Alternatives to Adobe Bridge if it Keeps Crashing

January 10, 2021

Alternatives to Adobe Bridge - app icons

Update March 2021: I got Bridge working again and it’s still the best app for my uses, but I’ll keep this up in case it helps others.

I’ve used Adobe Bridge in my workflow for many years but I have been forced to switch. Despite trying different recent versions and trying various ‘fixes’, Bridge keeps crashing, one way or another. This has led me on a short search for alternatives to Adobe Bridge, so an invaluable part of my macOS workflow is not lost.

My main reasons for using bridge are:

  • Organising reference images and files
  • Rating and editing photoshoots as I scan and retouch
  • Exporting batches of images for web or other use (I’m sad to lose Dr Brown’s Services plugin – although I do still run it on a CS6 install on an older machine)

I switch between views and jump between image slideshows and thumbnails constantly. I also tend to dump images into my main Dropbox folder from any computer, then catalogue them every few days or weeks.

For post-production of photoshoots and assembling zines, this functionality has become a vital to my productivity.

After discovering several potential options, I decided to download trials for each and post my feedback. There are only two real contenders for my usage, although I also tried (and dismissed) Eagle, Pixave and Xee.

XnView MP

This is great and free.

Where it doesn’t work for me is with its favourites pane. I need to be able to drag folders to this pane, drag files onto favourites to move them and re-arrange the list of favourites. It seems insignificant, but after trialling XnView for a few hours, I found it untenable without these abilities.

ACDSee Photo Studio 7

I believe this is going to be the app I stick with, despite the $100 (when full-price) cost.

While ACDSee PS7 solves the favourites issues XnView has, it omits some (minor) features that I would have liked.

The first is more customisability when it comes to the browser / favourites, especially the ability to remove some of these or separate into tabs or similar.

The other thing is its lack of integration with Photoshop as I am accustomed to using Bridge and Photoshop hand-in-hand. It will only add fractions of a second and I’m not going to suggest these add up to anything significant, but I can’t stand impeding my workflow. Adding steps just feels clunky and wrong.

I’m going to keep both XnView MP and ACDSee PS7 installed, for now. I’ve raised my concerns with XnView and hope that they might change the favourites functionality, making it a top app for me (and fab for free software). Until then I will be using ACDSee as it’s the closest relation to my current system.

It’s a shame that I’ve had to look for alternatives to Adobe Bridge, because I was happy with it. I would have been delighted with minimal updates as it moved to CC, but it’s been unstable since and multiples crashes can derail me for hours.

Do you have any recommendations or tips for me for alternatives to Adobe Bridge that I may have overlooked?


I Made a Calculator

September 12, 2020

Screencap of my calculator
Screencap of my calculator

I made a calculator from scratch and I’m proud of it.

I built it using JavaScript, HTML and CSS and it’s the first time I’ve developed something without a guide or researching or having a structure or anything in place.

After I built it I had to test it and discovered issues like when you add more than one number. Or decimal places were working but not when it was zero point something. So I had to go back to my code and diagnose and fix these, which I found very simple because I knew all the code and what it was doing.

It’s also in dark mode so you feel cool.

Fun exercise but it’s a little daunting that this is only the third project of the App Challenge I’m working through. I think there’s 100 and they get harder as you go along.

Try it here: My Calc

Let me know if you find any bugs! You can see the code here: GitHub.


Making Apps

September 8, 2020

To expand on my last post a little, I’ve started working my way through this App Ideas Collection, in addition to client projects (photography and web). I find making apps like these helps me apply learning and problem-solve.

My 2nd project - a border radius preview and code generator app
My 2nd project – a border radius preview and code generator app

I’ve been freelancing for a few years and the work I get can vary. I now feel like many of my interests and skills are consolidating into something tangible, so my goal is to translate this into a vocation.

I’m also just happy I got these to work and wanted to show them off.

My 1st app, turn binary to decimals or vice-versa.
My 1st app, turn binary to decimals or vice-versa.

I’ll be making apps from the list moving forward and adding them to my Github repository.

  • Try the Border Radius Preview and Generator App here
  • Try the Binary to Decimal App here


It’s Too Late To Stop Now

September 6, 2020

A time-lapse I made from my 9th floor flat in Sydney

Above: a time-lapse I made from my 9th floor flat in Sydney in 2015

I thought lockdown would make me prolific in my blog posting, but it didn’t turn out that way.

I lost my dad and my grandma which was, and continues to be, awful. This meant weeks spent in Edinburgh, my hometown. I also spent a lot of lockdown working on a lot of web-based projects for clients from home (or wherever I was).

One positive has been a lot of web development learning. I’ve taken a few different courses and I’m still going. I’d like to work on projects that align with my interests and and ideally my ideologies. I’ve got a few forthcoming web projects that I’d like to share here at some point. I added my GitHub link to the menu, if you are so inclined.

The title of this post comes from this incredible Van Morrison live performance which Lester Bangs famously wrote about.


Using Cheap eBay Video Capture USB on MacOS

September 30, 2019

I’ve been wanting to find a cheap, easy and fast way to capture (digitise) footage from my VHS and Hi-8 cameras into MacOS, so I could use them on projects. I found this generic video USB adapter that cost £7 and I’m actually pretty happy with it so far. Maybe there are more reliable or better quality options, but – for the price – this does exactly what I want.

Generic UVC USB Adapter plugged into my laptop for Video Capture USB on MacOS
Video Capture USB on MacOS

At first I spent some time looking for drivers and software (it’s bundled with a CD but I don’t have a disc drive) but eventually found out that it’s plug and play and works fine – I just needed to know how to capture.

Quick Guide to Video Capture USB on MacOS

Turns out you can use Quicktime Player (other software will work too). If you open up QP and then hit Cancel (you don’t want to open other media just now). Then hit File > New Movie Recording.

Screenshot of Quicktime Player Settings for Video Capture USB on MacOS

After that, hit the down-arrow beside the record button and make sure to select USB 2.0 PC CAMERA and USB 2.0 MIC. On my first try I missed the audio and it recorded through my Macbook Pro mic. I spent a while fixing it in Final Cut before realising my error.

Once that’s done, hit the red record button (then play on your camera to capture something pre-recorded. Or go to record mode in your camera to film something live).

Finally, when you’re done recording, hit stop and make sure to save the video.

There’s lots of these available online – on eBay, Amazon, Alibaba and so on. Maybe others work differently, but I read that a lot of them use the same video capture chip.

Come to think of it, I’ve started adding videos to my portfolio and have a video section on my website now, where you can watch some things and also my YouTube channel for older videos, some from when I was at film school.

I’m looking forward to more video making soon and will leave you with the first test I shot. The blue screen is a camera issue that I fixed after this shot but errors and issues are things I love to embrace and work with: