Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Product Review: My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software

So I received an invite to review the My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software for free. Which is awesome, because A. I love computer stuff, B. I love crafting, and C. I LOVE FREE STUFF! So I said a whole-hearted yes.

There's no such thing as a free lunch software download, though. I have to review the darn thing! Which meant I had to mess around with it.

Please keep in mind that I received the software for free for the purposes of evaluating it and promoting it on this blog. I will schill, but only honestly. ;D So my review is how well it worked for ME. Specifically, they offered me the big momma - My Memories Suite Version 2.0.

Downloading/Installing: Piece of cake! A breeze to download and install, and while I say this as someone who is computer-savvyish, I think even a relative novice will have no issue downloading it. The instructions on the download site were smooth and easy to follow.

Use: For the most part, I found the software REALLY easy to use. My suspicion is that this is designed for people who aren't computer-savvy or scrapbookers by nature. There were a few minor quibbles, though, so let's just break it down into pros and cons:

Pros -
  • It's mostly intuitive; I simply picked an album and started clicking away, no tutorial needed! But, again, I'm comfortable with computers. BUT they have a helpful-tips window that explains everything the first time you open the program, and it'll stick around until you tell it to go away:
  • They have a ton of pre-made layouts to choose from! They range from basic photo layouts, so you can choose what "papers" you want, to pre-made albums where all you do is add the photos! The example photos are using one of the pre-made albums:

  • You can even use the software to make COMPUTER-only photo albums - you can add music, narratives, videos, links to websites... it's pretty advanced options, but it's easy to add - you just click the menu you want to add stuff from, and then click the necessary buttons. I didn't mess with it too much, other than testing out adding music - took a second and was very easy!
  • These pre-made albums are completely customizable, too, see?
    Please note that I'm fully legal age and I'm allowed to drink - in fact, I was turning 30 that day and had plenty of reason to drink, let's be honest. ;p
    All I did was click on each individual item to change the paper or background, whatever you want to change. I did have to individually delete the dots and replace them with hearts, but that was easy, too.
 Cons - 
  • It runs kind of slow. I'm incredibly impatient, so having to wait for the program to catch-up with my key movements were REALLY annoying. This was mainly with keyboard manipulations (like using the keyboard arrows to move an embellishment), but you can move most items with your mouse, too - but there's still a delay. Again, though, this delay is all of 1 second, but I'm INCREDIBLY impatient. ;p
  • There are some random errors that weren't really... errors! I'd get these "Error" messages, but ultimately they weren't ERRORS, whatever I was trying to do would work fine once I hit the "ok" button. (To the program's credit, they have a tech support email listed at the end of each error description - I just didn't because, again, impatient and ALSO lazy - that "hot mess" isn't part of my screen name just 'cuz it's cute, y'know.)
Overall, I liked My Memories! It was easy to use, and the basic program has a lot of options. They offer more "kits", too, if you need more options than what comes with the basic package, at a variety of prices. Their website also offers non-download options to make your own photo albums and calendars, with a decent amount of variety.

I'm using the program to make our Xmas "card" this year! Instead of having to spend hours making each card, or buying a bunch of meh ones, I can create my own "card" with my own pictures and the program's easy layouts! Check it out:

This is just a prototype; my parents had us take family portraits with them and our own little family as well, and I plan to use those in place of the ones I currently have once we get them (although the current ones aren't so bad either). I like that it's part letter, part card, and part picture! Plus I can get them printed out on nice paper if I really want it to be all fancy-pants.

Interested? The software I used, the Suite, is $39.97. As part of my review, My Memories has offered a $10-off coupon code AND a free giveaway! I'll do the giveaway later this week in its own separate post, but if you just want to buy it now, here's how:
  1. Go to http://www.mymemories.com/digital_scrapbooking_software 
  2. Click on Add to Cart.
  3. Enter the Promotional Code STMMMS56332 in the PRomotional Code field on the shopping cart page
  4. Finish the checkout. To download the software, go to http://www.mymemories.com/my_accounts/downloads and click on the link to download the software. Your product key will also be displayed on that page (you'll need it for installation).
Let me know what you think, and show me what you create! I'm excited to see what you come up with as well. 

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