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Numero Uno
Jun 11, 2005 12:17 PM 2722 Views
(Updated Jun 11, 2005 01:19 PM)

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IrfanView is one of the most popular viewers worldwide according to the developers website. I have no reason to disbelieve him, for he has packed into a neat bundle of 875KB features that you would be hard pressed to find in many larger, commercial software. While this bundle does the basic job of image viewing and editing (yeah, you read right, this viewer also supports basic editing), you will have to download a bundle of plugins if you want it to work as a multimedia player as well (right again, you can use it to listen to your music or view your videos).

What does IV do?

  1. It is one of the fastest image viewers on the market today (you are required to pay for it if you use it in a commercial fashion). It loads images in a snap, and allows you to resize them in a few mouse-clicks (on button-presses, if you remember the keyboard short cuts).

  2. It allows you to create thumbnails and slideshows of images. Using the former is a bit awkward, till you get the hang of the software.

  3. You can cut and crop images, or blur, sharpen, add effects etc.

  4. Create panoramic images by fusing together 2 or more discrete images.

  5. Irfan View supports multiple formats, including support for most digital cameras, such as Canon, Kodak, Casio and so on, so that you dont have to install the software that comes with each camera to be able to download the pictures.

  6. Batch conversion (eg: from PNG to JPG) and renaming is supported.

  7. Adding on plugins enables support for music formats such as MP3, Ogg vorbis, WAV etc, and video formats like AVI, MOV (Quicktime), WMA and MPEG.

Disadvantages of IV

  1. The interface could do with a facelift. Compared to other viewers like ACD See, the appearance of the program is a bit primitive.

  2. Some features are difficult to access, and some are a pain to navigate around.

  3. Even with plugins installed some audio and video files do not play perfectly (but then this is a secondary function of a program that, as the name suggests, started out only as an image viewer).

  4. If you do a lot of graphics work, the basic editing offered by this program will not be sufficient for you, and you will have to have another full featured graphics software.

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