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Sharing your kid’s pics is now a digital endeavor.
Creating keepsakes from snapshots has long been the domain of glue-sniffing, scissor-wielding scrapbookers. It was only a matter of time before the fad went digital. And for those of you who have loads of pics or home videos gathering cyber dust on your computer or flash memory cards, Smilebox is here to help you take them out, polish them up, and share them with family and friends. You can showcase your treasures in Web-based scrapbooks, photo albums, invitations, and storybooks, and accompany your presentation with music.
Importing your files into one of the predesigned multimedia presentations is as easy as drag and drop. While we found some of the designs to be a bit hokey, we were able to find many that were to our liking—and, of course, they all became stunning once we populated them with our own images. We would have liked to have been able to add a few more photos to some of our designs, but, alas, the numbers are fixed on many layouts. We would have also liked to have been able to design our own templates, which at this point requires creating a page layout and importing it into one of Smilebox’s simple photo book or slide show presentations, from which you can embellish with text and background options.
Once you’ve nailed down your design, you can email, blog, or print your work with ease. The free version, which cannot be printed, allows you to send your creation to your friends, who will have to view it with ads. Or you can buy your designs à la carte for $1.99 to own, reuse, print, utilize a handful of Smilebox’s music options, and have your friends and family view full-screen, sans ads. Or, you can have all of these options plus extended music options and unlimited use of all their premium designs if you join Club Smilebox, which, for serious digital scrapbookers, may be just the ticket.
Smilebox is a lightweight app that does the heavy lifting of media compression for you. Your designs are sent as a link to their website (they are not grabbable files) and can live on the Smilebox server with no size restrictions or time limits. We sent several test projects to friends, anticipating each had a different computer setup, and most (at least the ones with relatively new setups and a recent version of Flash Player) were able to open and enjoy the show without any problems.For anyone who misses creating photo albums the old-fashioned way, Smilebox will get you back in the scrapbooking groove—without the contact high from too much glue. Best of all, sharing your vacation shots with family and friends is just a few clicks away.