Good news for those who want to run the latest version of digiKam on Windows. The SourceForge repository now has a Windows installer of the latest digiKam version courtesy of Ananta Palani.
I tested the installer with a Windows 7 machine, it worked like a charm. While the installer makes it supremely easy to deploy digiKam on Windows, the application does have a few quirks. Most notably, the Windows version of digiKam cannot import photos directly from storage media or cameras, so you need to copy them to the hard disk using Windows’ own built-in image transfer tool, and then add the transferred photos to digiKam. The Trash feature doesn’t work either, but you can work around this issue by deleting photos instead of sending them to the trash. To be fair, though, these issues are not caused by digiKam itself, but are due to bugs in the underlying KDE libraries which the application relies on.
It’s easy to dismiss digiKam’s slideshow functionality as a feature of no particular use. After all, most photographers prefer to publish their photos using the photo sharing service of their choice. But the slideshow feature can come in handy when showcasing photos on your machine is the only option. Running a simple slideshow in digiKam is as easy as selecting the desired album or pictures and choosing View → Slideshow → All (or Selection). However, digiKam has something even better: using the View → Slideshow → Advanced Slideshow command, you can create rather impressive slideshows with smooth transitions and soundtracks.
The Advanced Slideshow dialog window is split into four sections. In the Main section, you can specify which photos you want to include into the slideshow as well as configure the transition and playback options. Using the available options, you include all photos in the current album, or limit the slideshow only to a specified selection. Choosing the Custom option allows you to hand-pick the photos you want and specify their order. When you choose the photos for the slideshow, digiKam conveniently displays the total number of photos and the slideshow’s duration time based on the delay between images. If you are using a fairly modern machine with a decent card, you can enable the OpenGL transitions in the Video subsection and select the desired transition type from the Transition effect drop-down list in the Playback subsection (the Ken Burns effect is always a good choice). If you don’t use the OpenGL transitions, you can enable options in the Content subsection. Here, you can choose to display a progress indicator, file names, and captions. Enabling the latter allows you to select the font for the captions and tweak its settings.
To spice up the slideshow, you can add a soundtrack to it in the Soundtrack section. You can add as many music files as needed, and the Time comparison subsection displays the current length of the added music tracks and the duration of the slideshow.
Once you’ve configured the slideshow settings, launch it by pressing the Start Slideshow button. And if you need to pause the show, adjust volume, or jump to the previous or next slide, move the mouse to the upper-right corner of the screen to access the slideshow controls.
digiKam offers several ways to showcase your photos. You can view images as a slideshow, push them to a photo sharing service of your choice, and even export them as a static HTML gallery. But that’s not all; digiKam can output selected photos as a KML bundle, so you can view your snaps on the Google Maps service and the Google Earth application.
To perform its magic, digiKam relies on the KML Export plugin. If you don’t see the Export to KML command in the Export menu, then you have to enable the plugin. To do this, choose Settings → Configure digiKam, switch to the Kipi Plugins section, enable the KMLExport plugin, and press OK. Select then the photos you want to export, and choose the Export → Export to KML command to open the KML Export dialog window. In the Target Type section, select Google Earth or Google Maps as the target. In the Destination Directory field, enter the path to a directory for digiKam to save the exported images and .kml file. Use the Filename field to enter a name for the .kml file (e.g., index or default). If you export your photos for use with Google Maps, you will need to upload the generated images and the .kml file to a web server, and enter its URL in the Destination URL field. In the Sizes section, specify the icon size (if you have chosen Google Earth as the target) and image size in the appropriate fields. If you have a GPX file to go with the photos, enable the Draw GPX Track option and specify the available options to show the track on the map. Hit the OK button and wait till digiKam finishes the export. To view the exported photos in Google Earth, drag and drop the .kml file onto the globe. If you exported photos for use with Google Maps, upload the .kml file and the exported images to your web server, point the browser to maps.google.com, enter the exact path to the .kml file (e.g., http://dmpop.homelinux.com/kml/index.kml) in the Search field, and press the Search Maps button. You should then see all your exported photos mapped on Google Maps.
Besides a few tweaks and fixes as well as a new front cover, this release includes the following new material:
- Show Photos on Google Earth and Google Maps
- The Host Your Own Photo Gallery with Piwigo appendix now covers the Piwigo app for Android
Readers who already purchased the book will receive the new version free of charge. If you haven’t received your copy, please send your order confirmation as proof of purchase to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll email you the latest version of the book.
If you happen to use Piwigo to publish and share your photos on the web, you’ll appreciate the brand new Piwigo app for the Android platform.
This app is designed to help you manage your Piwigo gallery from the convenience of your Android device. As such it doesn’t allow you to browse albums and view photos (to do that you might want to give the ReGalAndroid app a try). The app itself is pretty straightforward in use. First off, you have to connect the app to your Piwigo instance, which is done in the Settings section. The Album view lets you select an existing album and change its permissions, create new albums, and upload photos.
Before you can upload photos, you have to select them in the Photos view. Here, you can also edit the title, author, and description for each selected photo. Once you are done, press the Upload button and the app will do the rest. That’s all there is to it. The Piwigo app is not exactly overloaded with features, but it gets the job done with a minimum of fuss.