Google today have announced some enhancements to Picasa, their photo cataloguing software. I’ve long recommended Picasa to friends and family cursed with PCs… and in fact Picasa probably has had the edge on iPhoto for a while now, but you didn’t hear me saying that. No.
Anyway, they’ve integrated Picasa into a new online Photo album service called Picasa Web Albums. (Here’s mine.) It’s now super easy, for those with a Google Accounts signin, to export photos from within Picasa out to the web and share them with friends.
There’s some limits on the free service, but they’re probably not that different from Flickr when you work it out – an OK free allowance, but you can get a more generous paid-for allowance: from the FAQ:
Picasa Web Albums come with 250MB of free storage, or room to post and share approximately 1000 wallpaper-sized photos (at 1600 pixels each). You can also purchase additional storage for your account. For $25.00 per year, you can get a subscription to an additional 6GB of storage – room to post and share approximately 25,000 photos.
The difference seems to be that Google meters by by megabyte stored, but Flickr meters by the megabyte uploaded, which I guess will mean that there’s more storage on Flickr.
But the other cool thing is there are two free Macintosh tools for Picasa Web Albums: an iPhoto plugin, which works very smoothly, and an uploader, which I haven’t tried yet. Very nice. No Picasa for Mac yet though…
I’ll not switch away from Flickr yet: there’s no tagging or photo search or API or… etc etc… all those things that bring the community and added value aren’t on Picasa Web (yet?). Besides, I’m a paid up Flickr user now.
But as a way to get your parents to upload a few photos out of their Picasa install for you to look at, Picasa Web will be brilliant.