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Google Picasa 2 Still Needs More

Google Picasa 2 Still Needs More

What about Google’s Picasa? I looked at the first version when I learned of it following Google’s acquisition. It didn’t have anywhere near the photo management tools I liked in Adobe Photoshop, so I wasn’t tempted.

Picasa 2 has more to like, but from a photo management standpoint, Adobe Photoshop Album is still much ahead.

As with Photoshop Album, you can tag photos. In Picasa, these are called “labels.” Create labels for anything you like. Assign them to photos, then you can view only the photos that match those labels.

Unfortunately, labels have a long way to go compared to Album’s tags. For one, although photos can have multiple labels, you can only view photos that match one label at a time. In other words, Photoshop Album would let me see all photos tagged to show my youngest son AND tagged as birthday photos. With Picasa, I can only see all the photos of my youngest or all the photos of birthdays — not the combination of the two.

I also like the drag-and-drop system with Photoshop Album better. With Picasa, you have to select photos, then click and add them to a label. Drag-and-drop just feels easier to me.

Labels in Picasa are not hierarchical, as in Album. In other words, Photoshop Album lets me have a tags called Places, with a subtag of California, with further subtags of Disneyland and Newport Beach. That’s handy because if I click to see all photos called California, it will include any subtags. With Picasa, each label resides at the “top” level. There are no subcategories.

Finally, using the labels in Picasa does not write IPTC keywords to your photos, which is ironically one of the strengths of Picasa in another way.