OS X Offers Plug-and-Play Web Publishing With Image Capture!

While researching our Weekend Date with OS X series, we came across a very useful feature that could help both web newbies and experts publish their photos quickly. When we plugged an available HP Photosmart 315 Digital Camera into our PowerBook G3 (FireWire) via the USB port, the OS X Image Capture application eventually came alive. What could this mean?

Plugging a camera into a USB port and having it appear on the desktop is one thing, but having it launch an application is another. When we examined the Image Capture window, we were pleased to see a few things. For one thing, you could adjust how a hot-plug action (such as our plugging in the camera) will be dealt with. You can continue to open Image Capture, Automatically Download All, or do nothing.

Image Capture Window Suddenly Appears
(Click the image for a larger view.)

But there are also Automatic Tasks which you can perform. The "Build web page" option caught our attention. Based on the icon, it appears to be an AppleScript program. No matter, once we said Download All, we saw our pictures downloaded, put into a folder, and eventually displayed with Internet Explorer. Talk about plug and play!

Unfortunately, we were unable to disconnect the camera without locking up our system. Since we are still on the first release, and HP hasnit offered any drivers, we were impressed with even this level of performance. For some lucky USB camera owners, you may be able to download images and create a web page in one step. Note also that not all digital cameras are supported yet.