Acid Image Pro v2.9

Reviewed by: Lianne Reitter, February 2004, send e-mail
Published by: Red Mercury, LLC., go to the web site
Requires: Any Palm OS PDA running Palm OS v4.0 or higher
MSRP: $49.95

AcidImage Pro is a Palm OS program that allows you to view pictures on your PDA. Now there are a few other software titles that do much the same thing. In fact my PDA came with one installed, but there is a key difference between Acid Image Pro and the others and I'll get to that in a bit. First let me explain just how simple this little image viewer is to use. And when I refer to it as little I'm not just being cute, it takes up less than a half meg of space on my PDA. Compare that to the 1.3MB picture viewer that came pre-installed on my PDA. Acid Image Pro is just as full featured.

Installation of AcidImage Pro straightforward, like most PDA software, and it installed without any problems on both a Sony Cliè running Palm OS 4.1 and a Palm Zire 71 running Palm OS 5. On startup, Acid Image Pro will scan all available memory, detect where any pictures are stored and offer a simple interface, asking you to choose either the internal memory of your PDA or your digital camera meaning any installed memory card that has a picture on it. After you choose your destination folder, you can either click Open to show all available pictures, or start a Slideshow. Choose to open your selected folders and your pictures are presented to you initially one by one with a slider bar on the right hand side of the display to scroll through them. You can also choose to show images as small thumbnails on a single screen (up to 20 at a time), thumbnails with the name of each picture and date information off to the right (4 at a time), or as a file list. Each file has a select box beside the name and you can use this feature to delete one or more, or further organize your pictures by creating groups. Groups are then shown as separate folders and that’s really great for running slideshows of selected shots.

Viewing your pictures brings each image into full screen mode with small icons in each corner allowing you to rotate the shot or zoom in. If you find the corner icons a bother they can easily be turned off to regain use of 100% of your precious screen real estate.

Now I find the best use of a picture viewer like AcidImage Pro is the presentation of slideshows. I really enjoy bringing my PDA into the office and running a slideshow of the weekend outing with the kids or my last real get-away vacation. AcidImage Pro has a complete slideshow feature that can be accessed at any time. Slideshows can be configured to show your pictures in either a loop or random order, in intervals from one second to one minute long, and with or without the picture’s loading progress meter running.

So, where is the PC side of this equation you ask. What software installs on your PC to convert your pictures to a format compatible with AcidImage Pro? Well, there is the difference between this and other picture viewers available for your PDA as there isn't anything to install on your PC - AcidImage Pro doesn't require the use of a conduit of any kind so common to other image viewers. So long as your PDA’s card slot accepts the storage card used by your digital camera, you're in business. File formats that AcidImage Pro is ready to receive include JPG, GIF, BMP, TIF, and JFX (digital fax files). Keep in mind though – and this only stands to reason – the bigger the original picture, the longer the load time and the more memory is going to be used. Here then is a great reason to make use of a feature found on most digital cameras: automatically storing duplicate files of each full size shot, but in a format small enough to e-mail. Use these smaller shots to create a separate group for viewing on your PDA.

AcidImage Pro also has an excellent online help system that offers usability instructions at every step. Once you get the hang of things, you can easily cancel each help screen as you go through each feature.

Red Mercury’s AcidImage Pro is a picture viewer for your PDA that won't take up a bunch of space on it’s own and will save you the hassle of having to convert your pictures on your computer first. The program is powerful, unusually so for a Palm OS-based program, provides the added advantage of viewing digital fax files and LZW-compressed TIFs (and uncompressed TIFs) and has a range of image manipulation tools that even complete amateurs can use effectively. Dragging images larger than your display area is fast and smooth. Last but not least, image display quality in AcidImage Pro is excellent. Responsive on our Palm OS 4 Cliè; very fast on the more powerful Palm Zire 71. Recommended.

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