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DMG Designs 1.1.5

DMG Designs 1.1.5

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Screenshots of DMG Designs

DMG Designs Editor's Review

DMG Designs is an application that creates or converts disk images.

This application is similar to DMG Packager, another tool that can give to your distribution packages the professional look. It can do the same tasks as DMG Packager, and it can do some things that are unsupported by this one: it can use a custom icon for the mounted volumes, and it has built in a disk convertor. Unlike DMG Packager, DMG Designs also supports the encryption of the disk images and the image conversion.

On the other hand, DMG Packager supports archive creation, a feature that you won't find in DMG Designs. Most of the archive formats supported by DMG Packager, are also supported by a free tool, CleanArchiver. CleanArchiver also supports the creation of DMG images, but it has just a few features. Those features are enough for regular users though.

Since I started talking about alternatives, and programs that can do almost the same thing, there is another free alternative to this product, CreaDMG. This one is also appropriate for smaller projects.

The interface of this product has an interesting design. Is both eye candy and ergonomic at the same time. There is a side menu that lets you pick your desired operation. Unlike other applications, this menu has graphical buttons. They don't have any text on them, but they look pretty intuitive.

The creation engine supports various customization options of your output disk image. The most interesting part is the possibility to customize very well the layout of the window that would appear in Finder when you mount the image.

The supported image types are Read+Write or Sparse. You can't find in this application the support for read-only disk images. You can pick a file system that can be either HFS, HFS+, HFS+J, or UFS.

The conversion engine supports some features that in a weird way are not available to the creation engine. You can find here new features such as the type of the compression, the support for the segmentation of the resulted image, the possibility to build Internet Enabled images, and the support for adding a SLA (Software License Agreement). I still wonder why these features aren't available directly from the creation engine.

The last button from the side menu gives you access to the log of the program. The log window can give you precious information such as the error reporting in case of failure, or it can give you information such as the MD5 hash of the resulted image. If you lose this hash, you can calculate it again with a dedicated tool, MD5.

Pluses: it gives you various features that can customize the layout of your distribution package, it reunites some useful tools that usually are available in multiple equivalent applications, it has a built in conversion engine. Another good thing is the support for dual core processing. This is one of the few applications that uses the whole processing power of your CPU.

Drawbacks / flaws: some features that are available in the conversion engine are not available into the creation engine. This makes the applications a little inconsistent. The support for splitting the disk image in multiple volumes is implemented but I couldn't make not even a single split image with this program. No matter if there is a large file into the image, or a lot of small files, it does the same thing: it splits the output image in many small volumes. When it reaches the number of 250 volumes, the process fails with the error: "convert failed - Too many open files". The side menu is useful, but even though the icons are quite intuitive, the applications doesn't give you any option to enable some text labels for these buttons.

In conclusion: the inconsistency of the interface can make you lose useful time if you would like to include into your image some elements that are available only in the conversion mode. I didn't see any beta sign near this application, so there's no excuse for the dumb behavior when trying to split an image. Chop DMG can do a better job in splitting images into multiple volumes.

version reviewed: 1.1.1

DMG Designs Publisher's Description

DMG Designs allows you to produce customized disk images (.dmg files). Automatically include files and directories, background images, volume icons, an alias to the application folder, Software License Agreements (SLA), and much more.

DMG Designs can also produce images that automatically grow as files are added, and the image can be encrypted,

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