May 23, 2008

Digital by Design

I would venture a guess that most of you use a digital camera. I would also guess you probably have piles of pictures taken before the digital age. Earlier this week, I talked about physical storage systems for all of those pictures.

Physically storing your pictures in a safe way to preserve their archival qualities is important, but it is still sometimes difficult to search through pictures and find the exact one you need. I have recently been scanning all of my photographs and looking for a program to store and sort them.

I’ve been using photobucket, which is a good online storage system. But, I recently found something better, an exciting product that does much more than store and organize your pictures. Life Story Productions has an exciting software program called Heritage Collector. I recently interviewed Marlo Schuldt from Life Story Productions and he showed me tons of examples of the program’s capabilities and told me many amazing family history stories which I wish I had the room to tell, but suffice it to say, you won’t be disappointed.

Heritage Collector is an all-inclusive program that allows you to scan and store your photos in a unique collection file system. Now in seconds, you can find any picture you’re looking for. You can search by subject, theme, name, practically anything you can imagine. The exciting part is that you can store much more than photos. Heritage Collector will also help you store sound, video, and text files. The unique way your files are stored in collections makes it easy to organize all your family history materials in one place.

For example, let’s say you create a collection named Grandpa Smith. In the collection you can place photos of Grandpa you have scanned from original photographs or imported directly from your digital camera. You can also put in Microsoft Word documents you have created detailing stories about significant events in Grandpa’s life. But, it doesn’t end there. You can include sound files you’ve recorded of Grandpa telling stories in his own voice. You can use these to create talking photos, so that when you mouse over a photo you will hear the story about the photo in the subject’s own voice. You can also include video clips, scanned family group sheets, journal entries, maps—pretty much anything you can imagine. You can even add GPS coordinates to locate the places in your pictures.

The program also includes a unique hot spot feature. When you mouse over the people in a photo, a hot spot will pop up which tells you the name of the person, dates, or any other information you want to enter.
Having all of these items together and accessible in one place allows you to create a tangible family history to share with your loved ones by quickly and easily making mixed media slide shows, as well as self running CD’s and DVD’s.

Heritage Collector is the equivalent of at least ten programs. So, rather than using one program to import your pictures, another to edit them, another to save and organize them, another to save text files, and one for video and sound, another to create slide shows and still another to burn CD’s and DVD’s, Heritage Collector includes all this and allows you to do it all from one program, saving you a lot of time and money in the process.

So, what if you aren’t into family history? The program works for scrapbooking as well. Just the sorting and storage features alone are amazing, but the program also has a unique scrapbook module which allows you to just drag and drop your photos into scrapbook pages. You can also use it to create your own background paper.

What is the purpose of a scrapbook anyway? It is to preserve your memories and tell a story that will have an emotional impact. With Heritage Collector, this has never been easier. Check it out. I know you’ll love it!

To learn more about the product and read a fun newsletter visit

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