02 February, 2009

A fix for Picasa 3

On Jan 16, 2009, I wrote about troubles with Picasa 3 and no longer supporting it as a photo manager. Since then, I have tried 4 other photo managers and I have solved my Picasa problem. First, the fix.

I took these steps to restore Picasa back to normal.
  1. File > Add Folder to Picasa
  2. Removed every folder referenced -- this led to no photos listed in Picasa
  3. File > Add Folder to Picasa
  4. Selected the folders I wanted to re-include in Picasa --Picasa reloaded
  5. Smiled and was happy :-)
That simple process seemed to do the trick.

As I mentioned, I have tried 4 other photo managers, though I'm going to stick with Picasa -- assuming it behaves. Not that they other 4 are not as good, but for one reason -- Picasa integrates so nice with their hosting service.

Here are the 4 other photo managers (in no particular order), and a few comments:
1. ACDSee Photo Manager 2009
If I were to replace Picasa, I think this would be my choice.
  • Some features I liked:
    • Loads fast as a replacement for Windows default picture and fax viewer.
    • Preview of thumbnails with a simple mouse hover.
    • Easy to filter with auto categories (e.g. focal length, shutter speed, photographer, and others), ratings (1 - 5 and unrated), and categories (e.g. albums, people, and others).
    • Many edit/adjustment tools, some with presets and auto-adjustments.
    • Edit/adjustments contains before and after views.
    • Database management. (The thing that Picasa needs help with.)
  • Other comments:
    • Has a publish to TiVo feature -- I never used, as I don't have TiVO, but it promises to be an easy way to view your photos on your TV, which I do and love with my Apple TV.
    • Contains a backup wizard.
    • Could use a UI freshening.
2. Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition 3.2
  • Biggest con: Sprinkled with ads throughout -- I'd have to be really hard pressed to settle on this product due to the ads.
  • Some of the features I liked:
    • Time-line bar chart representing number of photos during a given month.
    • Integration with Flickr -- I didn't actually try it, but I assume the same conviences I have with Picasa is realized.
    • Calendar View -- Displays a calendar and a photo on each day that photos were taken. Simple slide show on the right allows you to see all photos for the given day.
    • Drag and drop tags onto photo thumbnails; easily find them later by selecting the tag.
    • A few auto adjustments, with before and after views.
  • Other comments:
    • Not as rich featured as Picasa.
    • Did I mention the annoying ads?
    • Saves original when you perform edits.
3. Photo Manager 2008 Standard (Proxima Software)
  • Mouse hover provides an extensive list of properties including size, dimensions, and camera used.
  • You can create a work list of photos.
  • Has a search feature to find duplicates -- uses color coding to indicate duplicates; recommends which one to keep.
  • You can get plug-ins for Canon cameras
4. Corel Photo Album 6 (there's a newer version, but I have a license for this version)
Disclaimer: Corel is the parent company of the company I work for.
  • Some of the features I liked:
    • Tabs are used to make navigation of features easy: Organize, Enhance, Create, Share.
    • The Create section offers various print projects from photo album pages to CD labels to calendars, and more.
    • Easy backup onto a CD(s).
    • Tutorials (PDF) on website.
  • Other comments:
    • Crashed occassionaly.
    • When appying enhancements, half the image shows the original and half shows the change -- I want to see both together.
Though no way exhaustive or complete, this gives you an idea of what the top photo managers are and what they offer. While I'm at it, let me also remind you, BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS. Let me know if you have another photo manager to add to the list or favorite features you like (or dislike) with any of these.

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