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Review of Adult Check Gold:
For those of you unfamiliar with the institution, the Adult Check network is a mega site of licensed content covering nearly every porn niche I'm familiar with. To divide their serious stash into more manageable (and profitable) portions, Adult Check offers a range of membership options. This review will cover the Gold Membership only.
The first thing I found out while exercising my new members' only privileges was that I wasn't at another supposed "DVD quality" movie-only site. In fact, I had a hard time finding video content at all for the first 15 minutes or so. I say this not because I think there was false advertising involved, but only to encourage fans of video to consider the Adult Check Movie Pass membership as much the better option. This one's definitely all about the pics.
While there's obviously too much content here to get a handle on quickly, I responded first to the site's diversity and only second to its sheer size. To begin with, the site has nearly as much in the gay category as in straight porn. There's an option to filter out either, so there's no worry about having to wade through too much guy-guy "rimming" to get to the stocking and foot fetish stuff you're into, or vice versa. Within gay and straight you've got all the usual stuff, ranging from soft and fluffy to full-on, with a lot of less common content very well represented as well. The straight end features plenty of BDSM, FemDom, Goth, Hentai, Indians, Interracial, Transgendered, and even Body Builder galleries. Just as an example to give you a sense of the size, the Pregnant category currently has 21 sites available to the AC Gold member. Most of those sites are fairly small, but with an average of 5 galleries per site, you're looking at around 100 galleries of pregnant women. Mmm, pregnant women. . . Ahem, right, back to the review.
The problem with massive photo gallery sites is often the combination of bad organization and wrist-destroying "ergonomics." I found the search engine at Adult Check to be a great help and the categories to be accurately arranged. Navigation is a little less user-friendly, however. I'd recommend that Windows users get used to the [right clickàopen in new window] command, allowing easy access to the main lists once you're done with any particular site. Otherwise, there's a lot of back buttoning in store for you. Perhaps more annoying is the absence of slide show features or .zip folder downloads. I did find one site (in the 25 or so I looked at) that had a rudimentary browser function allowing you to skip forward or backward in a gallery. Other than that, I found no better way to look at a series of pictures than to continue hitting "back" after looking at one so that I could choose the next. Any regular collector of adult photography on the web knows how much more time is involved viewing and downloading files that must be browsed and queued in this way.
As might be imagined, the quality of the photos from a purely technical perspective is varied. I found some big, glossy pics, to be sure, but much more often I found snapshot looking material closer to 400X600 in size. A lot of the content in the Adult Check collection is amateur and, I expect, some of it quite old now. Even with this in mind, though, I couldn't keep from thinking repeatedly how much I'd like bigger pictures. Basically, the best way to find bigger pics by professional photographers is to search on your favorite big-name stars. You won't find everyone you're looking for, but there is a fair bit of higher budget and higher resolution material if you look around enough.
The movies here hardly deserve a mention. Take for example the "recommended gallery" featured in late September when I'm writing this review. "Big DVD quality movies," it promises. What I find is four short scenes split into lots of little one minute windows media file segments that playback at 250kb/s. It's blocky, it sucks. Who do they think they're fooling? Not to be harsh, but this was generally the experience I had trying to find videos. I found a few 500kb/s shorts, but even the stuff being called "high resolution" was often no better than 250kb/s .wmv. In short, don't get the AC Gold membership for the movies.
Awkward navigation and generally substandard photo size makes this one hard to get too enthusiastic about. On the other hand, there is a gross amount of photo content here in straight, gay, and nearly every niche therein you can think of. For serious photo collectors, and particularly those with a dial-up (or otherwise sluggish) connection, this might be just the thing. For high-bandwidth users without tons of time on their hands, the Adult Check Gold (and also Regular) memberships are simply not geared toward quick efficient downloading or viewing. This is real hunt and peck stuff. To mix my metaphors, it's often in getting out that fine toothed comb that we find the diamond in the rough, and I'm sure that there are some precious gems in this stash for those patient enough to search them out. For the short attention span, instant gratification set, however, the wise move would be to look elsewhere.
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