[Windows] View, organize, and password protect your images with Phototheca

The built-in Image Viewer in Windows is a very basic image manager, providing very few feature that are basically limited to opening, rotating, or deleting images or setting an image as the desktop background. For those who want to do more with their images, third-party applications such as Phototheca can be useful tools.

WHAT IS IT AND WHAT DOES IT DO

Main Functionality

Phototheca is a free image organizing application that allows you to easily view and organize large number of images. The program can be used to create albums, sort images according to calendar, create events by selecting specific images, search for duplicate images, protect images with passwords, or set images as desktop wallpaper.

Pros

  • Is able to view and organize large number of pictures
  • Allows users to create albums or events using specific images
  • Has ability to search for duplicate images (aka images that are the same)
  • Users can password protect images to prevent others from seeing them
  • Supports all four major image formats (JPEG, BMP, GIF, and PNG) plus others

Cons

  • Program crashes regularly (at least for me)
  • Password protection does not natively protect images — it simply relocates the images into a password protected “safe”. So, for example, someone can copy your images to a different computer and view the images with no issues. Other programs on the computer can also view images that are supposedly password protected.
  • Developer says this is the “free version” but the program says some features are only free if you grab the program and register (for free) by “November 20, 2012″. So it isn’t entirely clear if this will be free forever or what.

Discussion

The first thing you are required to do after installing and launching Phototheca is to add images and image folders to the program’s database. To do this, you can either select Import to Library option from the File menu or simply drag and drop the image folders onto the program window, and all the images inside the folder will be automatically uploaded to the library.

Once you upload images, you can select individual pictures to open up additional control options such as viewing image information, adding keywords to image metadata, create an album using images, rotate image, flag image, play a slideshow, send image to trash, or password protect the image using the Protect Photo feature. You can also adjust the size of the image thumbnail by dragging the slider to the left or right.

The program has the ability to identify duplicate images and, as soon as the image folder is added to the database, it scans for any duplicates and displays what it finds in the Duplicates section (which is located in the left column).

To password protect a picture, select an image and click the Protect button in the lower right corner. You will be asked to either save the image in an existing “safe” or create a new “safe”. Choose the new safe option — assuming you don’t already have an existing safe — and enter the name of the safe and the password. You can also choose to make the safe invisible. The image is then transferred to the safe and you can access it by going to the Protected library, clicking on the Open Safe button located near the top right corner, and entering the safe password.

Another useful feature is adding keywords to image metadata, which can be done by pressing the key shaped button near the bottom left of the screen. This opens up a number of preset keywords which can be quickly added to the selected image or you can type in custom metadata.

Conclusion and Download Link

Phototheca is a very good image organizing software that is far better than the native Windows Image Viewer and will prove to be a useful tool for those who like to collect hundreds of images on their system — just don’t depend too heavily on the poor password protection feature. Phototheca does have some stability issues but I’m sure that will be fixed in the future.

Price: Free

Version Reviewed: v1.0.0.802

Supported OS: Windows Vista/7/8

Download Size: 9.7MB

VirusTotal Malware Scan Results: 0/44

Portability: Not portable, requires installation

Phototheca download page

[via Addictivetips]

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2 comments

  1. Janet

    Hey, I also use Windows Explorer and IrfanView… :-)…!

    I read the article to see what “password protect your images” meant. If they can be copied to other computers and viewed there, I don’t get in what sense they are protected……

  2. Paul D

    My personal opinion is that all these image organisers are crap. All I have ever used are Windows Explorer, IrfanView and common sense with an occasional trip into an old version of Paintshop Pro for slightly more advanced editing (and I can call PSP directly from IrfanView). In two PC forums I frequent you wouldn’t believe the number of people who get their images in a mess using these applications. Losing track of where on the PC they are, accidentally deleting them etc etc.