Cooliris

cooliris

Cooliris is a free add-on for Firefox and Internet Explorer that enhances the way you view content on the hundreds of currently compatible sites.  It is essentially a rather flash looking graphic user interface with a few nice features.

The main draw is the impressive way it presents you with an endless wall of images from your chosen page and allows you to browse them by dragging the page and then enlarging the picture/video of your choice. My description does not really do the effect justice, by comparison it is somewhere between Sci-Fi style smart boards found on CSI/Minority Report and the album selection method on iPod/iPhones.  Although this may not seem particularly useful at first, once you begin to play around with the features including the add-on really begins to shine.

While hundreds of sites such as Facebook and Myspace are compatible, I would imagine most people would use Cooliris featured sites like Google image search or YouTube. Many other big sites are also featured in a handy drop down box towards the top right of the page such as Flickr, Deviant Art, Picasa and Bing.  Additionally Cooliris can be used to search images in the same manner from designated folders on your PC but disappointing seems unable to do the same for video files.

Once installed Cooliris is never intrusive; the only sign of it being installed is a small logo that appears next to the search bar on your browser which acts as a shortcut to www.cooliris.com.  When visiting a Cooliris supported site this logo changes to a blue and green logo that once clicked takes all content on the page and displays it in the dynamic endless wall format mentioned earlier.

Along with the browsing of images and videos, the add-on has the additional shopping feature that is fully integrated with the Amazon.co.uk for the browsing of their products. I would imagine this is where the revenue for the add-on comes from as there are no adverts to speak of apart from the featured videos which are simply an option available in the many categories available for browsing.

The program itself is extremely polished in appearance and really is a pleasure to use; my only real grumble is that some images do look a little grainy due to the resizing.  When I consider that it was trying to display 104,000,000 image results for my search term ‘fish’ however, I find it impossible to hold a grudge.

I would hope more features will be added in the future as there would seem to be quite a lot of scope for expansion especially as I notice certain flash games also seem to be compatible with the add-on.   While not an essential download or particularly revolutionary Cooliris is certainly worth the 2.9mb download to enhance your image/video browsing or even to get a bit of shopping done.

 

About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

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