Mac Software Review: Dragoman 1.1

Dare to be Creative Dragoman Mac shareware
Mac software review






Whenever we prepare a software review, we convert two dozen PNG files or more into JPEG all at a time. We find Adobe Fireworks’ Batch Process useful for that end. Adobe Fireworks CS3 is not cheap. If you have to convert a large group of graphic files regularly and frequently, you may want to try out a relatively new Mac shareware title called Dragoman. It’s developed by an Austrian software company called Dare to be Creative. Dragoman comes with a 10-day free tryout period.

Dragoman is more versatile than Adobe Fireworks to some extent. Dragoman supports not just graphic formats but also audio formats (AIFF, WAV…) and archive formats (DMG, ZIP…). So let’s see what Dragoman is designed to do. 





Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 01
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 02
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 03






Graphic formats

Screenshot 01 shows a simple screenshot. The graphic format is PNG. As you probably know, PNG is a lossless format as opposed to a lossy format. Anyway, let’s launch Dragoman by double-clicking on the application icon. And I’ll just drag and drop the graphic file onto the application window. (See Screenshot 02.) Now, I get to choose a graphic format for conversion. Let’s convert the format into jpg. (See Screenshot 03.) Then? I’ll just have to drag and drop a file icon shown to the right of the application window to a hard disk drive. (See Screenshot 04.) Huh! That’s pretty simple.





Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 04
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 05






Unlike PNG, JPEG is a lossy format unless the compression rate is 100%. But you cannot control it with Dragoman. So how does Dragoman sets the compression rate under the JPEG format? Let me check that with Adobe Fireworks. It looks like the default compression rate is set to 89%. (See Screenshot 05.)





Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 06
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 07
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 08






Next, let’s work on a group of graphic files. Screenshot 06 shows 8 graphic files. The format is PNG for all files. But sizes are different. There are three different resolutions. One is 1200 x 900 pixels. Another is 946 x 868 pixels. And one file has a resolution of 924 x 873 pixels. Anyway, I’ll just grab all 8 files and drop them all onto the application window. (See Screenshot 07.) This time, let’s change the format to GIF. (See Screenshot 08.) If I open the converted files… Good. The resolutions haven’t changed. (See Screenshot 09.)





Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 09
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 10
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 11






You cannot set the compression rate in the GIF format. But GIF is also a tricky compression to the extent that you can choose to have or not to have an alpha channel.

Let’s take a close look at one of the converted GIF files. As shown in Screenshot 10, the GIF file contains an alpha channel, meaning Dragoman automatically inserts it whether you like it or not. Likewise, not surprisingly, a converted TIFF file also contains an alpha channel. (See Screenshot 11.)






Audio formats

Next, let’s see how Dragoman handles audio formats. As shown in Screenshot 12, I have audio files with different formats including AIFF, MP3, M4A (MP4), OGG and WAV. All these audio files can be opened with QuickTime. (Ogg Vorbis requires a 3rd-party plug-in.)





Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 12
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 13






To begin with, let’s drag and drop the WAV file onto the application window. As shown in Screenshot 13, Dragoman supports WAV. And I get to choose an audio format for conversion. Honestly to say, but I don’t know most of the audio formats appearing in the drop-down menu. Moreover, as shown in Screenshot 14, Dragoman supports AIFF.

Okay… How about the rest of the audio formats? If I try to drag and drop an MP3 file onto the application window (See Screenshot 15.), Dragoman rejects it. That’s too bad. Dragoman doesn’t support MP3. It doesn’t support M4A (AAC) and Ogg Vorbis, either.





Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 14
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 15
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 16






How about WMA (Windows Media Audio)? As shown in Screenshot 16, I can open a WMA file with QuickTime because I have a QuickTime plug-in called Flip4Mac. But if I drag and drop the WMA file onto Dragoman’s application window… It rejects it.






Archive formats

This versatile application even lets you change archive formats. Let’s see a list of options by dragging and dropping the very disk image from the software developer. The pull-down menu implies that it supports .dmg, .tar, .tar.gz, .zip and more. (See Screenshot 17.) How about .iso and .sit? We will talk about those formats in a few minutes.





Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 17
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 18
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 19






Anyway, let me choose ‘zip’ and drag the zip image shown in the application window onto a different volume. (See Screenshot 18.) After waiting for about a minute… I got an error message. (See Screenshot 19.) Actually, it’s not Dragoman’s fault. This application takes a lot more space than I had expected. So Let me do it on a volume with more space. And Dragoman has successfully created a zip archive. And if I decompress it, I get its content itself. (See Screenshot 20.)





Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 20
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 21
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 22






Actually, as far as the dmg format is concerned, I’m not entirely convinced with Dragoman’s capability. Let me convert another disk image. Remember CleanApp from Synium Software? We reviewed this shareware title the other day. As shown in Screenshot 21, this disk image contains a background file. And if I try to convert this disk image with Dragoman into zip… After a minute of waiting, Dragoman crashes. (See Screenshot 22.) So Dragoman may fail if a disk image contains a hidden background file (file name starting with a dot).

How about ISO? If you swap files between Mac OS and Windows OS, you are likely to get disk images in ISO. I created a small disk image containing two screenshots. (See Screenshot 23.) And, as shown in Screenshot 24, if I drag and drop this ISO disk image… Dragoman rejects it.





Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 23
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 24
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 25






All right. Let’s do one more test. The other day, I received a .sit file. It’s compressed with StuffIt. The thing is that I didn’t have StuffIt installed at that time. StuffIt was very popular till several years ago. But Apple started supporting zip as default archive compression under OS X 10.3.5 or whatever. So not many software developers deliver their software with this archive format any more.





Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 26
Dragoman Mac shareware Dare To Be Creative
Screenshot 27






Looking at Screenshot 17, the drop-down menu doesn’t include sit. Does that mean Dragoman cannot decode the sit format? Let’s see. I found a 4-year-old sit file for a utility shareware title called File Buddy on my hard disk drive. If I drag and drop this sit file onto Dragoman’s application window… Actually, Dragoman accepts this format. (See Screenshot 25.) And I can successfully convert this sit file into zip and dmg. (See Screenshot 26.) After opening the dmg disk image that I created with Dragoman, I notice that Dragoman created an additional folder right inside the disk image. (See Screenshot 27.) This folder is useless, right?






Summary

Dragoman is useful in converting a large group of files into a different format. Unlike Adobe Fireworks, Dragoman supports not just graphic fomats but also audio and archive formats. And it’s a lot cheaper than Adobe Fireworks.

Speaking of graphic format conversion, Dragoman is not necessarily better than Adobe Fireworks. Dragoman does not let the user change the compression rate for JPEG or give the choice of having the alpha channel.

As for audio format conversion, Dragoman supports only a small number of useful formats for Mac users. It doesn’t support popular audio formats including MP3 and MP4. With or without Flip4Mac, Dragoman doesn’t read WMA files, either.

It’s good to know that Dragoman supports the near-dead archive format of sit. It also supports .dmg and .zip. But Dragoman doesn’t support the universal disc image format of ISO, which is used by many Windows users. Furthermore, if a .dmg disk image contains a hidden background file, Dragoman may crash.





  • Developer: Dare to be Creative Ltd. (dragoman-mac.com)
  • Developer’s location: Muehlweg 90/D/18, 1210 Vienna, Austria
  • Latest version: Dragoman (Compatible with PPC, Intel Mac and Leopard)
  • System requirements: OS X 10.4 or higher
  • Prices: full version – US$39
  • MacHouse recommendation: On one hand, we like Dragoman because it supports not just graphic formats but also audio and archive formats. On the other hand, we find that Dragoman is not a complete application because it doesn’t support such popular formats as MP3, MP4, WMA and ISO. So we will not recommend fellow Mac users to pay $39 for this shareware title.






    Dragoman is a product of Dare to be Creative Ltd.





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    2 Responses to Mac Software Review: Dragoman 1.1

    1. Collin says:

      Nice review! Apparently the price is down to $29.95 now, and today only it’s on sale at MacZot.com for $12.99, so if price is holding anyone back, this might be the day to get it.

    2. Thanks for information on prices at different sites.

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