Review #2: Zoundry Raven (Windows)

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Tested on: Windows (also Flickr and WordPress, sort of)

Before writing this review I needed to get myself out of the laziness that always come every time holiday arrives. I’ve promised to you to make a review of Zoundry Raven, after all. And there’s this music cataloguing app that has been consuming most of the time I’ve spent in front of my computer for the last 2 days… I’m going to review it soon.

Before I even started this blog I tortured myself by researching which one of the two bloghost giants (Blogspot and WordPress) and blog editor do I need to use. Of course I know that I could just skip my research by using the most popular and/or feature-packed bloghost/app, but, just as usual, I can’t just let myself go with the crowd, because who knows if their decision is right for me?

As you know, I finally chose WordPress (for some weird reason I always think that Blogger is too childish…) and Zoundry Raven. Most of you haven’t heard of Zoundry Raven before you read this review, right? It’s not the most well-known blog editor out there, but I think that it’s the best free blog editor.

(Note: Zoundry Raven was published by Connecticut-based Zoundry, but they stopped maintaining it by 2009 and has released it as an open-source software. Recently someone has posted a new version, the first in 5 years,but I haven’t tried it yet .)

During installation, you can choose to install it as a portable app, which I did. There’s no difference between the standard and portable version, except that you could save the portable version onto a flashdisk and run it from any computer, of course.

The first thing you need to do is to add a new account by clicking on ‘Add Account’. The app supports Blogger, WordPress (both free and paid), MovableType, LiveJournal, Drupal, SquareSpace, and other blog hosting sites. You would need your blog URL, username, and password:

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The API URL is a URL the app would use to post to your blogs. For WordPress sites it would be something like http://yourblog.com/wordpress/xmlrpc.php. After you’ve clicked ‘Next’ it would download all of your blog’s post, tags, links, and images. If you have more than one blog, you can add it to Zoundry Raven by clicking the ‘Add Account’ button again.

When it’s done, you would see something similar to this:

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The Dashboard features three options; create new blog account, media storage, and change application settings. These options are accessible from the menu bar and the toolbar, but they’re easier to access this way, with their big buttons and the fact that the Dashboard is the first thing you would see when you open Zoundry Raven. .

You could change the main interface’s overall look by clicking View>Perspective>Browse, although I prefer the standard look:

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Let’s get to the main feature of this app–to write a new blog post, click the Write button, and a post editor would appear.

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It’s quite straightforward to use. You could choose the blog you want to post to, the title of your post, the category, and the tags just below the main toolbar, and if you’re familiar with a word processor, you could figure out what the buttons on the formatting toolbar would do, save for some buttons on the second row.

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I don’t think I would need to explain the main toolbar, since you could certainly figure what they’re for.

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I hate the Undo/Redo button, though. They’re quite unpredictable. When I write a sentence and hit Undo, sometimes it would remove the last word I wrote, but sometimes it also would remove the last line I wrote.The Redo button often wouldn’t work, although I’ve hit Undo.

There are three tabs below the editor, just above the status bar, where you could change how the app shows the post you’re currently editing. The Design tab is where you could edit your post the easy WYSIWYG way, while the XHTML tab is where you could see and edit your post in HTML. The Preview tab is, well, the tab where you could view your post as it would appear on a browser. The app has the ability to add ‘Templates’ so you could see the post just like you would see it posted on your blog, but I haven’t succeeded in getting it to work.

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When I’m taking a screenshot of the bottom tabs and the status bar, I realised that the status bar is not very informative. It only shows the date and time the post was created. It would be better if it shows the word/character count, or how many images you’ve added on your post.

When you’re feeling done, there are two things you could do: Save it when you want to continue writing for later or want to post later, or just Publish it.

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Then you could click the close button and go back to Zoundry Raven’s main interface. Here we could see the posts, links, and whatnots it had downloaded from your blog.

Now I’m going to focus on the Account Navigator pane on the right:

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As you can see, there are two main categories on it, Unpublished and nochkawtf (or the name of your blog). Unpublished, just like its name, contains all the posts you’ve written on Zoundry Raven and yet to publish (also with every links, images, and tags it contains), and your blog’s name is your blog account, and it contains every posts you’ve written. Not also posts-also pages; that’s what the WP-Pages is for, if you’re a WordPress user. It means that you could also post pages from Zoundry Raven, although I haven’t tried it.

Click on the ‘Posts’ sub item and it would show you a list of your posts, complete with a preview pane:

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Double-clicking on a post would take you to Zoundry Raven’s post editor. You could cha

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