Easy photo organizing, editing, sharing

Organize, edit, and share photos, videos, and collages in Picasa 3.

This photo organizer strikes us as the picture of simplicity, a hairy task considering that Picasa 3 stacks on over a dozen more features and refinements to improve the editing, creative, and sharing options onto what has for years been a solid consumer app. Although not the most powerful image manager on the block, Picasa has the distinction of being the most easygoing.

Picasa's editing tools now include a retoucher to cover over blemishes and an improved red-eye corrector that detects and fixes all orbs emitting a magenta glow, with fairly good results.

Picasa really shines when it comes to organizing, uploading, and sharing pictures. New syncing and sharing buttons on the album level let you keep folders up-to-date on your Picasa Web album without leaving the desktop app. The same goes with its neighboring 'Share' button, which uploads photos online and e-mails your contacts the link from Picasa's interface.

The latest version also greatly improves the collage tool and adds a basic movie maker that lets you intersperse a wide range of video with stills. Though we love the concept, the bare-bones tool needs work, and greater choice of outputs--right now it only churns out WMV files. One other caveat: Picasa eats a lot of memory, so be wary of a performance drag, oh ye of modest memory. In every other respect, this free photo editor and organizer program is an excellent choice for amateur shutterbugs with plenty of photos to share.

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