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Worldwide Computer Products News-21 February 2001-REVIEW:AllPicturez (C)1995-2001 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

AllPicturez is a simple program designed to do a simple task, yet amazingly there are not numerous products of this kind in the marketplace. In essence the program exists to collect binary image files from Usenet groups on the Internet.

For its stated aim the program does its job well, supported by a very easy-to-use interface which will appeal to those who are not as experienced with the delights (and frustrations) of Internet picture collection. The program connects to your Internet service provider's Usenet news server and then automatically collates a series of 'newsgroups' which contain various pictures. An option also exists to enter details of other Usenet servers which often offer a greater range of newsgroups and thus more images.

Picture groups carried by Usenet contain a wealth of various pictures. Like so many things on the Internet some of the carried pictures will breach copyright, some will breach 'good taste' and some will appeal to a selective audience. There is a wealth of adult-related imagery also to be found on Usenet, catering for seemingly all tastes, and of course AllPicturez will collate and collect these images too. Sadly, for some users, there did not appear to be a means to 'lock out' the adult-related material, making it less suitable for use in schools and many homes.

But how did it work? It worked very well for its stated aim. It effortlessly connected to my ISP's Usenet server, collated a list of groups and let me view selected groups, preview images and then download them to my heart's content. One key benefit of the program over other Usenet reading programs is that it only displays graphical content, thus bypassing the huge morass of spam and other messages which 'get in the way of picture collection.'

More advanced users can tweak an .INI file to expand access to newsgroups which are not automatically detected (or, to be more correct, newsgroups which are not displayed due to masking). AllPicturez sits and happily decodes all pictures in BMP, GIF of JPEG formats which are encoded with MIME or UUEncode. During trials I noticed some picture corruption on the preview screen which didn't seem to be there on the actual file but it didn't sufficiently affect my operation of the program to be a severe hindrance. The company has no plans to add support for collecting MP3 music files, video files or other digital media in the immediate future, preferring to concentrate and enhance its picture collecting program. However it would be foolish to rule out such developments in the future as the company already has done much of the hard work that can be carried over into other products.

CONCLUSION:All in all this may be a program which saves you a lot of time and hassle. Give it a trial and see how it goes - the chances are that if you need this sort of program it will work very well for you.

Title:AllPicturez Platform:PC/Windows Published by:AllPicturez Price:USD34.95 Reviewer:Darren Ingram

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Title Annotation:Software Review
Publication:Worldwide Computer Products News
Article Type:Evaluation
Date:Feb 21, 2001
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