I spent some time tonight playing with the new My Memories software. And so far... I like it! I downloaded several of the free templates from the website and installed them.
Note number one: If you buy the software as a download, make sure you have a VERY good high-speed internet connection. The initial download is only 18MB, which is next to nothing these days. However, once you start installing, it pulls a file that's over 1GB. It's not unmanageable for a good broadband connection, but even on mine (which is pretty rocking) it took a while. So I would suggest starting this before, say, watching a good movie, preparing and serving a large meal, going grocery shopping... you get the picture. The download speed was exceptional, really. I've downloaded software from sites that had servers so bogged down, there was no way you were going to get what you needed in a timely manner. But I would not recommend trying this on anything less than a high quality broadband/cable connection. No DSL unless you plan on letting it run a while! This is not a download for your visit to McDonald's or your local library! Okay, I think you have the point. Oh, you can order a DVD of the software as well. A note for the technologically inclined... the files are served from Amazon's cloud servers. This is actually a Good Thing, as it shows why the downloads go so well. Amazon does a generally awesome job of serving files on their cloud. Lots of redundancy, lots of bandwidth.
Enough about the download. Once it is complete, the installation will continue. It's absolutely standard. No surprises, go ahead and feel free to accept all of the defaults.
I am using the Windows version. They do have a mac version available, and their design kits can be downloaded in a general format for use in other applications. One of the things I really like... if you go to your account page on the website, it shows all of your purchases. And links for downloading again. So you aren't stuck if something happens to your computer. The design kit downloads are simple executable files... double-clicking on the download automatically installs all the files to the proper places. Sorry... the tech support geek in me is excited about this. I would make very little money helping people with this program. I consider that a good thing.
Without the additional templates, the software has a LOT of options. It also gives you the ability to create loads of custom items. Remember good old fashioned Word Art? It's here. You can modify stock shapes and it automatically prompts you to save them with a new name - no accidentally overwriting things!
The basic template wizard is great, if you use one of the downloaded album templates it gives you a whole book you just have to add pictures to, and if you want to have a good time playing, you just create a new album to design yourself. Add pages, move them around, determine page size. It even has a lovely feature that will show you what parts of your page may get cut off if you have the album professionally bound. Not too shabby. You can export pages as pdf files, png's, and jpegs.
Here is one of the pages I made:
I printed the page on matte photo paper (8 1/2" x 11"), by default it left about an inch of white around the edges. Other than that, it looks exactly as it does above. I printed this on a Canon MX340 color inkjet printer (multi-function), with genuine Canon ink, using the highest resolution. I had a good time playing with wallpapers, adding color and textures, even modifying the basic heart shape. The program is pretty self-explanatory, using most of the standard shortcuts.
I've only just begun to scratch the surface of what I can do with My Memories Suite. It strikes me as being as simple or complex as you want it to be. And the price is DEFINITELY worth it. If you follow the link to the right and copy and paste the discount code in when you check out, it gives you $10 off the full suite. Not too shabby! With the discount My Memories Suite is half the price of the competitor.
So there ya go. I'll give more info and updates as I continue playing with the program. And at some point I'll have a copy to give away (yay!). So comment if there's something in particular you'd like to know about it, tell me how you feel about digital scrapbooking software, tell me anything here. Because the more feedback I get, the better I'll be able to review more about this. And hey, if this goes well, I might be able to get more stuff to review and give away. One never can tell!