IrfanView was a well-known free multipurpose media tool in Windows. The WineHQ Applications Database indicated that several people had good luck when using Wine to run IrfanView in various versions of Linux. Since I had used IrfanView frequently in Windows, I wanted to explore in more detail the Linux Mint experience, using several IrfanView functions with which I was familiar. (I was using IrfanView 4.42.)
In a previous post, I described some problems that I encountered when I first tried to run IrfanView via Wine. Part of the struggle was just in getting Wine properly installed. Eventually, I worked out a more streamlined approach to installing Wine, as presented in another post. With Wine in place, I could just use a right-click context menu option to install and use a relatively simple Windows program like IrfanView in Linux.
But there was also another route. Instead of directly running IrfanView in Wine, I could also use an application virtualization program like Cameyo to create an executable (.cameyo.exe) portable app package that would run in Wine. At this point, I was not yet very experienced in these things, but I suspected that the Cameyo approach would have advantages in some situations. As detailed in another post, Cameyo would take before-and-after snapshots of the system on which I was installing a program. This meant that, at least in theory, it could capture changes made during complex installations, such as where the system needed to reboot to complete a program’s installation, or where installation would not be finished until the user had run updates or made certain tweaks.
So now I had a Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon x64 system where I had installed Wine, and I had both of those forms of IrfanView: the Cameyo package, and also the standard non-Cameyo (NC) executable. My goals here were to see (a) what IrfanView could do in Linux, at least within parts of the program that I used frequently, and (b) whether there was a difference in functionality, between the Cameyo and NC versions of IrfanView.
At my level of Linux familiarity, there was a difference in how I would access these two versions of IrfanView. I would open the Cameyo version by right-clicking on its executable file in the Linux file manager (i.e., the Linux counterpart to Windows Explorer) and choosing the Open with Wine option. That would run the Cameyo version. Doing that with the NC version, by contrast, would commence its installation process.
Once installed via Wine, a program would be available by going to the Linux counterpart of the Start menu > Wine. In my impression, a launcher (i.e., shortcut) to the Cameyo version could also be added to the Start menu. I hoped it was also possible to make either version available to open a specified file in IrfanView with a right-click, and to make IrfanView the default viewer for a certain filetype. As in Windows, both versions of IrfanView, and also their slideshows, could be closed with the Esc key.
Batch Image Conversion
I had 75 photos, uploaded from my digital camera to my computer. Those photos were relatively large — on average, about 6MB each. In Windows, I would use IrfanView’s batch processing option (File > Batch Conversion/Rename) to create a copy of each photo, reduced to a smaller size (i.e., long side = 800 pixels) and stored in a separate folder. Then, using WinRAR, I would zip up the originals, save them for a while, and eventually delete them if I didn’t need anything more from them.
The question here was, can these Cameyo and/or non-Cameyo (NC) versions of IrfanView do that batch conversion in Linux? Both versions looked the same. Both ran batch conversion processes that looked similar. The resulting files looked the same and appeared to have the expected dimensions and to be of the same sizes.
There was, however, a difference in the output locations. The source folder, containing the original photos, was on an NTFS drive that Linux saw as being located at /media/veracrypt1/Current/Photos. I expected the target folders to be subfolders of that source folder. And that is how the NC version worked: the output of its batch conversion process was located at /media/veracrypt1/Current/Photos/NC.
By contrast, the Cameyo version of IrfanView put the outputs in a place that I did not expect: /home/ray/.wine/drive_c/users/ray/Application Data/VOS/IrfanView/CHANGES/Z_/media/veracrypt1/Current/Photos/CameyoSet. I wondered whether that might be due to the fact that the Cameyo version was not installed. When I attempted to replicate this behavior, I got other results, such as “Can’t save” and “Can’t open” [filename] errors. The Cameyo version appeared to be confused. Shutting it down and restarting did not help.
