What Is Picasa?
Picasa is a free photo editing and management application offered by Google. It offers many photo editing, organization and online storage features that photo buffs will find useful. Here's my review of Picasa...
Picasa - Free Photo Editing and Management Software
If you're into photography as a hobby, and you're looking for software to help you manage and edit your photos, Picasa is a free tool you should check out. Picasa consists of a desktop program that you must download and an optional online storage and display service.
The Picasa desktop app features automatic scanning of one's drives for photos and grouping of similarly named photos into virtual folders; that is, the photos appear on screen in "folders" labeled "CompanyPicnic" but remain physically right where they are. Picasa even has a facial recognition feature that effectively says, "Oh, look, there's Sis, we'll put this pic in the 'Sis' folder." You can add tags to photos to group them under Picasa, too.
Having experimented with Picasa a couple of hours, I must say this automated grouping does not work very well for me. Photos end up in unexpected and undesired virtual folders, actually more confusing than the familiar disk folders in which I have them stored. Editing tags and other metadata so that photos appear where I want them was rather tedious.
Picasa's photo editing features include red-eye reduction and color enhancement as well as standard features such as cropping, resizing, adjusting contrast and brightness, etc. You can also make slideshows and arrange photos in a timeline display. Picasa supports a number of online photo printing services as well as standard desktop printing.
Search, Tag and Upload With Picasa
You can search by keywords in the Picasa search bar, which will search filenames, captions, tags, folder names, and other metadata associated with a photo. Much like Google Search, Picasa supports Boolean operators so you can specify search strings such as "Brad but NOT with Sue OR dog." This can help you find exactly the photo you have in mind among hundreds of photos of Brad.
Geotagging, or associating a photo with a location such as Yellowstone National Park, is supported in the Windows version of Picasa but not on Mac platforms.
Picasa Web Albums are the online photo-sharing component of the Picasa application. Similar to Flickr or Photobucket, Web Albums let you upload photos from your desktop, phone, and other sources to public or private albums. Up to 1 GB of storage space is provided free of charge; if you need more photos online, you can lease up to 6 TB of storage space. That's enough space for about 6 million photos in 5.0 megapixel format. Web Albums have a "Blog This" feature which enables one to easily post a photo stored in Web Albums to a blog posting.
The Picasa desktop app comes in various flavors for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The Linux version requires Wine, a Windows emulation program that lets Windows programs run under Linux; Wine is bundled with the Picasa Windows app for Linux users to download.
Overall, Picasa is a good photo editing, organizing, and online distribution application. In my opinion, it strives to do many things and ends up doing some of them imperfectly. But I have a couple of friends who are really into photography, and they rave about Picassa. So there's no doubt it can be a useful tool for shutterbugs, Web designers, bloggers, and others who work with digital photos. You might also want to check out some other article where I discuss Photo Editing Software, and Online Photo Editing.
Got something to say about Picassa or other photo management software? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 9 Dec 2009
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- What Is Picasa? (Posted: 9 Dec 2009)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved