Beta Sniper: Picasa 3

Posted: October 9, 2008 in Beta Sniper
Tags: , ,

Picasa 3 is a worthy update that any picasa user may try out. I am not going into a detailed feature review. But I am going to touch on a few things that everyone should watch out for when the final edition comes out.

Picasa Photo Viewer: This was the only option that picasa lagged. And now it has arrived. You can configure picasa to open files and browse through them all you want. The ribbon like picture sifter at the bottom of the screen is pretty handy. But few things are still required.  First, a setting for controlling the zoom level in the picture viewing window. I have some photos which look miniscule on my 20 inch. I need them to appear at a certain level of zoom everytime I open them. ACDSee had such an option and it made all the difference. Secondly, I need some control over the slideshow mode. The options setting from the picture viewer doesn’t let you do much. At least a timer control would be nice. But I loved the keyboard and mouse based zoom in zoom out and also faded and transparent background that shows the desktop while you are viewing a smaller photo. Oh, you can upload from the photo viewer as long as you are logged into the web album. Loved that part, makes photo upload a piece of cake.

Videos: Ever tried making videos from you photos? Quite a cumbersome task if all you want is to just put a track at the back and some captions at the bottom. Take it from someone who has used quite a lot of video editing options, Picasa3 is the best option for you to make videos out of your pics. The effects are pretty simple, and there are not a bunch of options for editing and text effects. But for making a simpe slideshow, video with a music track, customized timing, and text caption, Picasa3 is by far the best software out there. Best of all? You can directly upload to Youtube from the software

Collages: Now there is a lot more control over the collages you create. The previous pathatic click-and-hope-everything-turns-out-the-best approach is gone. Now you can rotate, change, mix and match and do a bunch of things to the picture pile you just created. Have fun with your background people. That’s what my collages are usually for 🙂

GeoTag: Does exactly what it says. Couple it with Google Earth and you can place your photos on the exact spot that they were taken.

Other things to look out for are the options to make posters, posting to blog and many other teeny tiny improvements. The overall sorting and shuffling and archiving and other functions are better. The whole interface contains little tweaks that make the experience a lot better. Try it out, you’ll see.

Some experimental features are also on this beta. And some of those should make it to the end product. And the one I want most is

Find Duplicates: I have millions of duplicates of my photos and I really need something to sort them out. The experimental feature doesn’t show all duplicates side by side, but that should not be a problem to fix. To the guys and gals at Picasa, “Please make this work right.”

Another killer feature would be the ability to export all your photos to a single place. Sort of like the iTunes music folder organizer option. There might be something already in Picasa for this, but in case there isn’t, “Could you please make this happen as well.”

You can download Picasa 3 beta from here

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