While Windows Explorer lets you view the thumbnails of photos in a directory, it isn’t always a simple matter to preview selected multiple files from a long list, or preview other media like video files or audio.
This is why I was pretty excited to discover FreshView, which is sort of like a Multimedia Explorer app – essentially Windows Explorer on steroids – it allows you to organize files and folders like images, audio and video. This application comes fully loaded to support up to 86 file formats including image, audio and video file formats.
This means that not only can you view and preview media files, you can also convert image files from one format to any other.
Here at MUO, we like new ways to sort and make use of media files, such asfor sharing media, EncodeHD for converting media, and of course Israel’s useful list of 5 media file converters. FreshView is a great addition to the list.
Playing With Images In FreshView
FreshView’s strength is in dealing with image files. FreshView can display not only standard image files like jpg and gif, but you’ll be surprised to see that FreshView can also provide preview thumbnails for dib, rle, pcx, scr and cut – just to name a few.
After installing and launching the app, you’ll see a familiar screen that is very familiar if you’re accustomed to how Windows Explorer typically displays common image file thumbnails.
This is the extent to which FreshView can be compared to Windows Explorer. The additional features that you’ll discover as you start playing around with this app simply blows Explorer out of the water.
The first feature I’d like to cover is the “Slideshow” feature. Setting up a slideshow is as easy as holding down the control key and selecting all of the files that you want to include in the slideshow, then click on the Slideshow icon.
Immediately, your entire computer screen is transformed into a slideshow display screen, with each image you selected displayed in the center of the screen. You can wait and let the slideshow work through the images in a timed interval and in a loop (configurable in the Settings menu), or you can simply click the mouse to move to the next image whenever you like.
If you right click on an image and select Properties, you’ll see that the displayed properties go far beyond what you may be used to. General image information provides dimensions, color scheme, compression type and even bits per pixel. You’ll also see exactly when the file was created.
Even better than the general image data is what you’ll learn when you click on the “Histogram” tab. Here, you’ll discover the tonal distribution of colors in the image – a useful piece of information for advanced photography experts.
Instantly Create HTML Image Slideshows
Beyond the advanced image view features of FreshView, there’s also a very cool feature called the “HTML Album” tool, which lets you instantly convert all of your selected images into an HTML coded slideshow, stored in a directory of your choice.
When you choose to create the HTML Album, you just need to configure the title and the directory. Once you’re done, the slideshow is coded for you in a matter of seconds.
Below is what the standard HTML slideshow template looks like. When the web user clicks on any of the images, the view changes to slideshow mode.
In slideshow mode, the user can keep clicking “Next” to browse through all of the images you added to the slideshow, or click “Index” to go back to the main thumbnail display of all of the images.
Browsing Audio & Video Files
FreshView also makes it a lot easier to take a quick look at your other media files, like your music and videos. At the upper right corner of the application, there’s a “preview” window which not only displays selected images, but it will automatically recognize and offer the ability to play all recognized audio and video files as well.
Here, I simply selected the Mpeg home movie I had created. Immediately, Freshview displayed the first frame of the video in the preview window, with the ability to play the rest.
Supported video formats include Avi and most Mpeg video formats. In addition to the preview pane, you can right-click on any file and select “Shell Open.” This launches the application using the editor you’ve defined in Settings.
So if you have a certain editor you want to use for your audio files, define it here – otherwise the app opens files with your default editor.
As you can see, Fresh View takes the concept of media file exploring and kicks it up a notch with a variety of extra features and impressive tools that make media file browsing a lot easier and more enjoyable.
Have you ever tried the Fresh View media browser? Take it for a test drive, compare it to your current setup for previewing media files, and share your opinions on it in the comments section below.