I decided to use IrfanView’s File > Slideshow feature to put those 75 reduced copies into a slideshow. In both the Cameyo and NC executables, I started with the set of copies created by the Cameyo version, and I designated Z:\media\veracrypt1\Current\ as the output location. Here, again, the Cameyo version of IrfanView placed its output slideshow in /home/ray/.wine/drive_c/users/ray/Application Data/VOS/IrfanView/CHANGES/Z_/media/veracrypt1/Current, whereas the NC (installed) version correctly put its slideshow at Z:\media\veracrypt1\Current. Since at least one version of IrfanView had been installed, both slideshows ran immediately when I used the Open with Wine context menu option on them.
After this point, I did not necessarily try each operation in both versions. I felt the installed non-Cameyo version of IrfanView was functioning more reliably, so I used only that version for most of the following operations.
Rapid Image Viewing
Next, I wanted to use IrfanView and the right-arrow key to flip rapidly through those 75 reduced copies, and I wanted to use Del or the X on the IrfanView toolbar to delete those that I didn’t want. This required some settings in IrfanView > Options > Properties/Settings, notably under Browsing/Editing and File Handling. After changing those settings, the installed IrfanView functioned exactly as in Windows — jumping to the next image after I deleted one, for example, and looping back to the start of the set when I moved past the last image in the set.
In this step, I wanted to make some minor changes to some of the images. I found that IrfanView’s R and L keys worked as expected to rotate the image right or left. Shift-G worked to bring up the Color Corrections dialog. In that dialog, the gamma and contrast sliders worked. Image > Fine Rotation (Ctrl-U) also worked, as did the drag-Ctrl-Y combination for cropping. After editing, Ctrl-S (File > Save) worked to save the revised image in the same folder as the source image, optionally overwriting a file of the same name.
This did not exhaust IrfanView’s image editing possibilities. For example, I did not test bulk cropping. But it tentatively appeared that IrfanView, installed in Linux via Wine, would handle images just as if it were running in Windows.
A few weeks earlier, I had found that an installed IrfanView could not play audio files in Linux. That was the case now as well. When I attempted to play .wav files, nothing happened. When I tried .mp3 files, I got this:
Can’t load PlugIn: “MP3.DLL”!
Please install or update PlugIns from IrfanView homepage!
That reference to plugins reminded me that this was a strength of the Cameyo approach: plugins could be included in the installation that it captured. I tried the Cameyo package now. It worked: I could play .mp3 files. The right- and left-arrow keys worked to switch to the next or previous recording. As in Windows, I was able to open multiple sessions. Cameyo IrfanView seemed willing to play .mp3 files recorded at a variety of bitrates, from 40 to 256 kbps. But it would not play .wav files. It was odd: Irfan had reported that one of his plugins did allow .wav playing. Evidently it worked only on Windows.
It appeared there may have been some progress on this issue since it first stumped me six years earlier, on my previous exploration of Linux. In the WineHQ AppDB, one user reported perfect results using the “Gallium Nine patched version” of Wine 1.8. Then again, it was not entirely clear whether this user had tested audio. Gallium Nine appeared to pertain to video, not audio. Closer to the mark, perhaps, someone reported success in playing .wav files with the aid of a patch — but it looked like I would have to be a coder to know how to use it.
I wanted to convert some images to PDF. In the installed IrfanView, I opened one such .jpg image and hit Ctrl-P to print. That gave me PDF as a printer option. I tried it. A message popped up, indicating that the printing was in process; then another, telling me that it had completed. But it didn’t open onscreen, and I didn’t know where the output had gone. I found it at /home/ray/PDF. The PDF printer had done a decent job — the output was virtually identical to the original, when viewed at normal size. I was also able to print a .jpg from IrfanView to the physical printer.
At this writing, IrfanView, installed in Linux via Wine, seemed to handle image files very much as it did in Windows. It seemed completely unable to play audio files, however. That latter statement was untrue if plugins were installed, but I was not sure how to install plugins via Wine. Further research would probably resolve that unknown. A Cameyo virtualization of Wine in Windows, including plugins, proved capable of playing .mp3 but not .wav files. It appeared that there was a solution to the .wav problem, but for some reason it had not yet filtered down to my configuration.