Shoebox Express
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Organize your digital photos.   Demo ($30.00)
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Shoebox Express is a Mac OS X application for organizing digital photos by content. It uses Knowledge Base technology to learn what's in each of your photos. Shoebox allows you to organize your photos by date, people, places and things. With Shoebox you can quickly find exactly the photo you want, even if you have a very large collection. Shoebox also lets you surf your photo collection like a Web browser. If you already use iPhoto, importing your photo collection is easy.
What's New
Shoebox 1.7.6 brings several important stability improvements.
Intel/PPC, Mac OS X 10.4 or later

MacUpdate - Shoebox Express

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Shoebox Express User Discussion (Write a Review)
ver. 1.x:
Your rating: Now say why...

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xk13 reviewed on 02 Sep 2009
This is the best app for tracking and managing photos without iPhoto or other apps with own database. So all your pics will stay in their folders and it is fast and simple to use. Maybe the 'look' could be improved.
[Version 1.7.6]



Mortimerpa reviewed on 06 Mar 2008
I was first impressed by shoebox and bought a pro license: it's fast, load better than iphoto to manage large photo collection.
However, now, I would just discourage anyone to go and rely on this application to manage their photo collection. It's buggy and just unreliable. See the rest of my review.

After some time of usage and >30'000 photos entered and catalogued, I found the interface very buggy and missing the promissed "backup" feature... I had to go to complex manual file movements to get it to see photos as backuped...

I had emailed the support about these issues 4 months ago and never got any reply from them.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, apart from stability problem (the app would crash randomly and loose the data you had entered during the session), the missing -- but advertised -- backup feature and the UI bug... this application just breaks down when you try recovering from a backup.

I just updated to leopard, after backing up all the system, my photos and taking care of saving Shoebox database and preferences. After a reinstall, shoebox is unable to reuse the saved database... it just lost the tag data and backup info of 30'701 photos I had catalogued in it.

I already emailed their support 3 times in 4 months with no replies.

This is not worth 30$, not 70$, I won't even recommend it as a free software... even if I was quite positive about it when I first tried it...
[Version 1.7.1]


Andrew Stewart reviewed on 14 Jan 2007
This review is to offer balance to my previous one. Since once of my main problems was addressed. Furthermore I learned that the limitation of thumbnail sizes is a problem with OS X itself, that complaint carries less weight as well.
[Version 1.6.1]


Andrew Stewart reviewed on 14 Jan 2007
Program has promise but is pretty unrefined at this point. Would be a better value for less $.

My main complaints is the restrictive licencing structure and poor customer service.

You can only install this on one computer. I have my photo library mirrored on my laptop and desktop computers.

When I upgrade my laptop (which I do often) I will have to beg for another license key. I wonder given the developers lousy customer service reputation if I will be able to do this.

Lastly the thumbnails are tiny on a large monitor and can't be resized like in iPhoto.
[Version 1.6.1]

1 Reply

Andrew Stewart replied on 14 Jan 2007
I feel a bit guilty now. Kavasoft replied to my email and offered me a 2nd key for my desktop.

I wish MacUpdate would let you edit your own reviews.

ikema reviewed on 15 Oct 2006
I had many stability problems with Shoebox that were not resolved to my satisfaction. My experience was that the user support was poor (it took a week and a PayPal dispute to just get an email response). $80 is a lot to spend to maybe help organize your pictures. BUYER BEWARE! I'd save my cash and keep looking.
[Version 1.6.1]


aleonito reviewed on 27 Aug 2006
As the number of my pics grew, iphoto was slower and more complicated to handle. When I found shoebox, I loved the idea, and quickly bouth the express version. Eager to start, I imported my current iphoto, created 2 atalogs (so I imported twice - that's important!), as I wanted to separate the pics "work" from "family". Si I deleted some "work" pics in "family" catalog - to organize them better. Guess what? Those pics were PERMANENTLY ERASED from BOTH catalogs AND FROM IPHOTO! In case I'm missing something...
Emailed the developer - no response.
Anyone w/ advice? some pics were backed up, but the recent good once - not yet... I never would've thought that importing would mean not copying.
Sorry for "creaming" but I'm devastated...
[Version 1.6.1]


Anonymous reviewed on 30 Oct 2005
-please add an eject button for the camera
-I find that the categories selection can be improved, I don't like to click on those little arrows

otherwise it's a pretty good app
[Version 1.2.3]


Anonymous reviewed on 24 Aug 2005
Caveat Emptor!

Do not expect to get much of a response from Andrew Zamler-carhart, the developer, if you encounter the usual crashes with this product. The trial is limited enough that you won't be able to use the demo on a large enough number of photos to experience the bugs. This application has a nice user interface and is very promising. Unfortunately, until it reaches a maturity level with commercial level support and return policies for defective software, the Kavasoft products will be hard to judge before plunking down hard cash.

