Picasa2 – a new look at an old program

I first used Picasa a couple of years ago (at least I think that it was that long ago). Google had just released it and I was interested in something to help be manage my growing image collections. At the time I found it nice, but too bulky to use. I removed it and didn’t give it a second thought until recently.

Until you have had your head in the sand over the last year+, you have likely noticed that Google is making bold moves in providing numerous services online. These include email, word processing, spreadsheets, and calendaring not to mention acquisitions of services such as Blogger. Googles is now moving to integrate these more into suites, which is how I noticed an updated Picasa2. Google added it to a list of services that I saw when checking out my calendar. I was interested and decided to take a look. I have been very happy with the results.

Picasa2 is not just a client side application anymore. They have moved online, providing a social networking service like Flickr (not nearly a match yet), yet with 1GB of storage. Compare this with the 200 images that you get on Flickr for the free account and you’ll be quite happy with that 1000’s of images that you can get up for free. The storage upgrades are quite cheap as well. I don’t think that this is a Flickr killer, nor is it the best free storage option out there, but it’s very good and, most importantly, is somewhat integrated with Google applications and will likely be more so in the near future.

The Client-side application works rather well itself. It’s a lot less clunky than the older version. The options are convenient, including the “Hide” option with password protection, are nice additions to the program. It also makes publishing to the Picasa2 website very easy. I really love the “collage” function. It will make a number of different collages based on chosen images. Here’s one example.

The drawbacks are similar ones to previous versions. My biggest complaint is the speed of scrolling in the application. It’s too darn slow, given the fact that I have well over 15,000 images. That drives me crazy. I could navigate using the folders menu on the left, but that’s just not how I’m used to interacting with a window.

All-in-all, this is a great application combined with a nice online storage space. I look forward to using this more in the future.

Dan

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