Friday, January 18, 2008

Working with MacJournal 5.0

I’ve been trying to find a good journaling interface that will work well with the Blogspot site. I had hopes for MacJournal, so I bought version 3.5 and tried it out. It was fine for uploading text, but it simply couldn’t deal with the photos. That is, to say, it would not let me insert the photos into the entry on the computer and then upload both the text and the photos to So, I used the Blogspot online interface, and that’s one of the reasons my entries for the first couple of years were so sparse. It was simply too cumbersome a process to pick out the photos, resize them for the web, upload them to a file sharing site, write the blogger post using their interface, then insert the photos in the right spot. And with the old Blogspot interface is was a major pain.

When the Blogspot interface improved, it became a bit easier, as I could use my own web server where I host my portfolio photos, but I still wanted a one step solution. So, I tried upgrading to MacJournal 4.0.

Despite the upgrade, there was no significant improvement. The Blogspot interface still gave me a better solution for putting the photos and text together - and especially for aligning photos the way I wanted them to be (left, right or center). But, at least with MacJournal 4.0, I had the option of downloading the photos from my online journal into the MacJournal interface so they would show up in the local entries. That was at least an improvement, and I was satisfied to use the improved online interface for Blogspot for the time being.

Then today, I got a notice from Mariner Software that MacJournal 5.0 was available and I could upgrade for a mere $19.95. The press release touted an improved interface with the ability add video and audio to the journal. So, I though, “what the hell” for twenty bucks, I’ll try it out. Maybe it will finally give me the working interface I’ve been looking for this time.

It didn’t. First of all, I’ve lost my ability to download the photos from the entries posted using the Blogspot interface. I don’t know why, as this seemed to work quite well with MacJournal 4.0.

Then, after I downloaded the initial entries from Blogspot, any attempt to download additional entries, caused the program to crash hard. I tried resetting the preferences, deleting the preference, and even removing and reloading the application, but nothing helped.

And, although this version of MacJournal is supposed to let me upload my photos, videos, and audio to an ftp server (preferably my own), it simply doesn’t work. By that, I mean, if I put in the ftp address, provide the correct username and password and the desired path, the files simply don’t upload. Interestingly enough, though, if I use .Mac, the photos do upload and MacJournal correctly links to the images (though without any alignment parameters). That’s what I’m doing with this entry.

You might have noticed that the images associated with this entry are somewhat aligned (left and right), but that’s simply because I’m using a work around of putting tables into the MacJournal entry and aligning the photos into the individual table cells. Edit: The table alignment didn’t work. I had to actually go add the photos later via the blogger interface, so this sucks even worse than I thought it did before.

So, I guess I’m only out $20 for this experiment, and although it does give me a one step option for uploading both photos and text in a simple unaligned format using a non-centralized location for the photos, it’s still a downgrade since I can no longer use the Blogspot interface and then download the entries with photos into MacJournal. I also don’t like having to put the photos into .Mac vs. putting them with the rest of my photos on my own server. Geez, why can’t someone just create a nice elegant user interface that works well across the board?

BTW, the photos are supposed to represent my willingness to experiment. :)

1 comment:

Bivins said...

Mark. I just had the very same issues with MacJournal, an app that I'd love to love, but dang. What a pain! I also tried ecto and MarsEdit with varying degrees of success. I am a Mac guy, but I have to say that the easiest piece of blogging software I've found is...ulp!...Windows Live Writer. For Windows. And I never thought I'd have to admit that a Microsoft product does the job better than an Mac one! Good luck to you!