I would give the Kavasoft products a higher rating for stability, except for the crashes.
[Version 1.2.2]


Mrandre1 commented on 16 Aug 2005
I purchased this product because iPhoto is too slow. I recently changed computers, and entered my registration number, but was informed by the application that registration numbers are for one computer. Perhaps I can ask them to send me an alternate reg for _this_ computer, the only one I'll be using. But I shall not. That is too much work. Software is supposed to make _my_ life easier.

Software developers have a perfect right to handle their licensing any way they please. And I have a perfect right to view said policies as complete bullocks. Which I do.

[Version 1.2.2]


Anonymous reviewed on 14 Jul 2005
I brought the pro version on the stength of the reviews below and on account of the fact that iphoto has caused me so much grief of late (esp after the transfer to Tiger - and yes I tried all the documented fixes).
It is advisable to play around with Shoebox for a while and create a couple of catalogues to get the hang of it. I too noticed that it occasionally crashes but this is not a problem as unlike iphoto there is no data loss and never any spinning ball the bane of iphoto life.
Generally I think it is a very good practical application and achieves the objectives I need it for, namely an image cataloguing application to combat the problems associated with Iphoto 5 v Tiger.
I did have an intial problem and I commented on this to the support desk who were very helpful. My reported difficulty was:
"I have essentially two main libraries - one comprising main library held in iphoto 5, 21,000 photos over approx 23Gb; the other a hobby library also in iphoto comprising 20,000 photos over approx 3gb.
I intend also to keep these two libraries separate for cataloguing in Shoebox.
The 'hobby' iphoto library has loaded perfectly and it working like a dream. The other 'main' library loads albums and imports keywords and but fails to recognise the photos - the thumbnails are jagged and won't open and there is a message that it can't find files. I have used a iphoto library manager (quickphoto) to ensure that the correct iphoto library is recognised (that can't be the problem though as Shoebox downloads correct albums and keywords). I am stuck and don't know what to do next. I have tried trashing the Shoebox application and re-loading everything but the same problem occurs.
I have tried to create proper thumbnails and also made sure no filters are on - but the actual photos just don't seem to be capable of recognition though they are there. Is the main library just too big - it is the same size in number of photos as the other (but not in file size).
I could of course extract all the photos from the iphoto library, put them in a new folder and re-catalogue but I'd lose my albums and key words - so this would be a time consuming process to get me back to square one."

Support commented: "Each Shoebox catalog has a Pictures folder that you can set in the "Catalog" preferences. Shoebox stores the paths to files relative to this folder. Therefore, you can move the pictures folder to a different location, and then tell Shoebox where you've moved it to in the preferences, and then it will be able to find all your photos.

So, here is what you can do. For each iPhoto library that you want to import:

1) Use QuickPhoto to make the library the current one.
2) Create a new Shoebox catalog, open the Catalog prefs, and set the Pictures folder to Home > Pictures > iPhoto Library:

3) Choose File > Import from iPhoto.
4) Use QuickPhoto to switch to a different library. This should move or rename the iPhoto Library folder to something else.
5) In Shoebox, select the Pictures folder that was moved/renamed.

This should allow you to create several catalogs from your exiting iPhoto libraries, while preserving your albums and keywords. Let me know how this works for you."
Well I followed these instructions and hey presto the iphoto library was improrted into Showbox along with the keywords intact. I also imported other pictures from another file and upon requesting the pporgramme to create categories from keywords it found data in the photos tol add further keyword categories. All I need to do now is to created more categories to enhance the seach hit facility - the more data I imprt the more this program will rock.
[Version 1.2.1]


kaz219 had trouble on 14 Aug 2006
-> Shoebox uses the "date-modified" EXIF field in jpeg pictures.
-> iPhoto update this field everytime you do anything with the photo (like rotating it), and most other photo-collection software do also.

That's why a lot of dates in shoebox are going to be wrong when you import from iPhoto, or receive photos from friends.

So, my advice to the developper:
Use the "date-taken" EXIF field instead !!!

I paid for this software, and it would be worth the money if this only thing was corrected.

For the moment, I have to use the jhead CLI programm to reset the "date-modified" field, so that shoebox got the dates right, which is pretty fastidious...
[Version 1.6.1]

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Version Downloads:2,235
Type:Multimedia Design : Author Tools
Date:21 Apr 2009
Platform:PPC 32 / Intel 32 / OS X
Price: $30.00
Overall (Version 1.x):
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Shoebox Express is a Mac OS X application for organizing digital photos by content. It uses Knowledge Base technology to learn what's in each of your photos. Shoebox allows you to organize your photos by date, people, places and things. With Shoebox you can quickly find exactly the photo you want, even if you have a very large collection. Shoebox also lets you surf your photo collection like a Web browser. If you already use iPhoto, importing your photo collection is easy.

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