping on this offer.
As one of the current beta testers I can vouch for what has been said here in the post. Truly amazing program for wedding album design.
So let me understand this for a moment... we have a sale on a Beta product that ends before the actual release of the finished product??? I guess I have seen it all now.
The 4 day pre-sale is intended to raise funds in order to finance the last stage of development. It's a way for those who believe in the product to help us get it to market.
I appreciate the honest answer, as that is clearly what it looked like but the heading of the article and the article itself gave it a whole 'wrap'. It would have been great for the reviewer to have made such disclosure but wish you the best with the project as it looks like a winner.
Thank you. Even though the product is in beta, we have had overwhelmingly positive feedback (just look at the FB screenshots on store.pixellu.com). The product is 98% complete. Those who have tried it know that it's not just a dream, but a tangible product, with which hundreds of albums have already been made.
Sincerely, I have no doubt about the product and don't get me wrong I liked what I have seen. My point was made up above, that's all.
Hi Daniel, will there be an option to edit these photos in an external editor such as PS? For those of us who pre-design
Technically you could edit a JPEG in Photoshop, and some have even came up with a workaround - adding a 1 pixel border to each image so that they may cut the background out with one click using a "lasso" tool in Photoshop. But I'm guessing you're asking specifically about exporting in PSD. This has been a requested feature and we will be researching whether this can be done for the 1.1 version, which we hope to have mid 2014. I can't promise that there will be this export option, however.
Like Kickstarter.... only better ---- there is an actual working program that many of us have already been using!
Welcome to the kickstarter generation. It used to be people invested their own money in their own company to bring out a product, but now days it's all hype.
So, you don't like Kickstarter? I, for one, think that Kickstarter is awesome!
Why do you think as seen on tv products took 6-8 weeks to ship? They were all beta in the beginning. They took the orders, made the items and shipped them out in 8 weeks.
Program looks good. Any print labs in Australia or details on shipping to see if it is workable for Australian Photogrphers?
We will slowly be adding more print labs to our list, including Australian ones. For now you may use the "custom size" option to prepare the spreads for your lab.
It looks like a beautiful program that will make album building fast and easy, but I see one major problem, which is hopefully only temporary: it only exports to JPEG. That in itself is not a huge problem, but does it sharpen after scaling the images? It should be able to, and the user should be able to control it. If it does, is its sharpening as good as Photoshop? Or if it doesn't sharpen at all, then you're better off with the similarly priced Fundy Album Builder, or Photojunction for free, both of which export PSDs that you can sharpen and revise in PS after the album software has put it together. But I suppose that SmartAlbums would be a good option for those that don't have PS, although there's no reason for that anymore, given their current sale...
We plan on adding additional export formats in the future. Currently we apply very very slight sharpening to match the look of exported InDesign files. We had no complaints from hundreds of beta users about image quality.
That helps. Thanks, Daniel!
How is that any better than, say, Aperture? That too is a pleasant 15 minutes.
Will I be able to download this on more than one computer or do I need to purchase one for my desktop and laptop?
You will be able to install it on several of your computers without buying additional licenses.
This looks AMAZING!!!! I dread album design and can't wait to start using Smart Albums. Just purchased for $199! Thanks fstoppers for alerting me to this awesome software :)
You'll absolutely love it Ryan. I also dreaded album design, but using this software has actually made it enjoyable.
Looking forward to trying it out. I'm sure I will love it. Just wish I could download it today and not on December 5th!!! haha
lol that sounds so scripted.
What's it like to be constantly jaded and skeptical of everything?
I've just been online long enough to see how these things work. Nobody ever writes a newspaper to thank them for an ad unless they're associated with the company.
I've been looking for software to simplify album design and I'm thankful Pixellu has stepped up to the plate and delivered. Their software is going to revolutionize the way I design albums. I couldn't run my business without it.
So your entire business philosophy is hinged on a software that is still in Beta and may never see the light of day?
We'd like to clarify that this isn't just a concept, but a complete, fully functional software with which hundreds of photographers have already made over a thousand real albums for real clients. We also don't think the concept of "pre-order" is anything new, as by definition it is ordering a product before it has been released.
Just wanted to thank you for your purchase and your support. Your "scripted" enthusiasm is really encouraging, as it took over a year of hard work to put the software together. Thank you.
You're very welcome Daniel. I've been waiting for a piece of software to come along like this for a while. Anything that can cut down on my time behind the computer is greatly appreciated. Like I said before, can't wait to get my hands on it.
Oh well. $299? Good luck!
One reason I prefer Lightroom is that I can develop and make a book in the same program, without needing to re-export an image. Say I'm making a spread and decide all of the images should be in black and white. In your software, I'd need to go back to LR, develop, export, then import into your app? Also, do you support custom page templates?
The easiest way would be to edit the images and then 'reload from original' in SmartAlbums. Lightroom is great for editing, but we feel that SmartAlbums is much faster in making albums.
Currently we do not support custom page templates, but we do have hundreds of thousands of hand crafted layouts.
I love a great Game Changer!
LMAO! Great name and photo!
"It has templates for over twenty different album companies and all their products." Is there a list somewhere on which album companies you're working with? I use Pictobooks and I'd want to make sure you're compatible before I invested!
I have been beta testing the software and I just checked for you. Currently I don't see Pictobooks on the list (screen capture posted) however the amazing thing about the design team is as we (the beta testers) have recommended different album companies they have been prompt to get them added to the list.
Screen captured didn't seem to show up... here are the companies currently on the list:
West Coast Albums
Blackriver???? Now THAT is worth it to me. WIN
No Blurb? I don't use them that much, but I'm sure some people do.
Besides the companies that Trevor listed, you may also enter a "custom size" for those who are not on the list.
It's possible to buy the windows version today at 199$?
They currently don't have a Windows version available.
I know there isn't a windows version at the moment , I ask if is possible to buy at this discounted price and wait for the final version ;)
You may buy the Mac version and wait for the Windows version. However, we cannot promise for certain that a PC version will be produced. We have that intention, but it's beyond our control at the moment.
Thanks for the reply
Your honesty, while refreshing - just cost a sale. Commit 100% to a windows version and you can have my cash. At the very least - when/if a windows version is released, please give us a taste for $199 - or at the very least allow a demo version to be tried.
We feel that being truthful is more important than making a dishonest sale.