The budget-priced Photo Album Manager is Softkey’s solution for digital photography enthusiasts who need help organising, archiving and sharing their snaps.

It’s not going to replace photo-editing software such as ArcSoft’s Photo Impression or Adobe’s popular Photoshop Elements, but then it’s not supposed to.

When you first load up PAM you’re guided through dialogue boxes that scan your hard drive for images and, thanks to Twain compatibility, you can import shots directly from your digital camera or scanner. Top marks also go to Softkey for including support for saving and opening 34 different image file formats.

Once scanned in or transferred from your camera, photos can be catalogued or marked with keywords or captions, making it simple to locate them on your PC. And with hard drive sizes around 200GB these days it’s an important point.

Catalogued images can be arranged in any number of Virtual Albums, which are organised by theme, location or person without having to change storage locations on your PC or create aliases.

It’s also possible to use PAM to make basic enhancements to photos, or create calendars, slideshows and web galleries. These aren’t much use, but if your camera was bundled with an image-manipulation program, you won’t need them anyway.

  • Mindscape:www.mindscape.co.uk
  • £9.95 inc VAT

  • Ease of use – 8/10
  • Features – 5/10
  • Value for money – 5/10
  • Overall – 5/10