Archives for: July 2004, 16

Fri, 16 July 2004

Permalink 02:47:40 pm

Picasa Photo Album Available Free From Google

Following their purchase earlier this week, Google are now offering Picasa, a digital photo album for free from their UK site. It was previously for sale at £30.The main features are:

- Slideshow. Automatic or manual full screen slideshow of an album.
- Editing. Red-eye removal, cropping, black & white, rotation and auto-enhance.
- Timeline. Full-screen graphical view.
- Email photos with automatic resize.
- Keyword searching. Add keywords to each image for easier searching.

I've already downloaded and installed it; my inital thoughts? Good stuff:

- Very nice clean, minimalist interface.
- Quick import: it imported my 1393 photos, 1.69GB, in about a minute.
- The slideshow is well implemented.

Whilst it's free, and I shouldn't really complain: the not-so-good stuff:

- There doesn't seem to be a way of displaying a single image full-screen without starting a slideshow.
- The keyword searching is very basic. For example, you can't use 'and' or 'or'.
- The timeline feature doesn't seem to work on my PC - it displays in a very low resolution, making the pictures fuzzy.
- I can't find any reference to whether the rotation is lossless; until I can be sure it is, I'm going to avoid it.

Is it worth downloading? If you already use another album package, such as Adobe Album or PS Photo Album there is nothing ground-breaking in Picasa that warrants changing. This may be different in the future - I wouldn't be at all surprised it the next version contains built-in Blogger functions. If, though, your photos are spread all over your hard drives at the moment with nothing to help organise them, then follow the link and download it now - for free, it is a very good product.

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