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21 September 2010

Google Picasa (v3)

Today I talk about a piece of software I discovered at the weekend.

My father-in-law has been forced to move to Windows 7 and now his Canon software won't allow him to print to his Canon printer. Go figure! Having failed to get it working, I searched for something else. My remit was for some software to allow him to easily print a number of pictures on a single sheet of paper and the ability to email smaller versions of pictures.

I got lucky with Google's free Picasa.

To say that this software allows you to organise your photos would be an understatement. It searches for photos, allows you to create albums and tag and edit the pictures. And you guessed it: you can print and email them too. All good and expected. I wasn't expecting the nifty facial recognition feature though; It scans all the photos and allows you tag who's in them. Very impressive!

I also checked out the backup feature and this seems to do the business.

There's lots to still explore. Apparently I can publish my photos to the web, and even tag where they were taken using Geo-Tag (based on Google Earth). Geek paradise!

So what's wrong with this application?

My concerns are really about how the meta-data is stored. Having invested so much time tagging and catagorising photos, then I really don't want to lose it. The documentation says that this isn't stored in the photos themselves which is a shame and means that you can't simply send someone a picture and they can see all the good stuff you've added. More work required Mr Google.

And while I'm thinking of improvements... it would be really good it you could actually reorganise the physical files. But that's not a show stopper by any means.

Anyway - it's free, so what's there to complain about!

Did I forget to mention that it's free?

On the Ukulele Blog's Triple B scale it's a 9. This is a vital piece of kit. I can't believe it's taken me this long to discover it.

Go buy it... oh yeah you can't... it's free!

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