The Image Collector is a portable tool which can help you to view, categorise and download photos from popular image sharing sites.

Launch the program and you'll see the available sites on the left. Currently these include 4Chan, 9Gag, deviantART, Imgur, PhotoBucket, Photo.Net and Picasa. Just click one of these and the Image Collector will quickly download a representative collection of its latest images, displaying them as thumbnails for you.

We were hoping to then be able to run keyword searches across each service, but disappointingly, that isn't possible. Some sites do provide a basic filtering menu via an icon which appears on the program's toolbar, though. So if you choose "Photo.Net", say, you'll find categories like "Birds", "Children", "Fashion", "Landscape" and "Pets" which may get you a little closer to the type of material you need.

Once you've downloaded a set of photos, left-clicking a thumbnail will display a larger version. And right-clicking allows you to download a full-sized copy to the folder of your choice.

The Image Collector uses multiple threads to download your images, ensuring it delivers impressive performance. And it's quite configurable: you can choose how many threads to support, and the precise function of the left and right mouse button in the viewer, for instance. Although the interface remains a little odd, no matter what you do: we're just too used to double-clicking to view an image, and left-clicking feels unintuitive (as well as meaning you can't left-click to select multiple images).

Please note, the author also provides a commercial Premium Pack which allows you to connect to and download adult material from 10 popular sites. This costs $8, and you can find out more on his site.

Version 1.12 (changelog):
    - Added: Validate Folders to the Category editor.
    - Fixed: Images hosted on Tumblr

Verdict ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

The Image Collector is fast, and makes it easy to browse the latest images from a host of sites without reaching for your browser. The lack of keyword searching limits its usefulness, though, and the program's interface is also less than intuitive.