Picasa Web Albums: first look

I happened to be up when I noticed that Google had launched Picasa Web Albums. I’m a long-time Picasa fan so I took it for a quick spin. So far I think it’s pretty slick, it’s possible I might actually use it in place of my Flickr account just because it’s so well integrated with Picasa and that’s the first place all of my digital photos go. But we’ll see, I’m also hooked pretty deep into Flickr. Some initial notes:

  • I need to figure out how to limit sharing to family and friends.
  • Uploading is PC-only — I don’t believe this version is available for Linux yet, even in beta. And it definitely doesn’t work on the Mac. I know because that’s what I was using when I first logged into Picasa Web Albums. 🙂
  • I like the fact that albums can be downloaded (at least it seems that way) — my family in India always wants a local copy b/c net connections aren’t as plentiful there (at least not yet) and are left to do a bunch of right click and saves.
  • Slideshows are nice, I prefer them to the flickr flash-slideshow, one-size-regardless-of-how-big-your-screen-is thing.
  • Tagging hasn’t ever mattered that much to me, so I won’t miss Flickr’s tagging, but I know it means a lot to other people. I suspect this will be the topic of a lot of conversation in the blogosphere. That and the absence RSS subscriptions (another item that I don’t use much) (Correction, PWA has RSS subscriptions.)
  • As I mentioned, the integration is really great — sure beats exporting from Picasa and then uploading using the Flickr upload tool (which is pretty unsophisticated and pretty not-integrated with flickr, unlike Picasa – Picasa Web Albums).

Fittingly, you can see my screenshot walkthrough of Picasa Web Albums as a, well, Picasa Web Album.

Or click on any of the thumbnails below…

The new Picasa client (Windows-only) with Web Album button

The built-in upload manager uploads your photos to Picasa Web Albums

Back at the Picasa Web Albums website…

All of my albums

Inside of one of my albums

Play a slideshow within your browser

When a choose a photo, it loads progressively

The same photo after the first pass at loading — subsequent photos are pre-fetched so browsing from one photo to the next is fast

Organize my photos (move/copy photos from one album to another)

Re-arrange my album

Share an album of mine through e-mail

2 thoughts on “Picasa Web Albums: first look”

  1. The Picassa client has keywords. Do those transfer onto the web? If they do, maybe the tagging thing is just semantics, and you can use Picassa keywords to accomplish the same goal.

    Ironic though, I first got into tagging because of Google/Gmail and then really used it in Yahoo/Flickr. Would be strange to give it up for Google/Picassa. But hopefully, this will push Yahoo to create a rich client for Flickr.

  2. Captions get transferred, which is a very nice thing. They get transferred with flickr as well, but they don’t show up in the flickr slideshow, for example. Where is the keywords feature in Picasa? Anyways, I don’t know if they get transferred since it’s not something I’ve used before. 🙂

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