I’ve been using Picasa for mac for about a month now, more in the last few days. I really like it.Why? It’s simple, intuitive and pleasing to use. Here’s how I’ve been using it so far…
First, I download some photos to my computer. (Anywhere! It doesn’t matter!) Then I open up Picasa and use it to do a first quick slideshow of all the photos. That’s the “hey! look at this pic! It came out pretty good!” part. Then I go to library view and look a bit closer, zooming in and around to help decide which photos to trash. Looking through pics is simply a pleasure. Just today I discovered that you can click and hold on an image and it zooms it to 100%. Nice. I do that a lot, zooming in and out and moving the image around to look more closely at different parts.
For the photos that don’t make the cut, I simply click my keyboard’s delete button. Poof, gone. Don’t even need to right-click to then move to trash. And I know it’s just gone because Picasa lets me work with my own file system, and there’s only one image there. (iPhoto? Don’t get me started!)
I can crop, make light and color changes, even do little effect thingies, whatever editing I want – yet undoing them is no problem. Picasa doesn’t save copies of original photos when changes are made, it just keeps track of them and recreates them. And – get this – it recreates them even if you move the photos around after making the changes!
In addition to the editing possibilties (there are just enough for me, I’m no photoshopper) I’ve enjoyed the quick tagging feature. This will really help, for example, gather all the pics of our dog when she’s wet and is playing with a stick. (Yes, I will want to do that one day. Really.)
Overall, Picasa just feels right. I like knowing that I don’t need to peek inside a pkg file to find my images (hello?), they’re all right there in the folders I made for them, organized by me, in a way that I can understand (actually not much different than iPhoto’s year > roll system).
Long story short: Picasa is a keeper! I’ve already stopped importing into iPhoto, and will continue to move my images out of the iPhoto system into the file system. Got 2009 done, that was easy. 😉
I’ll probably keep iPhoto around as a kind of archive until I’m sure that all my pics are accounted for and viewable in Picasa. Eventually, though, it will become outdated, even more outdated than it already is (got iPhoto 6). That’s when it will have to go. No tears here.