If you’ve ever had to add an image to a web site or blog, you know how difficult the process can be: choose the image, try to track down the image’s owner, purchase the image. It can be very time-consuming and frustrating. To this end, PicScout has released a browser add-on to make this process a bit simpler.
ImageExchange is a Firefox add-on that’s simple to use and takes up minimal screen real estate. After installation, the ImageExchange icon lives in the lower right corner of the browser.
To find images, do a web search for the type of image you want; for example, a beach. As images fill the page, the ImageExchange icon will display the number of beach images found that are available for licensing. Clicking on the icon opens the sidebar revealing all the found images and their licensing. There are nine different licensing choices, which can be filtered to show just the types you need. Once you choose an image, a new window will open with a link to where the image can be purchased.
Images are not limited to web searches. As you browse the Internet, any web site that has images available for licensing will appear in the sidebar.
ImageExchange is in beta, and it shows. Numerous times I found images in the sidebar that did not appear on the web page I was on. I have no idea where those images were, and why they were showing up. Seems like there are a few more bugs that need to be worked out.
Obviously, not every image you find online will appear in the ImageExchange sidebar; they first need to be registered with ImageExchange. Currently ImageExchange only works with Firefox. Safari and Chrome versions are scheduled for release later this year.
ImageExchange is still very much a work in progress. However, it’s simple to install and use, unobtrusive, and could potentially save a great deal of time. It’s definitely worth a look.