to the web site
95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000 or XP; IE 5.0 or higher, connection
to the Internet with TCP/IP Protocol, 64 MB RAM, 3 MB
free disk space plus additional disk space for picture
do I start . . . PicaLoader is quite simply a tool for
grabbing images off virtually any Internet site. As a designer
I saw PicaLoader as a potential gold mine for gathering
visual references. I keep hundreds of thousands of images
in the digital equivalent of a media scrapbook. Picaloader
uses a project based approach to image collection (or collecting),
in which you first define the parameters and default settings
for your image gathering efforts.
step is to create tasks by copying the URLs of the subsections
of the web site(s) from which you wish to gather images.
You may chose at this point to allow PicaLoader to grab
every image on the site but this could lead to hours of
waiting and be quite disastrous if you don't limit it to
the domain you selected - PicaLoader will also grab images
off linked domains as well.
if you know your way around the sites from which you want
to collect your images (I prefer the word "collect" but
you could also use "pillage"). Knowing your way
around the site means you can effectively limit the scope
of PicaLoader's search. This tool is very good at allowing
you to define the parameters of any project. PicaLoader
allows you to limit the depth of the search by directory
and sub directories, site or domain. PicaLoader also has
a handy online tutorial which covers most of what you'll
need to know to start collecting pictures from the Internet.
several projects in mind for this utility. I read through
PicaLoader's online tutorial and went about my
task. I pointed the application at the web site I had chosen
for testing and without placing any real limitations on
PicaLoader, I set it to its task. The product functioned
as advertised, grabbing every image off my own personal
web site, but even though I had set it to work within the
defined domain, it unfortunately started grabbing images
from other domains when it had completed my site. I stopped
the project and made a few changes to the project parameters,
limiting the search to 2 levels which seemed to do the
job. PicaLoader only displays each image inside the preview
pane as it is downloaded when the picture browser tab and
the task tree's root are selected.
I didn't like the way in which PicaLoader collects images
into an alpha-numeric folder structure which bears
no relation to the way in which the images are stored.
It may make some sense to PicaLoader and its database,
but it's frustrating that extra characters get attached
to the images filename. Having to rename thousands of files
is really time consuming. If PicaLoader had the facility
to export the images to a file structure which echoes the
way in which the images had been originally stored then
all would be forgiven. Hopefully this is feature which
can be implemented in a future version.
PicaLoader performs very well, it's easy to use and does
exactly what it's supposed to do. Other nice features
are its database capabilities, the product's capacity to
ignore duplicates and control the search depth. If you're
looking for a simple way to collect images for your image
archive, screensavers or picture frames, then PicaLoader
rather effectively fits the bill. With a broadband connection
this software package is a joy and I highly recommend it.
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