Whether you take a ton of photos, or just have a really huge collection that is difficult to sort through when you need to find something, you’re in dire need of an easier way to do it. Sparkbox is a Mac app worth $19.99 (currently free for 24 hours), that helps you sort images, allowing you to tag them, organize them in to folders, rate them, favorite them and search through various image by the amount of a particular color in an image. The app lets you create smart folders, which are, in fact, smart filters for your images. All images are saved to the app’s library, and are separate from the originals, which means that even if you delete an image from the app, the original will still be intact.
Launch the app and start adding/importing images to it by dragging & dropping either a folder or an image file onto the left panel. The left panel consists of the folders you’ve added with the number of images in each. Images that are added on their own, i.e., not in a folder, appear under Uncategorized images. From the top bar, you can switch between different views, i.e., Category, Tags or Favorites. The Colors tab lets you search images by color, and the Websnap tab lets you import entire webpages by simply entering the URL.
You can add a simple folder or a Smart folder, which isn’t limited to just being a folder, and can also be a filter criteria. To add a new folder, click the plus sign at the bottom left of the app window (what’s perplexing at the moment is how to delete a smart folder). An ordinary folder is added instantly, with only the need to edit the default name. When you add a smart folder, you will have to pick one or more criteria for it from those listed in the dropdown.
To add tags to an image and rate it, click add tags just below an image and add the desired ones separated by commas. Click one of the five dots below an image to rate it, and the heart icon next to the image name to mark it as a favorite.
To search an image by the amount of a particular color in it, like how much green or blue is in an image, go to the Colors tab and select a color from the bar at the top. You can select how much the color in the image can vary from the selected color (read: different shades), and how much that particular color should be present in an image, from the cog wheel at the right of the color bar. Move the knobs on the slider to increase or decrease the level of Color Variance and Color Minimum.
The app also lets you import an entre web page as an image from the Websnap tab. Click the Thumb button in the URL bar and select which types of images you want to import from the web page. Enter a URL and hit Return. Once the page has loaded, click the camera button next to the URL bar, and the app will snap the site, saving it to its library.
The app is, no doubt, a great way to sort images, and an even better one for searching them. If you ever forget the name of an image, but remember what colors were in it, searching for it can be a whole lot easier.